Tips for Gardening with Seeds

During the spring and summer months, many people are eager to get outdoors and begin planning their gardening for the year ahead. Many will head to the nurseries to purchase plants, while others choose to start their own garden from seeds.

Anyone familiar with gardening knows that it’s more expensive to buy plants rather than seeds. While cheaper seeds may seem like a good bargain, if they don’t grow, they’re just as much of a waste as the plants that don’t survive after they’re brought home from the store.

The majority of seeds will be able to germinate in temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 18 to 23 degrees Celsius. After the seedlings have made their way through the soil, be sure to give them plenty of light, as much as 16 hours each day, depending on the type of plant. In addition to sunlight, some fluorescent lights also help with growth, just be sure to periodically move your plants as they grow taller so they aren’t too close to the light source.

Young, fragile plants that haven’t firmly rooted yet need a bit of extra care to be sure they thrive and grow well. The right kind of potting soil with the proper amount of nutrients is essential for gardening with seeds. Be aware that inexpensive brands of potting soil may not include enough of these nutrients to produce hearty plants, in essence wasting money that would be better spent on a higher-end brand.

When you are using gardening containers the most important thing to remember is that regardless of their size or shape, the one thing they must have is enough drainage holes. These holes help the soil stay at the right level of moisture, keeping young plants out of dirt that’s too wet for them to grow properly. Inexpensive flats hold several plants at once and already have the necessary drainage holes, or try using old milk cartons or other containers that will serve the same purpose. If you do decide to use some type of container from home, be sure to thoroughly clean it before using, making sure there’s no residue of harmful bacteria or chemicals.

Several gardening manufacturers sell flats that are biodegradable, allowing you to start plants indoors from seeds, and then simply plant the entire container when ready. Moisture within the soil will cause the containers to break down and essentially be absorbed in dirt, which allows the roots to firmly plant themselves into the earth. This method also causes the least amount of stress on the young plants by not having to take them out of their container when transplanting.