Growing Plants from Seeds – As more and more people turn to the garden as a hobby or grow their food, they are also discovering the benefits of growing plants from seed. It is easy to become addicted to seeing life grow from a small seed you have cultivated. Sprouting seeds indoors allows you to start the growing season early and get your hands dirty, even if there is still a snowflake on the ground.
Many vegetables, annuals too perennials, are easy to grow after seed. It is cheaper than buying seedlings from a nursery and allows for early cultivation of plants such as tomatoes and peppers, which take longer to mature. Many unusual and familiar strains are only available from seed, so this is a good way to ensure you get the themes you want. It is how to start.
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Getting Start with Seeds
Start with a few varieties, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Choose easy-to-grow plants like marigolds, nasturtiums, and basil for maximum success. Choose your favourite plants.
There are thousands of varieties of seeds to grow. Explore nurseries, catalogues, and online seed sources. Some companies may specialize in seeds that work well in your area.
Know When to Plant Seeds:
Find out the day of the last frost in your part. Check the instructions on the seed bag to determine how many weeks before the later frost date to plant seeds indoors.
Follow the Directions:
Plants have different growing requirements, so research each variety before planting. Seed bags are a good source of basic information such as when to plant, planting depth, days to germination, fertilizer needs, and repotting recommendations.
- Seeds must be soaked, cut, or chilled before planting.
- Some seeds need to cover with a thin layer of soil, others need to be left open, and some need darkness to germinate.
- Consider the germination time. Some seeds bud in a few days, while others take several weeks.
Use a calendar, garden journal, or app to keep track of relevant information, such as the date of the last ice in your area. Keep detailed records for each variety, such as planting time, planting date, germination time, fertilization schedule, and outdoor transplant time.
Many seeds will last more than a year. Store unused seeds in a paper bag (can be placed in a plastic bag) in a cool, dry, dark place. To test the capability of older sources, put a few seeds on a damp paper towel in a plastic bag and keep warm. Most seeds germinate in 2-14 days.
Supply of Seeds
Plants have basic needs for light, soil, water and nutrients. Because indoor conditions can be less than ideal, seedlings will need extra help to grow. Maintaining the optimum temperature for germination, using the right soil, and providing enough light will allow seedlings to develop into healthy plants.
There is not enough light in most places, even on sunny windowsills, so the plants have long, weak legs. The use of grow lights helps to achieve healthy and vigorous growth. There are many different types of small or large spaces.
Any high-quality, versatile potting soil is suitable for growing seeds. Use a soilless mix with no added fertilizers, and make sure it’s fresh, so it’s free of disease. Special seed starter mixtures are finer and more porous, allowing better drainage and seed-to-soil contact. (Learn more about potting soil and potting soils.)
- Garden centres and online sources sell a variety of seedboxes and flat surfaces.
- Try the seed starter kit, which has everything you need to start growing.
- Biodegradable pots are ideal for thin-rooted seedlings as they can plant directly into the ground.
- Household objects such as paper cups, milk jugs or egg cartons can turn into growing containers. Please make sure they are fresh and have adequate drainage holes.
- Prepare the Potting Mix: presoak it in warm water until it is damp but not soggy. Fill pots or cells with soil and press down gently to remove any air pockets. Leave room to cover the seeds as needed.
- Sow the Seeds: Plant as directed on the package. Larger seeds such as beans can sow 1-2 seeds per cell or pot, and smaller seeds can be lightly sprinkled with at least 3-5 per cell, as some sources may not germinate. For varieties that need light to grow, lightly press the seeds into the soil to ensure good contact, but do not cover them. Spray the surface of the ground with water.
- Add Labels: For each pot or platform, write the cultivar name along with the planting date on the plant label.
- Cover Seed Containers or Trays: place a plastic bag or dome on top that acts as a mini-greenhouse to retain heat and moisture. Suppose germination takes more than a few days, occasionally open to allow air to circulate and prevent moisture buildup.
Care of Seeds and Plants
An average home temperature of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient for most seeds to grow. Place newly planted vessels in a warm, draft-free place, such as over a refrigerator or on a dedicated heating mat, and check them daily.
As soon as seedlings appear, remove the pots or bowls from the lower heat and remove the plastic lid. Place it under grow lights, leaving them on for 12-18 hours a day. As a universal rule, LED lights should be placed about 12 inches from the top of the seedlings, and fluorescent lights should be placed 3 to 4 inches from the top of the plants. Turn on the lights while the plants are growing. Yellow or brown leaves may indicate that the lights are too close; elongated or long-legged seedlings may mean that your light sources are too far apart.
Provide adequate air circulation to avoid damping-off, a fungal disease that quickly kills seedlings.
Keep the soil evenly humid but not wet. Don’t let the mud dry out, as this can interfere with germination or kill young plants. The first watering may not be necessary until seedlings emerge.
Spray the soil’s surface gently so that the seeds do not loosen. Plants can also water from below by placing a shallow pan of water under them. Let it soak in for 20-30 minutes or until the topsoil is damp. Do not leave pots in standing water for long periods, as this can cause root rot or fungal diseases—use room temperature water to avoid plant shock.
Wait to fertilize until the seedlings have their first true leaves, which will unfurl after the first few leaves, called cotyledons. Apply a water-soluble fertilizer such as fish emulsion or seaweed halfway every two weeks.
Remove extra seedlings, leaving one plant per cell or vessel. Some flowers, such as tomatoes, can be successfully parted too transplanted, while others, such as poppies, should not be disturbed by the roots. Trim excess seedlings at the base with scissors to avoid damaging the roots.
Seedlings grown in the original seed mix should be transferred to standard potting soil as they become larger plants. Varieties like tomatoes and peppers will need to be transplanted into large containers and grown before planting outdoors.
One to two weeks before the regular last chill date, start moving your plants outside. Please place it in a sheltered, shady spot, gradually increasing its time outdoors each day. Cover up or go inside at night. Move to direct sunlight for a longer period. Seedlings can be left open outdoors overnight when temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Plants should fully acclimate within 1-2 weeks.
After the seedlings have grown stronger, they can plant in a permanent place. Water the seedlings before and after transplanting. Avoid landing during the hottest part of the day.
Plant Seeds Outside
Many plants can sow directly outdoors. Fast-growing plants like radishes and pumpkins work best with this method, while others, like poppy seeds and carrots, are best planted right away to avoid damaging their roots.
Cool-weather plants, including peas and lettuce, can be planted early in the season when soil temperatures reach 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant warm-weather plants like Kostya, beans, and cucumbers when the soil temperature is at least 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.