SOWING YOUR OWN TRANSPLANTS
When spring arrives, think about growing your own transplants from seeds. Begin with fresh seeds and read the packages carefully. It helps to have a tray called a "flat." You can buy one with a cover and reuse it year after year. Or you can even use paper cups. Using individual containers makes the young plants easier to transplant. You will need a hole in the bottom of any container so that water can drain.
Label each cup or container with the name of the seed and date it was planted. Some seeds take longer than others to come up. The seed packets will say how long you'll have to wait. When the seedlings start to grow, the first leaves, called seed leaves, are oval or round. The next set of leaves, called true leaves, look more like the big leaves will. When these appear, remove the cover and place the flat in bright light. Water with a solution of half-strength 20-20-20 fertilizer every other week.
If you plan ahead, the roots will have filled their container about the time that the weather if right for planting.
Judy Pirtle, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas Cooperative Extension
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