Growing plant from seeds is inexpensive and very self-satisfactory. It is also an easy and fun way to make your garden grow. Although the requirement to sow may vary depending on the seed, the basics on planting seeds are all the same. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can start planting seeds this season.
- Find a spot with ample of light
The most important requirement for all seedlings is adequate light. So, make sure your garden has a considerable amount of light available. In case you want to grow plants inside the house, choose a sunny, south-faced window.
- Choose the right time to sow
Depending on the climate and season, planting times may vary for each variety of plant. Refer to your seed packet to know the best time to plant.
- Select the right container
Almost any type of containers can be used for plantation, as long as they have drainage holes and are at least 2–3 inch deep. That includes paper cups, milk cartons, or simple plastic trays. You can use trays especially made for seed starting, which are easy to fill and has a built-in watering system that ensures consistent moisture.
- Prepare the soil
- Take some fresh, sterile soil to provide healthy and disease-free seedlings. Moisten the soil in a bucket before planting it, but make sure it’s not sopping wet.
- Now, fill the soil into the container. Press the soil gently but firmly to eliminate gaps.
- You may need to use some liquid fertilizers a few weeks after germination; the soil mixes usually contain little nutrients.
- Start planting
- Carefully sprinkle the seeds over the soil mix, ensuring that they are not too crowded.
- Most seeds need to be buried in the ground; however, check the packet for specific information. To bury the seeds, cover them with soil and press firmly, as most seeds require close contact with soil to germinate.
- Moisten the newly planted seeds using a small amount of water.
- Wait patiently for germination
Germination may take few days to even months. So you have to be patient. Meanwhile, keep an eye on the soil mix to make sure they don’t dry out completely.
- Take care of the seedlings
- When the seedlings sprout, use a mister or watering tin to keep the soil moist. You can also use the bottom watering method if possible. Give the soil some time to dry between waterings. You can use a fan to ensure good air circulation.
- At this stage the seedlings have an underdeveloped root system, so check on them daily. Do not water the soil too soggy wet, as it can clog the oxygen supply.
- Ensure they get a warm environment and enough light. Rotate the container to prevent them from leaning towards the light.
- Move seedlings to outdoor
Moving the seedlings to the garden has to be done gradually to let them adapt to the harsher outdoor environment. Initially, place them in the backyard under a partial shade, and expose them to sunlight and the wind for a few hours. Over the next week, slowly increase the exposure to more sunshine and wind. This process is called hardening off.
Use utmost care while removing the seedlings from the container to ensure minimum damage to the roots. Also, always handle a seedling by the leaves, and NOT by the stem.
Follow these simple steps to plant your seeds cautiously, but make sure to refer the seed tag for precise instructions on temperature, humidity and light.