Seed Starting, a review of “The New Seed Starters Handbook” by Nancy Bubel

This 1988 publication is as relevant today as it was 30 years ago. The book is arranged in four sections, Starting Seeds Indoors, Moving Plants Outside, Special Techniques and Situations, and Saving Seeds and Making Further Plans. The last section is an Encyclopedia of Plants to Grow From Seed.

The reasons Ms. Bubel gives for starting seeds indoors are earlier harvest, greater variety, stronger seedlings (if you do it right), healthier seedlings, cost saving, and to me the two most important: satisfaction and enjoyment. For Alaskan gardeners starting plants indoors to plant out later extends the growing season. For those with an unheated greenhouse where they grow the tomatoes, peppers and many other heat loving plants, starting seeds in the house will add weeks to the growing season.

The chapter on seeds includes the botanical facts and information on dormancy. There is also a small section on the history of seeds.

There are tables and charts showing germination time, ideal soil temperatures for germination, and light conditions needed by some plants for germination. Instructions for mixing a good medium for seed starting are included as well as lights, containers, transplanting, hardening off and common problems and their solution.

There is information on signs of soil deficiencies, symptoms and treatments, spacing for vegetables, interplanting and companion planting. In fact this book has some very valuable information for gardeners everywhere.

The book is available on Amazon in paperback, hardback and a kindle edition (this edition has been updated by Jean Nick and will be available January 30, 2018). A used book store would also be a good place to look for a copy.

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