Speaking scientifically, seeds are the reproductive system of a flowering plant; each one contains an embryonic version of its parent plant.
What they really are is little superheroes, tiny packets of potential that can totally transform bare dirt into beautiful garden beds or containers of flowers, veggies and herbs.
Of course, they need a little help from us to get there. But with a little care and commitment, seeds can bring the garden of your dreams into reality.
Here’s my tips for you on how to successfully plant from seeds.
- Gather the right supplies. In addition to the seeds, you’ll need containers, soil and, eventually, fertilizer. Seed trays are probably the easiest and most convenient way to begin your project.
- Speaking of Soil… Resist the temptation to repurpose houseplant soil or just get dirt from your garden. Look for a “seedling mix” that is specifically formulated to help grow seeds and is typically a lighter soil, which makes it easier for seedlings to break through the soil once they germinate.
- Get planting! Moisten your soil and pack it in your container or tray firmly to eliminate gaps. Check your packaging to determine if you should sprinkle your seeds on top of the soil or bury them. Give the planted seeds a little more water with a mister or small watering can. You might want to cover the seeds with plastic wrap or a plastic dome to keep that moisture in before they germinate, removing the cover when you see the seedlings start to grow.
How to Raise Your Seedlings
Once they poke out of the soil, your seedlings need food and light.
When you are seeing a little green growth, you’ll want to add some fertilizer to provide nutrients and make sure they are getting the sunshine (or lighting system) they need to grow. A south facing window is best for natural light. If you do use a lighting system instead, remember not to have the lights on all the time. Your seedlings need darkness so they can rest.
Finally, when your seedlings are ready for the great outdoors – and it’s warm enough outside – it’s time to transplant. But I’d suggest exposing your seedlings to the elements gradually before moving them to their final container or garden bed. One way is to leave the seedlings out during the day and bring them back in at night so they can adjust and “harden” to the elements.