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Buzzing Gardens with Harris Seeds

We are very excitd to announce Harris Seed has joined us as a guest contributor on our newsletter. For those looking to beekeeping for it's pollination benefits then Harris is here to help you in

Starting flower and vegetable seeds at home is mighty easy...

If you have never tried starting your own vegetable and flower plants from seed you are potentially missing out on an enjoyable new hobby. Many people think starting their own plants can be a lot of work, but experienced gardeners know that with a little practice and patience they quickly become successful. Starting your own flower and vegetable plants also can open you up to a much broader selection of varieties like high yielding, disease tolerant vegetables or new flowers and colors that you might not find at your local garden store. Below are some key tips to get you started, along with a very informative video on seed starting.

Kit Grow 1 Tray Heat mat
Three of the main keys to good germination and getting your transplants off to a healthy start, aside from using high quality seed, are proper soil temperature, light, and moisture. The number one reason that many people do not have success starting seed is proper soil temperature. In general most flower and vegetable seeds like soil temperatures in the 70-75 degree range. While some people think that there house is warm enough to start seed indoors, they fail to realize that soil temperature tends to run approximately 5 º F lower than air temperature. To achieve proper soil temperatures in many cases one must provide additional, controlled bottom heat for proper seed germination. In order to accomplish this, a germination area should include heat mats, heat cables, or another method of applying bottom heat. For most seeds, soil temperatures should be kept at constant temperature and vary little over the germination period. Drops in soil temperature during nighttime hours can cause lower germination rates and a prolonged germination period.

Sunblaster Mini Greenhouse Kit
The next key element to getting healthy seedlings is light. Many vegetable and flower crops require light for seed germination. It is important to check your seed packet to see if light is required for germination. If so, these seeds should be sown on top of the soil or very lightly covered to ensure they receive enough light. Another common problem people new to seed starting face is that their plants get spindly and fall over. Light from a window is usually not enough for the seedlings and you will soon see them stretching towards the window to get more light. When seeds are started indoors, artificial lighting is a must. Lights should be placed very close to each flat, approximately 1-1/2 or 2 inches from the plants. The close proximity of the light will ensure that the plants do not stretch toward the light but rather stay healthy and stocky.

Multi-Purpose Sprayer
Although it may seem elementary, providing adequate and uniform moisture to your plants is vital to your success. Either cover your flats with clear plastic covers, or provide them with a light mist to ensure they do not dry out. While seeds and seedlings should be kept consistently moist, overwatering can cause problems as well. Too much water can cause seeds to rot or promote disease issues like damping off. It is important to remove flat covers periodically to allow enough air flow to avoid fungal and disease issues. If flats are in a greenhouse, covers should also be removed on warm days to make sure your seedlings do not get over heated.

To ensure your seed starting and gardening success, Harris Seeds offers a wide variety of supplies along with the highest quality flower and vegetable seeds on the market. You can find everything you need to get you on your way toward starting your own transplants, as well as items you can use throughout the gardening season.

We are also happy to provide this very informative seminar on seed starting that gives more detail. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

About Harris Seeds

The Harris Seeds company began long ago in 1879 in the fertile Genesee Valley of Western New York. Over the next century, it became a leader in plant breeding, development and distribution of flowers and vegetables for the home garden and professional grower marketplace. Located in Rochester, New York, the company specializes in high quality vegetable and flower seeds, plants and growing supplies. Harris Seeds publishes several catalogs every year, serving both gardeners and growers in the United States. Quality has been the hallmark of the business for over 137 years. It was the very first company in America to test for quality germination and print the results on every package of seed sold. Harris Seeds places extreme importance in providing the finest products available, coupled with service that goes unmatched in the industry.