Savannah Valley District

Starting Vegetable Seeds for Spring Planting

Glen Payne, Urban Horticulture Agent

The days are getting longer, and the ground is warming up as spring comes around again. Now, it’s time to get busy planting containers with vegetables.

Last week was an opportunity to visit the Seed & Feed store to pick out the vegetable seeds for a new promise of hope for this year’s garden.  A Family & Community Leaders class met and started okra Clemson Spineless 80, peppers, & zinnias. Starting off with fresh new seeds and a well-balanced potting soil including fertilizer.

Okra and zinnias were planted at ¼” and covered with potting soil. Peppers were planted at ¾” and covered with potting soil also. The seeds were watered in to make good contact with the soil removing air pockets from between the seeds and soil. For insurance, 3-5 seeds were planted in each pot. Seeds emerging and attaining a height of 2-3” will need to be thinned. Thinning is accomplished by using your index finger and thumb grabbing the base of the stem (don’t pull up by the leaves as they will rip) give a slight wiggle back & forth then pull straight up. These extra seedlings can be potted in 4” pots with potting soil, watered in and placed indoors in an area receiving 5-10 hours of sunlight.

Watering with a mister twice per day will keep the humidity optimum for plant growth. Overwatering is the most detrimental thing to happen when starting plants from seed. A slow release well balanced fertilizer can be installed when moving established seedlings to a larger pot to grow out over the spring and summer. Continue to water plants 3-4 times per week. A hydrometer that measures moisture is a wonderful device that can aid in knowing when it’s time to water and can be found at most Seed & Feed stores. Once the last chance of frost in coastal South Carolina has passed the vegetables will be ready to be placed outdoors.

HGIC Link: Starting Seeds Indoors

HGIC Link: Container Vegetable Gardening

Millie Davenport, ©2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension
Barbara Smith, ©2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension Clemson Spineless 80 okra

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