It is that time of year in Western New York that the weather is starting to get nicer. Some days are still cold - but those nice days in between make you itch to start your garden. Hold off on planting outside (except for hardier veggies like lettuces, etc) but that doesn't mean you can't plant some seeds inside. It is so good for my soul to see green come up from the dirt and watch them grow!
To start inside – plant 2-6 seeds(depending on size) in a small starter pot – such as en empty rinsed egg shell, handmade newspaper pot, peat pot, egg carton, or an empty rinsed yogurt cup. No need to buy anything fancy – they don’t care. Next put in good soil – like organic potting soil, or aged compost- and cover with about double the soil as the seed size. That means tiny seeds do not need that much dirt on top. Lightly water or mist - and keep watered - but not too much! Cover with a plastic if you can to mimic a greenhouse and keep moisture in until they emerge from the soil. Take off the plastic after they have sprouted and keep in a sunny window or under a plant light. If your space is cold - keep a heating pad under to keep warm.
After a few weeks from emerging and have grown in size – pull out all but the strongest – so you have only one to three plants per cup(depending on size). I know it hurts to do that because you think you are killing good plants – so if it really bothers you – have an extra cup ready and plant seedlings in a fresh cup. That’s what I do!
Water regularly and watch them grow. When they are several inches tall –start the planting outside process. About a week before the last spring frost (in Western New York that is around the first week in May), begin hardening the plants to the outdoors. Simply – just take them outside daily to get them used to the weather – then bring them in at night.