Seed Starts, Part 2 - FamilyEducation

Seed Starts, Part 2

April 06,2011

On Monday I shared the seed planting adventure the boys and I embarked upon last week.  Once our seeds were actually planted, we needed to help encourage their germination and growth.  To do this, we covered our seedlings with plastic wrap. 

This allows for a more humid environment for seed germination, and also increases the temperature of the growing environment.  Seeds, before they germinate and sprout, do not need sunlight, only warmth and humidity, so this set up provides what they need!

To water the seeds, we use a water bottle to simply mist the soil each day.  The soil only needs a small amount of water, and if you try and pour a scant amount, it ends up being too much.  A water bottle really is the way to go, at least that is what countless experts shared.  We make it fun by taking turns to be the water sprayer each day.  The boys love this and it is a simple way to give them an increased sense of ownership in the our growing project.

Once the sprouts have grown, the plants need sunlight, often more than a window or partly cloudy day can provide.  To help encourage plant growth, traditional florescent lights can be used to supplement sunlight.  We happened to have a set of florescent lights in our basement, so we set up a quick contraption to encourage growth.  A few hooks in the basement rafters were all we needed, along with some chain and s-hooks to build our grow station.

We do not use the florescent lights except on cloudy days, and even then, only for the daylight, as young vegetable plants do not need round-the-clock sunshine.

Now that we actually have a few sprouts growing, we are waiting hopefully that these small plants will yield some actual vegetables and herbs. 

The way we figure, you cannot get more locally grown than your own back yard!

Stay tuned…