I sometimes have difficulty locating plants of some of my favorite flowers and vegetables. Would you please explain how I can start some of my own plants from seeds?
I start flower and vegetable seeds in my home using a dual-head LED grow lamp that I bought online for about $25. It has flexible arms that allow me to position lights various distances above the seeds and plants. I also use a 10- by 20-inch electrically heated mat which raises the soil temperature to about 70 degrees. This mat stimulates rapid seed sprouting and costs about $12 online.
I plant fine seeds like petunia, salvia, tomato, pepper and broccoli in 4-inch pots filled with potting soil. I scatter six to 12 seeds on top and push them gently into the soil. Then I place the pots on the heating mat and place a piece of clear plastic over them to reduce evaporation.
After seeds have sprouted and developed about two leaves each I remove the plastic. I transplant individual plants into 2-inch pots or cell packs with 2-inch cells when they have about four leaves per plant As they grow larger I move some of them into 4-inch or larger pots.
I plant larger seeds like marigold, zinnia, sunflower, squash and melon, two or three seeds per 4-inch pot. They grow more quickly and do not need to be transplanted. I use new pots or used pots sterilized with a bleach solution to avoid disease.