How to Germinate Seeds in Cold Weather

If there's still a possibility of frost or you have a winter crop still in your garden, you can start summer seeds in early spring like this.

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Gather your supplies (& children -- our daughter loves to help in the garden).  For planting the seeds, there are many-cell planters, or you can use an old egg carton or berry clamshell..

Gather your supplies (& children -- our daughter loves to help in the garden). For planting the seeds, there are many-cell planters, or you can use an old egg carton or berry clamshell..

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Use the best seeds you can find - heirloom seeds, seeds from gardener friends or seed banks, or seeds you've saved from farmer's market fruits and vegetables.

Use the best seeds you can find - heirloom seeds, seeds from gardener friends or seed banks, or seeds you've saved from farmer's market fruits and vegetables.

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Fill up your container cells with fresh, moist potting soil.

Fill up your container cells with fresh, moist potting soil.

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Tamp the soil down somewhat with a thumb or tool handle.

Tamp the soil down somewhat with a thumb or tool handle.

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Some seeds tell you at what depth to sow them.

Some seeds tell you at what depth to sow them.

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Otherwise just look at them.  You'll want to plant them approximately as deep below the surface as the seeds are big.

Otherwise just look at them. You'll want to plant them approximately as deep below the surface as the seeds are big.

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For these tiny parsley seeds, we'll just press them into the surface of the soil.  I'm planting these 1-2 per cell.

For these tiny parsley seeds, we'll just press them into the surface of the soil. I'm planting these 1-2 per cell.

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These are green bean seeds; we'll need to sow them about 3/8" below the soil surface.

These are green bean seeds; we'll need to sow them about 3/8" below the soil surface.

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Use a pen or pencil or something similar to drill little holes.

Use a pen or pencil or something similar to drill little holes.

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Then drop in one seed each.

Then drop in one seed each.

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Make sure to label what you've planted using something that can survive getting wet.

Make sure to label what you've planted using something that can survive getting wet.

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For any seeds you've drilled holes for, cover them with a light layer of potting soil.

For any seeds you've drilled holes for, cover them with a light layer of potting soil.

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Water gently until good and wet.

Water gently until good and wet.

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Cover with something that will help retain heat and moisture.  Place somewhere warm --inside if there's any danger of frost. Sprinkle with water daily, and in about a week you'll see sprouts!

Cover with something that will help retain heat and moisture. Place somewhere warm --inside if there's any danger of frost. Sprinkle with water daily, and in about a week you'll see sprouts!

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