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  • Using a greenhouse allows you get a jump on the growing season by extending it. When you start plants from seeds, you have a much bigger selection than if you buy seedlings already started. You get to choose the variety and type. You can also control how your plants are grown, with or without pesticides. You can also grow plants that might not be indigenous to your area. The temperature of your greenhouse allows for a large yield and better quality of seedlings.

    Planting

    Soak your seeds in a bowl of water for a few hours or, for large seeds, overnight. If the seeds are small, pre-sprout them on damp paper towels inside a closed plastic bag. To get the yield you want, plant 20 to 30 percent more than you need. Not all the seeds will germinate or be strong enough. Fill small planting containers with fresh potting soil. Water the soil with warm water. To make it easier to handle your seedlings, place the smaller containers on a flat shallow container. Plant the seeds in soil, with a layer of mulch and a thin line of perlite on top. Tamp down gently. Make sure you label each container with the plant variety and date. When the seedlings leaves spread large and wide enough so that they touch the next pot, they are ready for a bigger container.

    Light, Space, Water and Fertilizer

    Install fluorescent lighting in your greenhouse so that it hangs over the seedlings to give them the most light possible. Use a timer to insure up to 18 hours of light per day. Figure out what kind of space each plant will need. If you overcrowd, your seeds will have to compete for space and light and will not grow well. Plants under these conditions are stressed, and might develop disease. Keep moisture levels constant. When the soil dries out, the seeds dry out. Use a water bottle so that you can water each tiny pot. If you choose to grow organically, use an organic medium that provides nutrition and microbial activity. Wait to start fertilizing until the plant's leaves develop. Apply diluted fertilizer with a spray bottle.

    Pest Management

    One of the most important ways to keep your seeds healthy is to ensure that pests have no way to infest them. Do not locate the greenhouse near outside plants and bushes. Install insect screening on your air intakes to reduce the chance of mites getting into your greenhouse. Keep pets away from your plants.

    Source:

    Sherry's Greenhouse:13 Steps to Healthy Seedlings

    Shelter-systems: Greenhouse Garden Manual

    Planetnatural: Paths to Success with Your Hobby Greenhouse

    More Information:

    growing plants with a hobby greenhouse

    starting plants from seeds

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