Germinating Seeds in Winter

Are you interested in having a winter garden? If so, you’ll need to germinate the vegetable seeds you selected. Here is the way California Organic Gardening Club successfully germinates seeds. Take a look and if you have any questions, click here to contact us. Enjoy your winter garden!

Germinating Seeds in Winter Using
Heating Mat and Fluorescent Lights.

Why
Plants like peppers and tomatoes require soil temperature  around 75-80 degrees  for  seeds to germinate.
You want to plant seedlings by March or April.
You want to grow varieties available only in seeds.

What you will need
Seeds from store, online or saved
Heating mat and Fluorescent Light
Starter mix
Vermiculite
Liquid kelp
Seed tray
Soaking pan

When
Start seeds indoors about 7 weeks before you plan to place in garden. Follow seed package direction for timing.

Where
Area where plants will not be disturbed by kids or pets and not need to be moved for 3 weeks.
Example: garage, spare bedroom or bathroom
Electricity available

Procedure
Fill tray with seed starter mix
Place one seed in each cell
Add vermiculite to cover seed
Water from bottom by placing tray in pan of water 1 inch deep.  Soak for at least 1 hour.
Place tray on heating mat.
Water from bottom each day about 10 min.
In 3-14 days, seed will begin germinating.  At first sign of green turn on lights.
Position lights as close to seedlings as possible without allowing bulb to touch plants.
Light should be on for about 14-16 hours a day and off for 8-10 hours.
As plants grow, raise light to clear plants.
Once most seeds have germinated in 10-14 days, you can turn off heating mat during day but turn on at night to keep your babies warm.
When seedlings have 4 true leaves (about 3-4 weeks) you can transplant to 3 inch pots containing potting mix.
At about 7-8 weeks total, your seedlings should be ready for transplanting into the garden.

Join the California Organic Gardening Club to see this in action. Take a peek at our website at calorganic.org

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