Santa Barbara
66° F
Santa Maria
50° F
San Luis Obispo
53° F
56° F

It's time to start planting seeds

Published On: Feb 05 2013 09:27:09 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 19 2013 10:49:28 AM CST
Girl gardening vegetables

iStockphoto / johnnyscriv

By Chaya Kurtz, Networx

Unless you live in the Southern hemisphere or very close to the equator, it is now February for you, with all of the cliches in full effect. Number one, it is cold. This is the month when people actually start thinking about calling that roofing contractor to insulate the old attic because the plan to go back to nature and keep the temperature in the house at 50 degrees Fahrenheit is failing. You want that consistent 72 degrees, and you want it now.

Also, in February you have the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl, if you didn't know, is a Sunday that necessitates driving to Costco to buy frozen meatballs, packaged guacamole, cases of Bud, and bags of potato chips the size of elephant heads. February is clearly not a month when most people in the Northern Hemisphere are thinking about gardening. Mostly we have hunkered down with bags of leftover, off-price Valentine's Day candy in front of the TV, or frantically calling our plumber in Chicago or whatever frozen locale we live in because the pipes are frozen. We like it that way, so keep your stupid gardening to yourself. Article is over. Buh bye.

Just kidding! We're going to talk about gardening, because late February and early March are the times to start seeds. First of all, I am writing in a very general way about when exactly you should start your seeds, because it varies by plant and by zone. Someone who is gardening in South Carolina will be able to get plants into the ground before someone who lives in Maine. However, even if you live somewhere that is freakin' freezing, February is still the right time to start preparing for spring planting.

Here are the supplies that you will need to amass during the month of February: Seeds, planting medium (potting soil), plastic trays to plant in, fun little sundries like paper towels, plastic wrap, plant markers, and possibly fertilizers and anti-mold materials (we'll get to it).

Not every plant needs to be started so very early in the season. It will say on the seed packet how many weeks the seed needs to started in advance of the transplant date. You'll be transplanting the seed after the last frost. Take a look at a hardiness zone chart, or talk to local gardeners, to find out the approximate date of the last frost.

To learn the process of germinating and transplanting seeds, I recommend reading a publication by your local cooperative extension service, like this article published by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Just to give you an overview of what you will be doing: Start by hydrating your seeds. Some people skip this step; others swear by it. Next, you'll germinate the seeds. Place seeds in a sunny place on damp paper towels. Mist the seeds to keep them moist for several days, until their little "tails" poke out from the seed's shell. Next, you'll plant the germinated seed in soil. Don't plant it in clay pots; you'll need to start your seeds in shallow plastic containers. Used yogurt containers with holes poked in their bottoms, or plastic seed pot trays, are the best containers for starting seeds. Place clean potting soil into the plastic containers, and then submerge the germinated seed in the soil. Cover the seed with soil tightly (pack it down) and moisten the soil. At this point, you have the option of sprinkling some activated charcoal or chicken grit on top of the soil to prevent "damping off." Cover the containers tightly with plastic wrap secured by rubber bands. Place in the sun or under a grow light. Do not water until the seed has sprouted. At that point, you can remove the plastic cover and water only when the soil is dry to the touch. When the time comes, you'll transplant the baby plants to larger pots and place them outside. Most gardeners in cooler climates acclimatize the plants to cooler outdoor temperatures by exposing them to the outdoors for several hours a day for a few days before permanently transplanting them to outdoor beds or containers.




The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • fatal_accident_investigation

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • Witnesses to Fatal Crash

    Eyewitnesses See Triple Fatal Crash from Roadside Camp

    A homeless couple watching the freeway from their campsite in Santa Barbara this morning, witnessed the triple fatal accident that took the lives of two teens and a young man.

  • Parents of Mallory Dies Sue Congresswoman, Her Former Aide, and U.S. Government

    The parents of a young Santa Barbara woman killed in a high profile, DUI case are suing Congresswoman Lois Capps, her former aide Raymond Morua, and the U-S government in federal court.

  • State Street Benches Gone

    Benches Removed in Two Block Area of Downtown Santa Barbara

    Benches have been removed in a two block area of State Street between Haley and Ortega Streets in downtown Santa Barbara.  The city says they are being cleaned and repaired.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    DUI Driver in Fatal Early Morning Accident Ordered to Detox Program in 1995

    The Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI in the early morning accident that left three people dead early Monday morning has a lengthy court record out of Ventura County. Kimberly Kreis, 52, was ordered to serve 30 days in a detox program as far back as 1995.

    The car that Kreis was driving crashed into a disabled Mazda near the Castillo off-ramp of the southbound 101 freeway in Santa Barbara. Two 17 year old North Torrance High School students were killed in the accident- Jessica Leffew and Danielle Murillo. 20 year old Brian Lopez also died in the wreck. The driver of the Mazda, Eric August, is hospitalized in critical condition.

    A NewsChannel 3 investigation found records out of Ventrua County that appear to show that Greis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs and or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.

    CHP investigators are still trying to piece together why the Mazda veered right into a guardrail, causing it to flip onto it's roof before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound freeway, which set into motion the deadly accident.

    CHP Officer Jonathan Guiterrez, said "A lot of things could have happened, He could have fallen asleep. We just don't know at this point."

  • Lupita Nyong'o

    REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

    People's 'World's Most Beautiful' list 2014

    People magazine recently named Lupita Nyong'o its "World's Most Beautiful" for 2014. See which other ladies earned a coveted spot on the annual list.

  • Slideshow: Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.