Fall officially began on 9/23/2015. If you haven’t started to sprout your own fall seeds, now is the time to do so. For those of you new to the process, not to worry, seed sprouting success is not difficult to achieve. Sprouting your own fall seeds will save you money and expands your ability to grow many more varieties.
1) Tin pans covered in foil or saved plastic tubs filled with organic potting mix and includes lid with bottom holes for drainage. Fiber pots filled with mix work well when using tin pans — see photo above.
2) Organic potting mix or seed starting medium.
3) Desired organic fall seeds to sprout.
4) A handy chopstick or small dowel, to make a hole or indention for your seeds.
5) Marker or label maker to label your seeds started and the date.
6) Spray bottle with plain water to mist your seeds often.
7) Safe place with filtered sun exposure.
As pictured above, I used fiber pots filled with organic potting mix to sprout my Fizz Kale seeds. I filled each pot with moistened potting mix, then took a tiny dowel and made holes for my seeds. (The seeds were so small some dropped randomly.) Once seeds were down, I sprinkled seed starting medium over top, then used spray bottle to mist the seeds.
I always label the container with the name of the plant and the date seeds were placed in potting mix. I check on seeds often and mist as needed. If using a plastic container with lid, like the ones fruit is often sold in, I keep the container lid closed, as it acts like a mini-greenhouse creating warmth and keeping in extra moisture to help sprout seeds quickly. This also helps germinate your seeds. I placed all in a spot with filtered sun.
By day 5 my kale seeds were up. By day 8 they will be ready for thinning. I will leave only the tallest and strongest plants sprouting, the others will be discarded. Since I began my seedlings indoors, I will need to harden off my plants before transplanting them into their container home. Hardening off is simply acclimating your tender seedlings gradually to the outdoors for short periods of time before actually planting them in the container where they will grow into mature plants.
For more information on starting seeds visit Seed Starting For Real People by Kelly Roberson where she suggests starting seeds in an empty egg carton, as an alternative to fiber pots or plastic containers.