There are many advantages to starting your own vegetable plants indoors. Although some disadvantages may also exist, these tend to be the result of improper growing conditions and planting procedures.
By starting your own seeds, you are able to choose plant varieties based on those characteristics which are most important to you. A smorgasbord of fresh tomatoes makes a cheerful sight on the table and to grow a colorful assortment of tomatoes, you almost have to purchase seed and grow the plants yourself.
By carefully choosing the time you start your seeds indoors, you will be able to have transplant-size plants at the ideal planting time in the spring.
This all depends upon where you live and the type of vegetables you grow. Cool season crops like broccoli and cauliflower are more tolerant of cooler temperatures than warm season crops like tomatoes and peppers and can be placed out in the garden earlier in the season. Click here for a tip that will help you determine when to start different vegetable seeds indoors.
Most all seeds have certain basic requirements:
Although all of these are important, light is the single most important factor for the success of your seedlings. For this reason, figure out how you will provide sufficient light for your seedlings before you start your seeds.
Although light is not necessary for germination, it is very important that the young seedlings have adequate light once they emerge. Seedlings will become weak and spindly instead of compact and healthy if the light is insufficient.
Once they germinate but before they produce their first set of true leaves, it is important to harden your seedlings to keep them from getting tall and leggy. This can be accomplished by providing cooler temperatures, less humidity, and less moisture. Having a fan blowing softly over your seedlings for a while each day can help strengthen their stems and also reduce humidity that can lead to disease problems like damping off. Be sure to maintain the same amount of light (10-14 hours/day) for your seedlings.