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Have you ever tried starting plants from seeds? It’s actually one of the most fun and rewarding things I like about gardening. Plus, it doesn’t cost you much either.

The basic materials you will need for this are containers, soil or a soil-less mixture, light, water, a fan and a plastic cover. In case you’re wondering, the plastic cover will be used for the containers.

The first thing is to put soil into your container, then sow the seeds in it, water and, once done, cover the container securely with the plastic. Now place the container in the brightest and sunniest are of your house for maximum exposure to sunlight. However, there are exceptions to note. For example, the seeds of plants like nasturtium, schizanthus, phlox and verbena grow best in the darkness so don’t put them in the light.

The next move is waiting for the seeds to germinate. This period will vary depending on the kind of seed you used. For instance, if you used marigolds, the germination process will take three days. That’s a short germination phase. In others, germination takes as long as 40 days. After the seeds have germinated, remove the plastic cover to expose the seedlings and turn on the fan. The force of air from the fan when applied to the seedling will make them stronger.

After a while, note that the seedlings develop a second set of leaves for the plant. That’s the signal to start transplanting the remaining seedlings outdoors or possibly into a larger container. Once these have been transplanted, the next step is to nurture the plants with regular watering and prolonged exposure to sunlight. They need warmth to grow.

Here is a procedure for transplanting seedlings outdoors. First, leave the containers out in the open for a few days to allow the seedlings to acclimatize themselves to their new surroundings. Second, wait for the seedlings to acquire a more “hardened” look. This takes about a week or sometimes less. Again, the length of time varies depending on the kind of seeds used. Third, once hardened, transplant the seedling. Fourth, nurture the seeds with regular warmth and watering.

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