start

How-To Start Seeds for a Vegetable Garden | IN BETH'S GARDEN

- Hey, guys, welcome back to The Garden Channel.

I'm so excited to be relaunching this channel.

A lot of you have asked me,

"What's going on with this channel?"

And it is a seasonal thing.

So I do open it up in the Spring.

And then hopefully, this year,

we can go all the way to late August, early September.

But, today, I wanna talk about seed starting,

because I think this is one of the more fun projects

that you can do in the early spring.

It's beautiful here in Southern California.

But a lot of you guys

are probably still dealing with frost.

So you can start gardening

with a seed starting kit and get ready for spring.

So what it is, let me show you what this contraption does.

It has three parts to it.

So it's got a base that catches all the water,

it has these little cells,

and that's where we're gonna plant our plants.

And then it has this little top

that functions almost like a little greenhouse.

So it'll keep your seeds nice and warm.

And it also comes with this little heating mat.

So in order to get your seeds to germinate,

and a lot of it has to do with the temperature

of the soil, so it does need to get anywhere

from 65 to 70 degrees for the those seeds to take.

And if you have a sunny window

and you don't live in a cold climate,

chances are you don't need the heating pad.

I don't need the heating pad.

But if you live in a cold climate

you might need the heating pad.

So it's great to know it comes with the kit.

And I'll leave you a link in the description

for all the things that I'm using here today.

So why do you wanna seed start?

That's a really good question.

Why are you gonna go through all of this?

Well, the reason is is that's a lot of plants

do well started as transplants,

where they actually need to be started inside,

things like tomatoes and peppers and eggplant.

Then there are other plants that do well

direct sow into the ground.

And those can be things like melons

or cucumbers or radishes,

all those things are great.

So at the back of the seed packet.

And I have a few here.

It'll tell you, it'll either say direct sow

or it'll say please start inside, like the peppers.

The other reason why I like to seed start

is you can get so many variety of vegetables

that you're not gonna find at your local nursery.

So once of the things that I like to do,

usually starting around Christmas,

is I will subscribe to these seed catalogs,

which are really great.

This is gonna sound extremely nerdy,

but you can really geek out

if you love vegetables and growing your own produce.

And in the wintertime when you need

a little springtime inspiration,

you can sit and just look at all the beautiful things

you wanna grow in the spring.

And you can see I've dog-eared it.

And you can learn about the plants

and how they'll do in your area.

Just a really great way to kind of pre-plan your garden.

All right, so let's get started.

So what we're gonna do is we first have to fill

our little wells here with some potting soil.

Now you don't wanna use just regular potting soil.

There's actually such a thing as seed starting soil,

and that's what you wanna use,

because it has a lot more nutrients in it

than regular potting soil.

I actually don't fill up the whole thing.

I just do maybe four or five rows.

'Cause, still, that's gonna give me a lot of plant.

And this is a good project to do,

like if you have neighbors, and you're all into gardening,

or friends.

Maybe you have started a little vegetable gardening club

in your neighborhood, which that would be fabulous.

You know, one person can get the seed starting kit,

if all can chip in.

And whoever's got that nice sunny window

could be the one growing them

and then when they all come up,

everybody would have a few plants to take home.

That would be a good way to do it.

Okay, so all of the cells are filled up with the soil.

The next thing we wanna do is

I like to just pre-add a little water

before the seeds get in there,

just so that I know that they're starting with a moist bed.

Don't worry, it looks like a bit of a mess now,

but it'll all settle down.

So let's talk about the seeds.

Now the things to know about the seeds

is you wanna make sure that they're fresh.

So they are living organisms.

And if you've had seed packets sitting around

for a few years,

chances are they may not be viable anymore,

and you wanna get ones that are really fresh

so that you know, again, you're gonna increase your chances.

So we're gonna open these up.

Now in each seed pack you could get 100 seeds.

So, imagine, that's like 100 plants if they all took

for $2.49.

(laughs) So this is a real economical way to garden, too,

because if you went to the nursery and bought a plant,

that's probably gonna be 2.49 for one plant.

Hey, you could have 100 of 'em for the same price.

