Starting Plants Indoors

I live in Nebraska and have decided to start my own garden. I was wondering when do you start planting the seeds indoors so that I can later put them outside?

Hardiness Zone: 4b

By Teresa from NE

March 9, 20100 found this helpful

Check on the back of the seed packet you plan on using. If not using a packet, it is normally about 6-8 weeks before the last frost in your area. Know your gardening zone before starting anything. Good Luck!

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March 11, 20100 found this helpful

Hi, I have been gardening for over 50 years and am still loving it. Start seeds indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost in your area. After sowing your seeds keep soil "evenly moist" (not too wet) until they begin to germinate. Harden off seedlings by setting pots outside a few days before transplanting them to outside. Don't set in wind because wind will damage your seedlings. After transplanted to outside and seedlings seem to be doing ok, I like to water them with a weak ferterlizer like Miracle Gro. I hope this has been helpful to you. NC native

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March 12, 20100 found this helpful

Remember the need for good light to raise strong seedlings. I have used florescent light fixtures (like shop lights) hung from hooks mounted on the ceiling. I have small chains that allow the light to be lowered to just above the plantings. As the seeds sprout and grow taller, the bulbs are raised. I didn't use any special grow lights and my seedlings were very vigorous.

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March 12, 20100 found this helpful

Teresa, First you need to know when is a safe time to put your plants in the ground for your area. If you call your local County Extension Service, they can give you an idea as to a safe time. Look at the plant seed packet, calulate how low it takes for those seeds to germinate. They will get embryo leaves, then continue to grow to a stage where you can transplant them into small containers.

Once the weather starts getting a bit warm (not freezing)you need to let these baby plants get use to the outside elements like, sun, wind, etc. Just set them out for a few hours a day, this will strengthen them, so when you finally put them in the ground they will be nice and sturdy. If you put them it direct sun right away you may destroy these little tender plants-baby them and be nice to them until they are strong enough to take the outside elements.

This process of dragging the baby plants in and out can take a few weeks, be patient-it will pay off. This technique I used while living in Conn. where we had some long winters it worked every time. Some times we could not even put tomatoes in until Memorial Day! If you build your self a cold frame out doors you will not have bring the plants in and out. But you still have to lift the lid on those frames or you may bake your plants. all for now, jeannette (fla)

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