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Feb 13

Program Notes: Seed Starting with Master Gardeners

Posted on February 13, 2019 at 11:48 AM by Elizabeth Land

Master Gardener Nate Brauner taught a seed starting class at the Tabb Library on February 10, 2019.
Master Gardener Nate Brauner presented on the basics of seed starting to a group of 42 garden enthusiasts of all ages at the Tabb Library on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. After the presentation, Master Gardener volunteers helped attendees create small pots from newspaper and toilet rolls. Participants were able to choose from a variety of vegetable, herb and flower seeds to plant in their pots. The materials were provided for free from the Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners.

Top 3 things I learned from Nate Brauner
  1. Seeds were provided for free from the Virginia Cooperative Extension and the York County Master GardHeat and light are key
    In general, the warmer the temperature, the more likely—and sometimes faster—a seed will germinate. Plus, at least 12 hours of light is best for your germinating seeds. And since you need to start seeds in late winter, your best bet is to start seeds indoors, with your own light and heat sources to create the best conditions.
  2. Read your seed packet
    While there are rules to seed-starting, there are always exceptions to the rules. The back of your seed packet holds all the information you need to know about starting your seeds including: temperature, light level, and when to start the seed for the proper planting time. Don't have your seed packet? Check out the Virginia Cooperative Extension website's list of Lawn & Garden Publications, maintained by Virignia Tech. Or you can ask the Master Gardener Help Desk. A help line is available for your questions from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays and Wednesdays by calling 757-890-4940. Or you can email the Help Desk 24/7 at
  3. Participants made seed pots out of newspaper and toilet paper rolls.Seed starting is an opportunity to reuse materials
    No need to buy expensive seed starting materials from a store. Look at the packaging you already purchase with your food and you may find the perfect seed starting tools. Just make sure you poke drainage holes and remove labels that may block light from getting to your seeds. You can even make small seed pots out of newspaper or toilet paper rolls.

The event was part of a library series called Mastering Your Garden, which is being held at the Tabb and Yorktown Libraries throughout 2019. The series is a partnership between York County Public Library, Virginia Cooperative Extension and the York County Master Gardeners. All events in the series are free for anyone to attend. For more information or to register for upcoming events in the series, call 757-890-5120 or visit