Seed Starting Containers
It is a fairly easy process to start plants from seed. Here are a few samples of some containers you may use. Use a professional seed starting mix for everything but the peat pots. Follow instructions on the back of the seed packet for how deep to plant the seeds. Plant more than 1 seed in each hole in case some don’t germinate.
Seed Starting Kit
This kit includes a tray, a cell tray, and a clear plastic humidity dome. The cell trays have 6 to 72 cells. Use the humidity dome until the seedlings touch the top. At that point, transplant into larger containers or the garden.
Soil Block Maker
This tool eliminates the need for cell trays. Moisten your seed starting mix to the point that it sticks together when you make a fist. Take the block maker and push it down a couple of times into at least 2 inches of starting mix. Move the block maker to your tray and press the handle to push the blocks into the tray. Each block will have an impression in the middle for seeds. Cover the seeds by brushing some mix over the hole and water lightly. You can move each block directly into the garden when seedlings are ready.
You can start seeds in dixie cups if that works for you. If you are only starting a few seeds or varieties of seeds and don’t want the expense of investing in the other containers, these work just fine. Since they are small though, your seedlings may need to be transplanted to a larger cup.
Clear Plastic Cups
Clear cups allow you to see the roots as they develop. When you can see that roots are starting to circle the cup, it’s time to either move them to larger cups or get them ready to move outside.
Plastic Egg Cartons
These 3-piece cartons provide a cell to plant the seed, a tray to catch water, and a cover to create a mini-greenhouse. These cells are very small, and your seedlings may need to be transplanted to larger homes soon after they form good roots.
Jiffy Pots, Jiffy Strips, and Jiffy Pellets
Jiffy containers are made from Canadian sphagnum moss and wood pulp and are 100% biodegradable. Place the containers in a tray without drainage and fill with a good potting soil this time since you will plant them directly into the garden. Pour warm water over the pots to allow them to soak up the water. Pour off the excess water in the tray and plant your seeds. Keep in a warm sunny place or under lights and keep them moist. Repeat the process if the pots look dry. To plant the pots, dig a hole large enough and deep so no part of the pot is exposed. Dry peat pots wick water away from plants. Roots grow through the pots.
Peat pellets are small round disks that expand when soaked in water. They form a small plug of soil that nourishes the seedlings until they are ready to be planted out. These also should not dry out.