If you want to plant seeds this spring, it’s time to start the preparations.
Here is a short breakdown of what you need and how to do it!
To start off, this is what you need in order to plant seeds:
- Something to cover the containers
- A sunny window
If you have done your planning well, you will know what you need, what you want, and where to grow what in your garden. Some plants thrive in the shadow, so they’d be better off away from the sun. Some like it hot, and could be planted out in the corner where you usually sunbathe. Some like a rocky bed with shallow, sandy earth, and others may require a bit richer soil than that. This means that you will have to do some research before you start, and that you have an actual plan for what goes where – lest you stand there with a million plants to go in one area of your garden, and none for the rest of it.
Once you have gotten this in place, you can start getting your seeds. The first place to start looking, is in your vegetables. There is absolutely no point in getting organic bell pepper seeds from internet, if you just had organic bell peppers for dinner, right? Get out the seeds you can from there, and lay them out to try on a tissue or kitchen towel.
If you’re not sure what you need, try looking in your kitchen cabinet first to see which herbs and vegetables you are using in your cooking, or in your teas. Research those on the internet, and see which part of your garden would be the perfect spot. And then, buy the seeds you can’t find in your food.
You can just go out into your already existing flower beds and dig up some earth, however, it might be frozen and filled with dormant seeds from last fall. Those will sprout right along with your planted one, and compete for the energy, so you might be better off buying fresh, new earth from a garden store. Make sure it’s organic and that it has not been sprayed with any nasty stuff you don’t want in your food!
It really doesn’t matter much what you use, as long as it’s whole and has enough space for your seedlings to grow. An egg carton is perfect, and so is empty boxes of, well, anything. You can cut off the bottom of milk cartons, juice cartons, dressing bottles… just take whatever you need from your garbage, and reuse it.
Something to cover the containers
As much as I hate saying this… Plastic is a good idea. Just wrap it over the container with the earth and the seeds, punch a few holes in it to make sure it breathes, and you’re good to go. This creates a nice, moist atmosphere for the seed to grow, just like a miniature greenhouse.
You can even cut off the top of a plastic bottle and use that to cover the pot. You can even tie a bow with a carton tag around the neck if you want, for an extra nice effect. And besides: way to reuse if you also cut off the bottom of the bottle to plant in!! 🙂
A sunny window
A sunny window sill is really the best place to let your seeds awaken to spring. They need the sun and the warmth, so make sure they get some. They will also respond to any light, as long as it’s warm, but the sun is the most natural and healthy way to go for all involved.
Sometimes, if you’re extra ambitious, you will need more space that you have windows. That’s perfectly ok – you can take a table and place under your window and put them there, as long as they get sun on them.
So. Everything is in place. Now you get to the easy part.
First, you need to figure out how each of your seeds should be treated. Most of the time, this will be printed on the bag you buy them in, so make sure you do exactly what that says. Some seeds are to be planted inside in March or April (at least in my corner of the world), and some are to be planted outside on a much later point.
As for the planting itself, that’s pretty easy. You take the seeds and plant them with some space apart (or one in each egg hole in an egg container), before you sprinkle some earth over them (most should be half an inch deep into the earth), and water them. Place the plastic cover over it, and let the greenhouse warm it up nicely for your new babies.
Check on them every day to see if they need more water, the earth should always be nice and moist for them to thrive – think about melting snow and spring rain!
As the seeds start to grow, you may want to prune them a bit if it’s getting a bit too crowded in the pot. If not, you can just let them be until the weather and temperature outside tells you that it’s safe. It should be well above freezing point, even at night, lest the seedlings freeze to death and die on you.
When the day gets there, you just take them carefully out of their cartons or pots, trying to get as much of the earth with you as you can. Make a hole in the ground, place the seedling in it, and pack the earth tightly around it. Then you water it to make sure it’s moist.
One word of caution here, though. If there are cats in your neighborhood, chances are that they like to look at your flower beds and herb gardens as toilets, placed there just for their convenience. If that is the case, you should invest in some chicken wire to lay over the beds, just to make sure the cats won’t be digging around in them. I lost a whole crop of chamomile last year, so that the cat next door could take a dump. I still haven’t forgiven him!
Do you have any experience with planting seeds? Please share your tips and tricks in the comment field below!
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