[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1471633008692{margin-top: 10px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1471632072516{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”text-left”]When the temperatures drop and the cold winds blow, some of us like to escape to sunny destinations. Others choose a different journey. Gardeners sow seeds to escape the frigid February chill. With vegetable or flower seed packets, fresh growing medium and recycled plant containers, we transcend the winter blahs. Whether we are novice or experienced gardeners, February is the time to start seeds.

Those of us who sow our own seeds, do so for good reason. First of all is the sheer pleasure. We take delight in the miraculous—tiny seeds emmerge from soil. Second, cost. Growing our own seedlings is cheaper than buying seedlings at a nursery, garden centre or big box store. Third, timing. Plants aren’t always readily available at garden centres when we want to plant them. Fourth, quality. Pests and disease can be controlled when we grow our own. Fifth, community building. Gardeners are generous souls. We plant more than we need so we have plenty to share with others.

Prepare for starting seeds indoors by gathering supplies and equipment. The most crucial element for successful seed starting begins with quality and fresh seed. Each year as seed ages, it’s germination diminishes as well as the quality of the young plant. Using sterile soil, supplemental light, and bottom heat of about 70 degrees F are the other crucial elements.

Keep careful records such as name of the plant, planting date, days until germination, and maturity. Be sure to read the fine print in seed catalogues pertaining to culture and growing conditions such as soaking certain seeds before planting. Recycled McDonald’s coffee cups, Dairy Queen sundae containers or Sobey’s chicken containers serve well for planting seeds. Covering your seeds with a plastic wrap prevents them from drying out. Starting seeds doesn’t need to be costly, just fun and creative.

Wondering what to do in February? Sow some seeds for spring plantings. Spring WILL be here before we know it! Please join us on February 18, 7-9pm, at the Dunnville Horticultural Society Monthly Program, Optimist Hall. Speaker: Theresa Forte (Author, Photographer, Canada Blooms Speaker), “If You Plant It, They Will Come: Bees, Butterflies, Birds.” Monthly programs are open to non-members as well as members. Come for warm friendship, nourishing snacks, and fun recycled garden give-aways.

Call Debbie Thomas, President (905) 774-3064 or Deb Zynomirski, Vice President (905) 774-8453.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text el_class=”text-primary text-left”]Sandi Marr, DHS Reporting Secretary.
Sandi welcomes your questions and ideas for future gardening columns.

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