Starting Out From Seed

 

Plant

 

Your Seeds

GROWING FROM SEED, is a skill that can be learnt. A lot of gardeners shy away from growing from seed for different reasons. Timing is one, technique is another. It's so much easier to go to a nursery or garden center to buy ornamental and edible annuals when in season. It's relatively inexpensive especially if you buy plants in packs or punnets. Sometimes gardeners are afraid they just won't have any success when they grow from seed and so don't make any attempts to learn or give it a try. It's so easy, especially if you know what your seeds need. Some seeds prefer to be started outdoors, while others can be started indoors.

Arugula Seedlings

Assorted Seedlings in Eggshells

Some seedling don't like to be moved once sown, while others transplant quite easily. Seed packets always have instructions on the back which include how and where to sow the seed and how many days germination will take. With all that knowing, all you need to do is sow your seeds, kick back, relax and watch them grow. Its an old adage “a watched pot never boils,” one that can be applied to growing from seed. If you anxiously worry about your seeds and keep telling yourself they are not going to grow, you will not enjoy the process. Once your sowing is done, get on with it and in 7 - 28 days depending on what you've sown, you'll have a lovely seedling popping it's head out.

Seed Growing Tips

1. Cover seeds with peat moss, it's a lighter medium than soil and makes it easier for seeds to germinate.

2. Some seeds need to be soaked, scratched or sprouted before planting in soil. Make sure you check if your seeds need any preparation before sowing.Start seeds indoors 4 - 6 weeks before the last frost date, that will give you a heads start to the spring season to come. For fall planting I would start seeds 14 weeks before the first frost date.

3. A seedling is ready to be transplanted once it has 2 leaves on it. When moving seedling from indoors to outdoors, I always give it a week after the last frosts to make my move.

Sprouted Chilli Seeds

Crowded Swiss Chard Seedlings

4. When growing directly in the ground, make sure to space seeds accordingly. If you sow too many extra seeds in one spot and if they all sprout, you will have serious overcrowding issues that take up precious gardening time to fix. One or two assurance seeds are enough.

5. Growing indoors, in a controlled environment where the temperature and atmosphere tends to stay the same make the odds of survival better. There are no unforeseen elements like strong winds, heavy rains or predators to consider. It's easier to monitor seedlings and although some seeds are not recommended to be sown indoors, there are many different types of seeds you can start indoors.

  

6. Using small pots or eggshells are a good way to keep your seedlings solitary while growing. It makes it easier to transplant them later on. Planting multiple seedlings in one pot, is tricky, when it comes time to separate the seedlings, to their new pot or spot in the garden.

 

Say Hello to my little seedlings