GROW YOUR OWN PLANTS FROM SEED

Starting with a tiny, insignificant seed and watching it grow into a flourishing plant is a rewarding experience. Not only does it give you a sense of pride and accomplishment, but it also allows you to connect more closely with nature. let’s learn how to grow your own plants and seed

If you are interested in starting your garden from scratch, the first step is to choose the right plants. Not all plants are suitable for growing from seed, so do some research before you get started. Once you have selected your plants, gather up some supplies: seeds, pots or containers, soil, water, and a sunny spot.

GETTING STARTED WITH SEEDS

Start by pre-soaking the seeds in a cup of water for 1 to 2 hours while you prepare your pots and soil. If you are growing from seed indoors, use small flowerpots or containers that allow room for several inches between the bottom of the pot and soil surface. Choose a container that allows at least 8 to 10 cm (3 – 4″) between soil level and top of the container. As a general rule, plan on about two seeds per pot. Planting too many seeds in one pot will result in crowding, competition among seedlings, delayed maturity, low survival rates, and an unusable harvest due to poor pollination among closely related plants.

Make sure to use a sterile planting medium when starting your seeds. Commercial potting soils are a good choice, or you can make your mix by combining equal parts of garden soil, compost, and perlite. Perlite is an inorganic mineral that helps to improve drainage and aeration in the soil. Once you have mixed your soil, moisten it until it is damp but not wet.

When planting seeds, bury them just below the surface of the soil. Gently press the soil down so that it makes contact with the seed coat. Then water thoroughly and place in a sunny location.

CARE OF SEEDLINGS

Keep the soil moist but not soggy by watering regularly. Young seedlings should be watered twice a day during hot weather and once a day during cooler weather and/or when the plant is not very actively growing.

Young seedlings can be thinned, if necessary, by carefully pulling them out of the soil with their roots. This will reduce crowding and competition for nutrients among seedlings. If you choose to leave some of the seedlings in the pot, keep them well-watered and give them adequate sunlight until they are large enough to transplant outside. As your seedlings grow into mature plants they will require more space for root growth and should be transplanted into larger containers or a garden bed after all danger of frost has passed.

MONTHLY CARE FOR MATURE PLANTS

Once your plants have grown into healthy mature specimens, you should care for them every month. Fertilize plants with a general-purpose fertilizer every month. Water deeply and then wait until the top 2 to 3 inches of soil dries out before watering again. If your plants are growing in containers, be sure to move them to a sunny location once all danger of frost has passed.

SEED STARTING SUPPLIES

  • Flowerpots or containers
  • Soil (garden soil, compost, perlite)
  • Seeds
  • Water
  • Sunny location

Flowerpots or containers

Choose containers that allow at least 8 to 10 cm (3 – 4″) between soil level and top of the container.

You can also use peat pots or plant starter cubes, which are biodegradable and will decompose when you transplant the seedlings outside once they have reached a certain size. This helps to reduce transplanting shock for your plants.

Do not use terra cotta pots since these porous pots tend to dry out quickly and don’t retain moisture very well.

Seeds

When planting seeds, always pre-soak them in water for 1 to 2 hours before planting indoors or outdoors. Soaking seeds overnight will provide the best results. Make sure the seeds sink to the bottom of the cup or container.

To ensure good germination, plant only 2 seeds per pot and bury them just below the surface of the soil. Gently press the soil down so that it makes contact with the seed coat.

Water thoroughly after planting and place in a sunny location.

Soil

Make sure to use a sterile planting medium when starting your seeds. Commercial potting soils are a good choice, or you can make your mix by combining equal parts of garden soil, compost, and perlite. Perlite is an inorganic mineral that helps to improve drainage and aeration in the soil.

Once you have mixed your soil, moisten it until it is damp but not wet.

Watering

Young seedlings should be watered twice a day during hot weather and once a day during cooler weather and/or when the plant is not very actively growing.

