seedlingPayne’s sells a wide variety of vegetable, herb, flower, and grass seeds for home gardeners and landscapers. Each of our stores offers slightly different selections, so call or come in to either store to choose the varieties best for you.

Now’s a good time to sow seeds indoors, including those for:

hot and sweet peppers
salad greens
sweet basil
sweet marjoram

FYI about tarragon seeds: true French tarragon — Artemisia dranunculus ‘Sativa’ — does not set seed, so it is grown from cuttings or root divisions, not seeds. Seed-grown tarragon you sometimes find on seed racks is Russian tarragon — Artemisia dranunculus — which has virtually no flavor and hence is useless in cooking.

If you plan to start seeds indoors, Payne’s sells a range of indoor seed starting supplies, including seedling mixes, peat pots, Jiffy-Pots™, plastic seed trays with covers, and electric micro-mini greenhouses.

Remember that indoor seed-starting requires warmth — 70ºF is optimal to stimulate quickest seedsgermination — and strong light. If you’re a serious grower, consider an electric heating mat that provides seed flats with 70ºF bottom heat.

If you don’t have a lot of sunny windowsill space, try 48″ fluorescent indoor plant lights, installed in a draft-free corner. When the seeds sprout, move the trays onto the light frame, place bricks under the trays so that the tops of the seedlings stay 4″ under the lights at all times. Remove the layers of bricks as the seedlings grow.

Another suggestion: hang reflective Mylar™ sheets around the light-frame to intensify the light around the seedlings to help prevent them from getting leggy. When the seedling roots begin to peek out of the bottom of their pots, up-pot them into slightly bigger individual containers. When outdoor temperatures are consistently 60ºF during the day, move the seedlings to a wind-protected, warm, sunny spot outside during the day and bring them indoors as temperatures drop toward evening.