Okay, just kinda give each little cell a little indentation.

About a quarter of an inch.

And then the other thing you wanna do

to just increase your chances,

especially on your really favorite varieties,

and I do love these Cherokee Purple Tomatoes.

Sometimes you can plant two seeds in each hole,

because you're basically taking your chances

that if one doesn't come up, the other one would.

Or sometimes you get two plants, and, hey,

that's okay, too.

So you're just gonna repeat that process

with all the rows.

And then you're gonna put the top on.

And then I put this right in my windowsill,

but you do wanna check this every day.

So just because you have the top on,

don't forget about it, you wanna monitor.

And the two things you wanna look for

is is the soil moist?

So it should feel like a sponge.

And if it's getting too dry,

you wanna make sure you water it.

But you don't wanna over-water it,

because that also will prevent the seed

from actually taking.

So it's that good balance between too wet and too dry.

Just make sure, nice and moist, like a sponge.

And then in about four to six weeks,

you will have beautiful little seedlings

that look like this.

So what's interesting is you can see

like some places the seeds did not take.

So you can see, there's a cell with no plants in it.

And then in other places you can see that the two seeds,

they both came up.

So here I've got two Cherokee Purples all ready to go.

So it is survival of the fittest in the plant world.

And you can see this little one versus these big ones,

they were all planted at the same time.

So I do tend to concentrate on the ones

that look really healthy.

And those are the ones that make it to the garden.

You can keep your eye on the other ones

and they might just kind of come up and get strong.

And if so, then, yeah,

you can go ahead and plant those, too.

One thing to note, though,

when they get like this,

they will start to lean towards the light.

And you'll see all your plants will look

like little Leaning Towers of Pisa.

You do want to switch them around

so that they lean the other way.

And what that will do

is make sure that you have really strong, healthy plants.

So you do wanna turn them around once they look like this.

And I would say remove that greenhouse top

once you see little plants starting to form,

like see, you can see this little one right here,

then I would remove it.

These are some eggplants that I planted.

Okay, and at this stage,

it's time to take them outside.

So you do wanna kind of let them out

into the wild to harden off, as they say.

And what that is is like the first day you do it,

maybe two or three hours outside,

just to get the sunlight,

and then every day increasing that time,

until maybe on the fourth day

you let them spend overnight outside.

And what that's doing is allowing your plant

to get acclimated to all the different temperature changes

and really life outdoors,

which is where they're gonna head anyway.

Then once they've spent a few nights outside

on their own, they're ready to be transplanted.

So they do need to get into a slightly bigger home

than what they're in now.

And I like to use these little biodegradable pots,

because they will decompose

and you can plant them in the pot.

So I've just filled this little pot with some potting soil,

and then we're gonna pick

one of our lovely little plants here.

So you do wanna be gentle, but you're not gonna hurt it any.

And what I do is I just take it from the bottom

and pinch it, and allow it

to kinda loosen.

And then if you want,

you could also just take a little shovel

and scoop 'em out.

And just see how it's coming up like that?

There.

And you kinda don't wanna disturb

the root structure too much.

You just kinda wanna grab it like that.

And then you just put a little hole in here.

Make sure your soil's nice and moist.

Going to add just a little bit.

There we go.

And your little baby is ready for its next stage.

(laughs) You will find you will get very attached

to these little plants,

because you've started them from little seeds

and because it's taken several weeks,

you get very invested.

(laughs)

There.

See.

It's so cute.

Then when it does come time to plant,

there are some other tips you might wanna know

about planting tomatoes.

And you can clip the annotation

and watch my How to Grow Tomato video.

And that will take you all the way from this stage

to a nice, healthy ripe tomato.

All right, you guys, so there you have it,

Seed Starting 101.

I hope you guys give this one a try.

And let me know what you think.

Keep me posted on how all

of your little seedlings are doing.

And I will see you in a few weeks,

where we are going to tackle balcony gardening.

So if you don't have a large space

and you wanna grow vegetables,

I'm gonna show you all the varieties

that will make it easy peasy.

All right, you guys, I'll see you then, bye!