While February covers your home in another layer of snow, spring’s warm weather can feel far away. Get a kickstart on sunnier days by starting your gardening indoors. Most spring flower and vegetable seedlings can be prepared before the spring equinox. The main positive of this method is your plants will hit their peak precisely at the right time of the season. Also, you get to enjoy your hard work for the entirety of spring’s duration. The approach to indoor planting is similar to outdoors, but there are small variables that can easily cause floral mishaps. Ned Stevens is here to help you navigate the trickier elements with five helpful tips.
Create a Game Plan
The secret to indoor planting success is proper preparation. Start yourself off on the right foot by creating a detailed calendar for all of your indoor winter seedlings. Every plant has a different length of time to reach its full growth. Your hard work will be for naught if your seedlings are ready too early or too late. A good first step is consulting a farmer’s almanac for the last frost day in your area and work backward from there. Spring plants can be devastated if hit with an untimely cold front. If you’re unsure of a plant’s growth schedule, consult your local garden store professional for help.
Take Control of Lighting
Many home gardeners understand which areas of their homes receive the best light (both direct and indirect). While this may be useful information for houseplants, outdoor seedlings need more attention. Most home construction doesn’t offer the potentially 16 hours of uninterrupted light needed by some spring plants. In the majority of cases, you’ll need to purchase artificial lights such as LED, T-8, or specialized grow lights to keep seedlings healthy. This tip may feel like a significant investment of time, but an inexpensive outlet timer will automate most of the work.
Plant Seeds at the Correct Depth
Seedlings are finicky and delicate. Give your seeds the best chance for growth by planting each at the proper depth. Either too deep or too shallow can interrupt root growth and create an unsuitable growing environment. Most seed packages offer directions for the appropriate soil depth to help your spring plants grow. If you’re given seeds with no instructions, a good rule of thumb is smaller seeds only need to covered by a thin layer while larger seeds require about an inch. Are you still confused? Gardening message boards and online communities offer up great advice for the at-home gardener.
Set a Consistent Temperature
Just like you, spring seedlings enjoy warm and comfortable weather. Keep your spring plants happy and toasty by keeping them in an environment between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (15-21 degrees Celsius). Even with a regulated home temperature, the reading on the thermostat may not be the exact degree in every corner of your home. Find the best location for your plants by placing smaller thermometers in different rooms and checking in multiple times a day. Once the perfect area is determined, you can rest easy knowing your plants are ready to grow.
Select the Right Container
Anything can be used as a planter for seedlings. Due to the short amount of time spent in these containers, purchasing a dedicated pot is often unnecessary. Anything from a recycled milk carton to a used yogurt container can double as a planter.
Pro Tip: Make sure to poke holes in the bottom for water drainage. In this small space, it’s vital to prune away weak seedlings to give stronger ones the proper room needed to grow. As you get closer to transferring your spring plants outdoors, each container should only have one substantial seedling a piece.
As you prepare your plants for spring, make sure you prepare your home as well. Fall’s dead leaves and winter’s snow storms create a dangerous mixture for your gutters. This is especially true if it’s been a long time between cleanings. Gutters clogged with debris cause a long list of home disasters if left unattended — everything from cracked foundations to roof and siding deterioration. The necessary repairs are often expensive.
Keep your home safe with the gutter cleaning professionals at Ned Stevens. With over 55 years of gutter cleaning experience, you’ll know your home is properly protected.
First-time customer? Call Ned Stevens today and receive $25 off your first gutter cleaning.