I normally buy seedlings and plant my garden. This year I would like to grow my own seedlings. I live in zone 8b in central California. Would It be more effective making a cold frame with a soil heating wire or buying a light for garage setup? I have a small garden, but would like to get into secession planting.
Hi Steven I live in N. Ca. zone 9b. I think a warming mat and a grow light would work well. With the mild Ca. weather you could probably use a cold box without the heat wire. I tried to start seeds in a small plastic green house this year and it was actually getting to hot in the green house and fried several of my seedlings. Seedlings just need warmth and moisture to germinate (with some exceptions of seed that need light to germinate, so read your seed packets), my favorite way to start a lot of seeds is to put a damp paper towel on a plate, and cover them with another damp paper towel (not super small seeds, they are too hard) Once the seed have germinated, you want to plant them in a light plant mix. A seed starting mix if you want, or just about any type of potting soil. I like to use a good compost. Once the seedling produces the two seed leaves (Cotyledons) that is when you have to worry about getting enough light, and this is when you need to give them a little fertilizer, unless you planted in compost, then it's already there. Long answer short either method will probably work, it's just a matter of what is easier for you. Good luck to you and what ever you decide don't get discouraged. Some seeds are super easy and some are very hard to start. I little research may make your first try more successful. Happy growing Jen
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” — Abraham Lincoln