The snow is starting to disappear, the days are getting longer, and there is a hint of fresh energy in the air. It is the perfect time to start shedding the winter blues and put spring in your step. It’s time for planting those seeds – indoors.
“Starting your seeds indoors is a great way to have a full and healthy outdoor garden when the time is right,” says Tammy Hysert, Manager with Canadian Tire at The Mall at Picadilly.
Gardening is a source of health benefits. Not only do indoor plants provide better air quality, but gardening itself can relieve stress, boost productivity, and create a relaxing atmosphere. Starting seeds indoors can give you all the benefits of indoor plants while preparing you for a bountiful outdoor garden during the summer months.
“Since the pandemic started, we have found more and more people are starting their seeds early and focusing on backyard gardens,” says Hysert.
According to a survey conducted in June of 2021 by Research Co, more than three in five Canadians are enjoying gardening at home. In BC, the proportion of home gardeners is 67 per cent. Stats Canada reports that Canadians spent 6.5 per cent more on greenhouse flowers and plants in 2020, and greenhouse fruit and vegetable plant sales increased 12.3 per cent.
Hysert recommends preparing for your gardening needs now because supplies can sell out quickly. By starting seeds indoors rather than direct sowing when the weather is suitable for planting, you gain control over the quality of plants and get a jump on the growing season.
“Be sure to purchase high-quality seeds,” says Hysert. “The better the quality seeds, the more bountiful the harvest will be.”
It is also essential to carefully choose what seeds you are starting indoors - not all plants like to be transplanted. For example, broccoli, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, and peppers are best started indoors. In contrast, carrots and beets are best started outdoors.
Once seeds begin to sprout, move to a sunny location. Use a unique blend of seed-starting soil and have containers that allow for proper drainage. Plant seeds at the appropriate depth by following directions, and pick the correct location in your home. This location should be warm, such as near a radiator. However, make sure it is not too hot because seedlings like the air to be a bit cool.
“Be sure to water, but not over water. When you have a few sprouts coming up, keep the strongest ones and snip off the others, so you have only one plant per container,” says Hysert.
Greenhouse kits are a great way to get started and provide an easy-to-follow system.
Visit Canadian Tire at The Mall at Picadilly for your complete seed-starting needs. You can also follow Canadian Tire Salmon Arm on Facebook!