If you choose to leave some of the seedlings in the pot, keep them well-watered and give them adequate sunlight until they are large enough to transplant outside.

As your seedlings grow into mature plants they will require more space for root growth and should be transplanted into larger containers or a garden bed after all danger of frost has passed.

Fertilizing

Once a month, fertilize plants with a general-purpose fertilizer. Be sure to water deeply before fertilizing.

Sunlight

Your plants will need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. If possible, move your plants to a location that gets full sun all day long.

Happy gardening!

After you have planted your seeds, it is important to water them regularly until they germinate. Once the seedlings have emerged, you can begin to space them out so they have enough room to grow. You should water your plants once the top 2-3 inches of soil dries out; young seedlings may need to be watered twice a day during hot weather. As your plants grow, you will need to transplant them into larger containers or a garden bed. You should also fertilize your plants once a month and provide them with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. With a little bit of care, you will be able to watch your plants grow from seeds into healthy, mature plants! Happy gardening!

STARTING SEEDS OUTDOORS

If you want to plant your seeds directly into a garden bed, choose a location that is sunny and has properly draining soil. Make sure to prepare the soil by digging it up and adding compost or other organic materials; this will provide nutrients for your plants once they begin to grow.

Planting

Mark out the area where you will be planting your seeds. If possible, space your plants about 50 cm (20″) apart so there is enough room for them to grow.

Using a trowel or hand shovel, make 3 evenly spaced holes in each marked area. Space the holes about 20 cm (8″) away from one another and 5 cm (2″) deep. Place 2 seeds in each hole and gently cover with soil.

Water the entire area gently with a watering can after planting but make sure to allow the soil surface to dry out before watering again. To test if your plants need water, stick your finger in the soil near the base of each plant; if it feels moist one inch below the surface, then you do not need to water. Make sure that enough moisture is retained for proper germination of seeds.

Care and Maintenance

Thin out any overcrowded seedlings once they have germinated so that only 1 or 2 remain per hole. After thinning them out, mulch around the remaining seedlings so weeds cannot grow up alongside them. This will also help conserve moisture in your soil.

Keep the area around your plants free of debris, as pests and diseases can easily spread this way.

Weeds will compete with your plants for nutrients and moisture; be sure to pull them out as soon as they appear.

Once you have planted your seeds, it is important to water them regularly until they germinate. Once the seedlings have emerged, you can begin to space them out so they have enough room to grow. You should water your plants once the top 2-3 inches of soil dries out; young seedlings may need to be watered twice a day during hot weather. As your plants grow, you will need to transplant them into larger containers or a garden bed. You should also fertilize your plants once a month and provide them with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. With a little bit of care, you will be able to watch your plants grow from seeds into healthy, mature plants! Happy gardening!

STARTING SEEDS INDOORS

If you want to start your seeds indoors, choose a container with drainage holes in the bottom for each seedling. A plastic or terra-cotta pot is usually the best option if you are planting more than one seedling; otherwise, it can get difficult to water all of them properly. Fill about halfway up the sides of the pots with soil that contains compost or another organic matter (eg: peat moss).tip* — Using a seed starter or a soilless medium will provide nutrients for your plants as they germinate and start to grow.

Carefully separate the grasses and weeds from your collected seed heads, making sure you leave only good, viable seeds in their place! You can use the same bag that you shook them into or another paper bag if required.

Choose a location indoors where your seeds will be undisturbed and receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day (a windowsill is usually best). Place several seeds on top of each pot; make sure not to bury them too deep or too shallow. Gently cover with soil and water thoroughly until water drips out of the bottom drain holes. Keep an eye on your pots; when the soil surface dries out, water again.

Thin out any overcrowded seedlings once they have germinated so that only 1 or 2 remain per pot. After thinning them out, mulch around the remaining seedlings so weeds cannot grow up alongside them. This will also help conserve moisture in your soil.

Weeds will compete with your plants for nutrients and moisture; be sure to pull them out as soon as they appear.

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