If you're planning to grow peppers, tomoatoes or eggplants this summer, this week is the perfect time to get your seeds started.

Plant in sterile potting mix, water from the bottom to avoid damping off, a disease that plagues seedlings kept too moist, and keep covered with plastic wrap until you see green growth sprouting. Then uncover and provide 14-16 hours of bright light daily, either near your sunniest window or under fluorescent grow lights.

Though some gardeners set their plants outdoors in mid-May, I've gotten burned in the past by a late frost so I always wait until Memorial Day weekend.

Check the tutorials below for seed-starting directions.


How-tos: Make a newspaper seed pot | Make your own potting mix | Check if last year's seeds are still good | How to start seeds indoors

Competition: Join the 2010 Great Long Island Tomato Challenge

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Spring Blossom Watch: Send in photos of your first spring blooms