flts-seedlings-jpg2Area gardeners want to get seeds started right. Most annuals, and a whole lot of vegetables do best when started in flats with good-quality potting soil, rather than sown directly into the ground. When plants are an inch or so high, carefully lift plants from the potting soil, separate and re-pot into cell-packs so that seedlings can develop healthy, robust root systems.

Seedling flats and cell-packs should be in full sun during these short winter days. Be sure to water regularly because the shallow flats dry out quickly. Use a water-soluble fertilizer solution twice a week when watering.

Then when seedlings are three or four inches tall, and have developed plenty of leaves, transplant into garden beds or containers. Even vegetables such as lettuce get a much better start and grow faster when treated in this fashion.