In the gardener’s dictionary, February spells S-E-E-D-S. To ensure having garden ready seedlings when it’s time to plant, gardeners use the rule of thumb “sow seeds 6-8 weeks before the last frost.” Seed catalogs and seed packages provide a wealth of information about germination and growth.

To start seeds indoors, gather an assortment of containers. Peat pots are excellent and can be planted directly into the garden. Recycled containers such as milk or juice cartons, coffee cups, plastic “roasted chicken” containers, or “Dairy Queen Sundae containers” work well. The last two recycled items work like a mini-greenhouse with their plastic tops. Beverage cartons may be used on their side with clear plastic wrap on the top to help with germination. Prop the plastic with toothpicks.

Place a good seed starting soil mixture into your container of choice. Add your seeds and cover the seeds (or not) with soil on the top (seed packages will provide detailed instruction). Water carefully to avoid disturbing seeds.

Seeds need WARMTH to germinate. Provide bottom heat for your containers. You may sit your containers on the top of a refrigerator or warm air duct. As they sprout, remove the plastic or cover. Move them to a sunny window or under fluorescent light. Keep the soil moist and apply a liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength once a week. Continue to nurture your seedlings until the risk of frost is gone. Plant them outdoors.

Join us 7-9pm Feb. 15 for our Dunnville Horticultural Society Monthly Program Night: Fresh Flower Arrangements…The Thrills, Fills, & Spills” with guest speaker: Kim Dickie, DHS Member. We will also be having our annual Seed Exchange.

 We meet at the Optimist Hall. Doors open at 6:30 pm.  Refreshments are served and the evening is free to members and non-members. Contact Debbie Thomas, President (905) 774-3064 or Vice-President Deb Zynomirski (416) 556-9337 if you have questions or comments. Visit our Facebook page or our website at: for more excellent gardening tips.


Written by: Sandi Marr, DHS member

-photo by: Lester C. Fretz, DHS member

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