Growing plants from seed is not always an easy task, but is very rewarding.
Sowing a packet of seeds in the winter is optimistic, but without a good source of light, seedlings may become weak and fragile.
It depends on the variety of seeds whether they need light or not for germination.
When a seed variety does require light, it usually isn't intense light.
Sow seeds in seedling flats or pots set inside a drip tray.
Place these near a sunny window or set them where they receive incandescent light for most of the day until they sprout.
Indoors, place seed containers in a sunny, south-facing window and give the container a quarter turn each day.
Thus all plants will receive light evenly, it will prevent seedlings develop weak, elongated stems.
You can also use a grow light kit.
Usually the light kit comes with a bottom heat to keep your seedlings warm as they germinate.
This is the best environment for seedlings.
If the kit comes with a timer, you can setup how many hours of light your seedlings will receive. They need at least 10 hours of light every day.
An easy way to accomplish this is to plug the grow light into a programmable timer. The timer will turn the light on and off at the same time each day, ensuring the vegetable seedlings get the right amount of light.
The lights are adustable.
Usually, after germination, you should place the seedlings where they get a bright light, but indirect sunlight.
Direct sun may burn the sensitive seedling leaves; when the seedling leaves look white and papery, they've gotten sunburned.
If so, put them in a partly shady spot for a few days and allow them to recover.
Place a thermometer at seedling level. Monitor the temperature throughout the day to ensure it doesn't rise above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjust the light's height upward if the temperature begins to get too high.
Leave the light on for 14 to 16 hours daily, turning it off at night (at least 8hours). Plug the light into an automatic timer to ensure it's on for the correct amount of time.
Monitor soil moisture and water the seedlings when the soil surface dries. The soil may dry more rapidly under incandescent lights, so check it at least once a day.
Adjust the height of the light to maintain the 12-inch space between the light and the top of the seedlings as they grow.
When they have grown their second or third set of leaves, seedlings are usually hardy enough to flourish in direct sunlight.
But, make sure their roots are well developed and strong enough to be transplanted outdoors.