Ladies and Gentlemen, Time to Start Seeds

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Get a head start on spring with heirloom seeds from Sustainable Seed Company

Starting heirloom seeds is easy with seeds from Sustainable Seed Company

“Planting a seed is the most rewarding part of gardening. The whole process is quite simple. A single seed is placed in the soil, watered and given light. Then it grows into something you can feed your family. It's truly a miracle.

Spring is right around the corner and many people are planning a garden. Instead of sitting back and just thinking of that gorgeous summer harvest, take action now and get a head start on spring by starting seeds indoors.

Starting seeds is easy, inexpensive and fun! One problem many homeowners face is that outside temperatures are too cold to start seeds. Seeds require heat and extended period of light to germinate. However, it's easy to simulate spring indoors with items from around the house.

The first step is choosing the right varieties to grow. Yet finding a seed company that you can trust is not easy. Sustainable Seed Company offers over 1,500 varieties of certified organic and heirloom seeds and is proud to practice environmentally responsible farming techniques.

“Planting a seed is the most rewarding part of gardening,” says John Fendley, or “Farmer John,” as he is known at Sustainable Seed. “The whole process is quite simple. A single seed is placed in the soil, watered and given light. Then it grows into something you can feed your family. It’s truly a miracle.”

The wide variety available online for unique and delicious heirloom vegetables far surpasses anything found in supermarkets. The harvest and enjoyment of nature's bounty, the money saved, and the amazing food produced is well worth the effort.

Farmer John outlines these seven steps for seed sowing success:

1.    Choose your plants.
With over 1,500 heirloom and organic seeds available from Sustainable Seed, there are bound to be a few desired choices.

Farmer John suggests these top 9 vegetables to start inside from seed because they take minimal effort and provide great results. They do well when started 6-8 weeks before the first frost in your area.

Warm Weather Crops (keep soil temperature around 80-85 degrees)

  •     Eggplant
  •     Peppers
  •     Tomatoes

Cool Weather Crops (keep soil temperature around 60-70 degrees)

  •     Broccoli
  •     Cabbage
  •     Greens (lettuce, mustard, turnip, etc.)
  •     Spinach
  •     Cauliflower
  •     Brussels sprouts

2.    Timing is Critical
To calculate when to plant or sow seeds, check the last frost date in your area. Each seed packet will provide the number of weeks before the last frost date the seeds should be planted indoors and also when they should be transplanted outside.

3.    Choose the right container
There are a variety of containers to use, from those made from peat to simple cell packs. Farmer John suggests using recycled items. “Toilet paper rolls or used, clean yogurt containers are perfect for seed starting,” he explains. “Make sure you punch a few holes in the bottom for proper drainage.” Peat pots or planting trays work, too. Fill with healthy, damp seed starting soil.

4.    Plant Seeds
Use a pencil to make small holes in soil, about twice as deep as the seed is wide, and sow seeds at the depth and distance recommended on the seed packet. Cover over with soil. Seeds that require light to germinate can be sprinkled on the soil surface. Check the packet for instructions such as growing time, depth and pre-soaking recommendations.

5.    Provide warmth and light
Seeds need warmth in order to germinate. Try the top of a refrigerator or a heating mat. After they sprout, sufficient light is critical for growth. A sunny window that receives eight hours of light works but many gardeners supplement natural light with grow lights.

6.    Keep seedlings moist
Keep soil moist but not wet. Cover seeds with plastic wrap to conserve moisture if necessary, but be sure to check moisture daily.

7.    Transplant and Acclimate
If the seedlings outgrow the container, transplant to larger vessels. Before planting outdoors, gradually harden off seedlings: Two weeks before transplanting, place seedlings outdoors for a few hours at a time in a sheltered location, gradually increasing their time outside until they are acclimated.

Sustainable Seed Company is changing the world, one seed at a time. Offering over 1,500 varieties of heirloom and certified organic seeds, Sustainable Seed practices sustainable, water conserving, and environmentally responsible farming techniques. They grow over 50% of the seeds on their certified organic farm that is sustainably powered, the only company of its kind to do so. All seeds are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

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Katie Dubow
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