Getting a Good Start on Growing Your Seeds
Starting your garden from scratch can be very rewarding if done correctly. It ensures that your garden is completely organic, and brings the satisfaction of being able to grow a garden on your own! We wanted to share some tips with you on what you can do to help your seeds get a good head start.
Store your seeds
This step is often overlooked. Storing your seeds before you plant them will maintain their ability to grow and flourish when planted. Keep your seeds in a dark, cool, non-humid place. A refrigerator is an excellent place to store your seeds. Place your seeds in a seal-able bag, and make sure to label the bag with the name of the plant and the date. When it comes time to plant your seeds, test them to make sure that they are still viable. You can test some of your seeds by soaking them in water for a couple hours. The ones that are dead will remain floating on the top, while the ones that are ready to plant will sink to the bottom. Note that this test does not work on all seeds -- it typically works better on the bigger ones.
Use the right containers
When it comes time to plant your seeds, start them out by planting them in wide and flat containers so the growing plants don’t get too crowded. Plastic containers and pots typically do better for your plants because of their ability to retain moisture, while clay pots and containers tend to retain water less consistently. Make sure that the containers you use have good drainage -- this is essential for the success of your plants’ growth. If the plants you are growing are resistant to root disturbance, plant them in individual containers that are smaller. Also, ensure that your containers are free of pathogens by soaking them in ten percent bleach solution for around 15-20 minutes and letting it air dry.
Use potting mix
After you plant your seeds, finish it off by pouring non-soil seed starting mix over the top. Seeds that are small should be closer to the surface than larger seeds. Press the starting mix on top of the seed. It is important that the seed and the mix are pressed together!
In order to prevent disease in the early stages of your plants’ growth, keep a steady air flow around the area where they are growing. You can do this by placing a fan next to your plants. Turn the fan on low and keep the air blowing over the tops of the plants. Also, make sure that your plants are getting proper drainage. Another way to prevent the possibility of pathogens is to sprinkle 50 percent milled sphagnum and 50 percent chicken grit over the tops of the potting mix when you plant your seeds.
Take care of your seeds
Now that your seeds are ready to grow, make sure that you continue to take care of them. Ensure that they have access to direct sunlight, are kept warm, and are fed well. They must be kept hydrated, but not over watered. A drinking safe garden hose helps to prevent contaminants from effecting your seeds and infant plants. Check on your plants regularly to make sure that they are getting all the care that they need.
We hope this gave you a few ideas on how to grow from seed successfully!