Outdoor Living5 min

How to Sow Seeds Indoors for Your Garden

Growing plants from seed is a fun and economical way to grow your own vegetables and flowers. By starting seeds indoors under controlled conditions, with no trouble from weeds or weather, your plants get a big head-start that brings earlier harvests and greater yields. It’s easy to grow from seed to harvest with the right light and some simple equipment.
  1. Choose your seeds. The best seeds for indoor starting are those plants that are typically grown singly and that take a fairly long time to go from seed to maturity in most climates, such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, broccoli, winter squash and melons. If you are new to seed-starting, tomatoes, basil, marigolds, zinnia and nasturtium are easy varieties to start indoors.
  2. Find containers. Seeds should be sown in containers that are at least two to three inches deep with adequate drainage holes. Paper cups, milk cartons and yogurt containers can be recycled for this purpose, or purchase seed-starting trays with a built-in watering system at your local home improvement store.
  3. Prepare the soil. Look for potting soil that is specifically formulated for starting seedlings: light, fluffy and able to hold just enough moisture. Soil that is too wet and heavy will smother delicate roots. Soil that is not sterile can promote disease. Fill the containers with moistened, firmly packed potting soil.
  4. Sow the seeds. Consult the seed packaging to determine how deep you should plant the seeds. Gently moisten the newly planted seeds with a mister or small watering can.
  5. Provide ample light. Ample light is crucial for healthy plants. Most gardeners use artificial lights so they can raise more plants and make sure they get enough exposure. The lights should be positioned three to four inches above plants as they grow, and plants should receive 16-18 hours of light per day.
  6. Water the plants. While seeds germinate, they should be covered to keep in humidity. Once sprouts have emerged, water them from the bottom by pouring water into the tray underneath. This prevents damage and disease. Because potting soil contains few nutrients, you will also need to feed seedlings regularly with a liquid fertilizer.
Stay tuned next month, when we’ll discuss how to transfer your young plants to the outdoors! For more do-it-yourself gardening tips, visit www.diynetwork.com.

Need a Garden Shed?

Do you need space for starting plants and storing garden tools and supplies? How about a lawn mower storage shed? Get an outdoor building tailored to your needs and constructed of quality LP® Shed products. Shed walls made with LP lap siding offer all the warmth and beauty of traditional wood, along with outstanding durability. LP SilverTech® radiant barrier products keep your shed cooler, and LP SmartFinish® gives a uniform, professional-grade appearance inside. To learn more about the unique advantages of LP Shed products, find a shed dealer near you or call (844) 5LP-SHED.
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Renovation5 min

Tips on Re-Siding in Historic Districts

If you own a home in a historic district, you can forget about replacing the existing siding with vinyl. Most historic districts require replacement siding to closely match the original, hence wood (or engineered wood) and brick. Understanding home building regulations based on historic overlays can help eliminate the headache during renovations, so it’s important to stay in the know before embarking on the project.

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Renovation5 min
Top Four Home Exterior Tips for Fall

With fall just around the corner, it’s time to plan how you will ensure your home’s exterior is ready for the cooler temperatures while also keeping up with the latest seasonal trends. Not sure where to start? We break down the top four home exterior tips for fall for a little inspiration.

Trends6 min
Using the Right Siding for a Ranch Home

Ranch-style home designs are known for low and wide single-story profiles, large picture windows, sliding glass doors and attached front garages. These close-to-the-ground homes were first built in the U.S. in the 1920s, but they didn’t gain widespread popularity until the post-World War II era into the 1970s. As suburbia spread, the ranch-style house became one of America’s favorites. The popularity of ranch-style homes waned in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but it’s making a comeback as younger homebuyers rediscover the ranch’s charm—much like they did with bungalows.

Maintenance4 min
What First-Time Buyers Should Know About Home Maintenance and Storage

Most first-time homebuyers arm themselves with a lot of information about mortgage interest rates and closing costs. What they sometimes overlook are the repair costs prior to moving into previously owned homes and the long-term maintenance costs associated with homeownership.