A mini indoor greenhouse is useful and assists in getting a jump on starting seed germination for the garden.
Save the large, clear plastic containers with attached lids which have holes in the bottom that strawberries and blueberries come in. Place a shallow layer of clean, washed gravel or small rock in the bottom, to aid in drainage, and help hold the container stable. Add 3″ of moist seed starter filler soil. Use tweezers; carefully plant the seed in the soil according to directions. Close lid, place on a TV tray next to a window where it will get morning, and at least six hours of light a day.
After germination, when the plants grow at least 2 sets of leaves, transplant each seedling to a 3″ individual Jiffy type grower pot; then, place on a tray, in a lighted location. Keep the soil moist but not wet. After the last freeze of the season, weather permitting, when the plants are strong, with a good stem, begin damping them off to the outdoors by gradual exposure to direct sun light. Then, transplant to a permanent location in the ground.
Growing your own plants from seed will be more economical, as well as, giving you an extraordinary feeling of accomplishment.
Nelda Stanley, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service