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Starting Seeds in Trays

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Save money and increase your selection of cultivars by starting your own plants from seed in convenient trays.

Seedlings sprouting in biodegradable seed tray

Gather Materials
Start with new peat trays with detachable cells. Or reuse old nursery cellpacks (clean and disinfect used materials with a 10 percent bleach solution before use). Peat trays are biodegradable, so cells can be planted directly in the ground when it's time to transplant.

 

biodegradable seed tray

Fill Trays
Use a lightweight soilless seed-starting mix -- a combination of peat moss, vermiculite, and sometimes perlite. It will drain rapidly and encourage seedlings to form a strong root system. Gently tap to firm the seed-starting mix, then moisten thoroughly.

Sowing seeds

Sow Seeds
Follow seed packet directions, which will tell you when to start seeds and how deeply to plant them, depending on climate and species. If sowing tiny seeds, fold a small piece of cardboard in half and use a toothpick to direct seeds into the cells of the tray.

watering seed tray

Care and Transplanting
Put the tray in a warm spot within 3 to 4 inches of fluorescent lights kept on 14-16 hours a day. Water with a pump sprayer to avoid disturbing seeds. After seedlings develop their second set of true leaves, feed weekly with a water-soluble fertilizer (diluted to quarter strength). Transplant according to seed packet recommendations.