GROWING FROM SEED, is an acquired skill. 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 and buy ornamental and edible annuals and perennials. Although, growing from seed affords you the luxury of growing plants unavailable in commercial garden centers. Yes, growing from seed is a process and a learning curve, one that is worth the bend. It gets easier, especially if you know what your seeds need. Some seeds prefer to be started outdoors, others are more suited started indoors. For example tomatoes can be started indoors and preferably so,if you are living in colder climates. Cucumbers are best started outdoors.
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 seeds and how many days until germination. With all that information, 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. Just remember, they need water, sun and a touch of love .e.
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. These can be sown in or outdoors
3. A seedling is ready to be transplanted once it has 2 leaves on it. When moving seedling from indoors to outdoors in the spring, I always give it a week after the last frosts to make my move. That way you have assurance that the temperatures won’t hike low to freezing point and damage your seedlings.
Sprouted Chilli Seeds
Crowded Swiss Chard Seedlings
4. 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.