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While your throwing on layers it may be difficult to think about gardening. However, now is the perfect time to start seeds indoors so they will be ready to transplant when warmer weather arrives.

Sandpaper is secret weapon in spring gardening, here's how

Visit this Spring Forecast Guide to the Season for the 2016 Spring Forecast, Summer Weather Preview and much more.


Leeanna McLean
Digital Reporter

Monday, February 29, 2016, 9:00 PM - Gardeners: Drop everything; now is the time to start seeds indoors so they will be ready to transplant when warmer weather arrives.

Horticulturalist Ken Brown of Whitby, Ont., has been dallying in the dirt for most of his life. He has a few gardening tricks that will help you get ahead of the game.

1) Starting seeds

The secret to success is sowing vegetable and flower seeds indoors for several weeks before transplanting outside for the summer. March is a great time to get started. Plastic pots, containers or cell packs are preferable to starting seeds as they retain more moisture. In a cell pack, plant a single seed in each cell with a mix of peat moss and perlite. Use a pointed gardening tool like a dibble to softly press the seed into the mixture. Then use a sieve to spread a fine layer of peat moss and perlite over the cells. Rather than water from the top, place the pack into a tray with about an inch of water to allow the liquid to soak from the bottom. To allow to seeds to germinate, Brown recommends to keep the soil mixture warm. You can purchase an electric waterproof heating mat. Place the pack on the mat and put a plastic cover over the seeds to lock the moisture in.


2) Storing and starting tuberous begonias and dahlias

Begonias and dahlias should be dug up and stored indoors during the winter until the return of warmer weather. Dahlia tubers are quite large so you will need a large pot. Cut some of the excess tubers off and plant them with the soil mixture as shown above. Ensure to work the soil in between the roots and give a good soak.

3) Sandpaper and sweet peas

For some gardeners sweet peas are difficult to grow but Brown has a handy hack to help them germinate. The seeds have hard coats which makes water difficult to soak through. However, by using a piece of sandpaper you can scratch the surface of the seed coats which will allow for more water to enter. Plant the seeds by following the same steps shown above.

4) Sandpaper and sweet peas

In our last gardening installment we showed you how to start daffodil bulbs in the winter by planting them in a small pot with soil and placing it in a cold room. Daffodils require six to eight weeks of cool climate. By now you should see some signs of life. They need to be brought back into the sunshine and should bloom indoors sometime during the month of March. 

Watch more: Cleaning garden tools? How to really self-clean, keep them sharp

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