While growing your plants by seeding may sound difficult, there are plenty of advantages to seeding that will make your landscape design look fantastic. First of all, it’s cheaper than other methods when it comes to landscaping. Seeding ensures you’re getting the highest quality vegetables because you’re doing everything with your own two hands. Also, there are simply more types of plants that come as seeds rather than fully-grown plants. You also need to decide whether to grow indoor or outdoor. Plants are more likely to survive indoors than outdoors.
The author of ‘From Seed to Bloom’, Eileen Powell, describes sowing seeds like this:
1) Prepare the containers. Clean with well-diluted bleach (nine parts water to one part bleach). Punch drainage holes in the bottom of your container and then line with a layer of newspaper.
2) Prepare your growing medium. If you are using soilless growing media, Powell recommends dampening it. Place it in a plastic bag and add four parts water to one part soil. Mix well by squeezing the bag. End result should be damp, but not wet.
3) Fill containers. In addition to your growing medium, you may want to add a layer of sand to promote drainage. Fill pots or flats to within 1/4 inch of the top with your potting mix and level the surface.
4) Sow your seeds. The easiest way to avoid mixing things up is to plant only one variety of seeds per container. Powell says, “as a general rule of thumb, seeds should be covered to three times their diameter.” Read the directions on the seed packet for specific planting instructions.
5) Label containers. Label each container with what seed you’re planting, date planted, expected date (range) of germination. Also, mark a calendar with your plants germination dates, which will make planning easier, Powell says.
6) Water. If you’ve pre-moistened your growing medium, you can skip this step. Otherwise, water to moisten, but not saturate, the soil.
7) Cover containers. Cover seed trays with plastic wrap or place them inside a plastic bag. The idea behind covering the container is to keep moisture levels constant. Seeds are very sensitive to the amount of water they receive. Too much water or too little water will greatly effect your success rate. Remove the cover once the seeds have germinated to prevent plant diseases, such as damping off.
Seeding your plants yourself is not only a rewarding gardening exercise, it guarantees the freshest vegetables and prettiest plants possible.