First off, I wanted to thank Meagan for letting me guest blarg. I am honored to be a part of this production. I have been interested in getting a backyard garden started but wasn’t sure how seeds would fare in the California summer heat.
I recently purchased a seed starting kit [$7 @ Lowe's]. I heard good things about them online; they increase germination rates and allow me to procrastinate in planting things in real dirt. I believe you will find this how-to a little unnecessary seeing as how it is incredibly easy to use. The real purpose of this post is to serve as more of a sales pitch to encourage you, the proverbial reader, to do the same and reap the same grand rewards I have, namely healthy seedlings.
Step 1: Water each of the pods until they expand and pop out of the cells they are sitting in. Drain any excess water that is left over.
Step 2: Tear open the top part of the netting on each pod.
Not Step 2: Do not remove the entire netting, you will only find sadness as your pod crumbles into fluffy dirt [like I did].
Step 3: The directions demand that you fluff the dirt. I took this to mean poking the dirt with a fork a bit. The dirt is highly packed and pulls apart pretty easily, so it doesn’t take much effort disturb the surface a little.
Step 4: Lastly, it is time to plant the seeds. The seeds themselves typically come with instructions on how to plant them, e.g., do they need to be cracked, how deep to plant them, etc.
Step 5: With that, the preparation is all done. It is now time to put the kit in a sunny room, but out of direct sunlight. Word on the street is that direct sunlight is bad news for many types of seedlings. Gently water the pods whenever they turn light brown and avoid over-watering.
I have already had major success with this kit. The peas I planted sprouted in days, are ~3-6in. in just 4 days, and I have a 100% germination rate. In the future, I plan to document and post the next part of this process in which the seedlings are transported to pots and then to a raised garden bed.