Growing from seeds
Monday Mar 13th, 2017
Last year we had an awesome veggie garden, thanks in large part to my husband building some fantastic raised beds. We had a number of people ask where we got our plants and my stepdaughter took great pride and in telling them we grew many from seed. We were surprised at how many folks said, "Oh I could never do that." Yes you can!
Start will a good organic potting soil and a container of your choice. We use a combination of containers from the plastic domes to egg shells and the cardboard egg cartons.
Tip: choosing to use egg shells is a great alternative to purchasing containers. It is also good for the environment and will give many plants, such as tomatoes, a much needed natural supplement. It is super important that you clean them thoroughly by giving them a good bath in boilling water and a drop of natural dish soap, like Dawn. This is done to kill any bacteria that may still be in the eggs
When planting your seeds it is important to follow the directions on the seed package. Each plant will have different directions from when to plant to where and how deep.
It is best to use a spray bottle instead of a watering can when you first plant your seeds as you don't want to create a tital wave and wash them away. Once seeds are established they like to be watered from below rather than above. If you are using a peat pots or the plastic domes this can be easy. If you are using eggs you can either poke a hole in the bottom or slightly crack the eggs so that water can get up through.
One of the biggest mistakes I have made is not following the directions for growing the plants. For example, some planting instructions call for you to pinch off certain areas of the plant or the weaker plants that grow. I was reluctant to do this in the past which resulted in lower yeilds. Each plant is different and the individual seed packages should have all the instructions you need.
The other big mistake I have made is not hardening off the seeds and watching the weather. So last May 24 weekend I put the seeds outside to get some fresh air and sun during the day and brought them in at night. I didn't watch the weather and we had a freak hail storm. Half of my seedlings were ruined.
When you plant your seedlines outside make sure you have really great soil, especially for veggies. I also losen up their "packaging". If you grew them in eggs crack the shells really well, if you have pots slit the sides and if you grew them in plastic pods losen up the roots. You want to enourage free growth without constricting the roots.
Not sure if you're up to do the challenge? Try planting a variety of seed that goes straight into the garden this year, like corn or sunflowers, and see how it goes. The important thing to remember is to have fun!
Want some more information - see my video blog. Happy planting!