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Tips For Starting Seeds Inside And Winter Sowing

March is a bit early to start digging in the ground, but there are still some ways to work out your green thumb.

Although social distancing has many of us stuck at home, there are still opportunities to reconnect with nature. Health professionals suggest getting fresh air, taking walks, and even adding some greenery to your life.

March is a bit early to start digging in the ground, but there are still some ways to work out your green thumb. Gardening expert Melinda Myers has a lot of useful tips for starting seeds indoors, including what plants you should start in March. 

"Right now it’s a good time to start broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower — those things that cool because they’ll be ready to plant outside end of April, they’ll be a good size, not too big," says Myers. 

You can start other plants indoors right now, but Myers warns if you start something like tomatoes or peppers, they'll likely become leggy, making them more difficult to transplant into the garden. If you really want to start things outside and get into the garden, Myers says you could try winter sowing. She explains how:

"Take a milk jug, drill four holes in the bottom ... cut the top off so the bottom's about 4 inches deep and then you leave the handle attached ... fill that bottom with potting mix ... moisten, then plant your seeds ... Then you close it, duct tape it shut, take the cap off and put it [somewhere outside] so they do get rain and snow."

Myers suggests checking on it if it hasn't rained or snowed in a while, but otherwise, it should easily start seeds by itself.

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as producer for Lake Effect. Most recently, she was a director and producer for The Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. She has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening, The Garden Book for Wisconsin and Month-by-Month Gardening in Wisconsin. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments, which air on over 130 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S.