Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean your passion for gardening needs to hibernate. Set up your own nursery any time. It’s fun, easy and, best of all, it saves you money. First, begin with the right growing mix. Choose a potting soil that’s been specially formulated for sowing seeds. It should hold moisture and drain well, with a fine texture that allows young leaves to emerge easily.

Next, look for good starter containers around the house like small trays and shallow pans about two to three inches deep. You also need plastic wrap or glass to cover the containers. Fresh seeds are critical for germination, so be sure to check the expiration dates on the packages, as well as information on best soil temperature and light.

Sow the seeds in moistened soil and water thoroughly. Remember to check your containers daily for signs of growth, as you continue to water and add plant food. The first two leaves that emerge are called “seed leaves.” The third leaf to emerge is the plant’s first true leaf. Wait for at least two true leaves to grow before you transfer your plants to more permanent pots of their own. When the time is right, move them outdoors.  If you like gardening, you’ll love the satisfaction of starting your own seeds, whenever you like.