Even the most experienced gardeners would agree that plant seeds can be fickle creatures – but this method can also be quite easy, and of course cheaper.
There are many variables to consider when opting to grow your plants from scratch, instead of buying established seedlings. Plant your seeds too deeply, and they can have a hard time reaching the surface without enough light. Plant them too shallow, and too much light can damage the seeds. Seeds rotting in the soil can also mean that it was too damp for them to thrive.
However, there is a special kind of magic in watching your leafy friends grow from the very beginning – some would even call it rewarding. Below you’ll find our key tips and tricks on giving your seeds their best shot at reaching “adulthood”.
Consider The Season
Selecting the right fruit, vegetables or flowers is important if you want to see some results – some will outright refuse to flourish in winter, and others prefer to be planted in the cooler weather. Consider your location, climate and other conditions that the seeds would be exposed to, and always read the back of the seed packet for suggested methods (tray vs garden bed) as some will even do better on your windowsill compared to outside.
Pots Vs. Garden
There’s a reason as to why you’ll often see seedlings residing in small black plastic trays – these hold moisture, but also have free drainage. Avoid clay pots, as these are not renowned for holding liquids for little plants. Not all seeds thrive directly in a garden bed, so you’ll need to handle them with care to ensure they’re strong enough to survive out there in the real world. There are exceptions to this rule though (corn, peas, beans, carrots), as some deep root varieties tolerate transportation less than others – so again, be sure to read the packet.
Get The Right Soil
Avoid garden soil or standard potting mix for your seeds, as these are often far too heavy and lack drainage – making it difficult for your seedlings to develop strong root systems. Opt for a soilless seed starting mix, which is often a lighter and “fluffier” alternative to encourage growth. Generally, this mix is also lower in synthetic fertilisers, which may actually burn your seeds as they attempt to reach the surface.
Nutrients Are Life
Give your seeds their best shot by using an organic form of plant food or probiotic. In the early stages of germination, it’s crucial to optimise your seeds abode – think healthy soil, protection against pests and disease, and natural microbes to help them form strong roots from “Day One”. Regular applications of plant probiotics like RE-250 and Biotic Booster encourage root and shoot development in the environment of your seedlings, and ultimately avoids burning from synthetic fertilisers.
Read The Instructions
One would think that this would be an obvious one, but it’s easy for avid gardeners to get carried away. An important rule that is often overlooked is the depth that the seeds should be planted – we want the seeds to germinate and grow, and to form strong roots to “toughen” them up. If planted too deep or too shallow, the actual chance of germination diminished greatly, so make sure you follow the measurement guides.
What Are You Waiting For?
If you can encourage good habits and a happy environment for your seeds from the very beginning, they will grow into strong, healthy and sustainable plants that will no doubt reward you for years to come.