All seeds hold within the amazing promise of life. You will find that growing plants from seed can be a very rewarding experience and that you actually become attached to your little seedlings. You can grow from seed to feed you and your family or you can grow to fill your garden with an abundance of colour. However, people are often put off from growing from seed due to these not germinating properly. Sowing seeds should not be difficult, and it definitely won’t be if you know how.
What you will need to germinate seed:
- Germination tray and seedling trays
- Germination soil mix
- Seeds of your choice
- A pencil
- Mist spray bottle
- Seedling markers
Step 1: Fill seedling trays with soil
- Sowing into seedling trays gives you a better germination rate than sowing directly into our garden beds.
- Soak bigger seeds such as beans, in water overnight.
- Find a bench or flat surface where you can make a mess.
- Start by filing your seedling trays with germination soil.
- Spread the soil on top of the trays until they are covered and filled to the brim. Pressing down on top of the soil will cause compaction and hinder germination. Rather give the seedling tray a good shake, as this will allow the soil to settle without compacting it.
Step 2: Make holes for your seeds
- You were probably wondering what that pencil was for; we are going to use it to make holes for the seeds.
- Wiggling the pencil into the soil, create holes that correspond to the depth required by the specific seed variety. You can make notches on the pencil for different seeds.
- You can use any other utensil to make your hole as long as it doesn’t compact the soil.
Step 3: Sowing the seeds
- Open your seed packets and take a moment to admire the shapes, colours, and textures of the different types of seed.
- Larger seeds can be handled individually and dropped directly into their hole.
- Very small seeds are better sown using an empty open envelope with some of the seeds Tilt the envelope and tap it lightly until the seeds fall out.
- When sowing multiple small seeds it is easier to fill the trays with less soil. Now gently sow the seeds.
Step 4: Cover with soil
- Cover with a thin layer of germination mix taking care not to compact the soil.
- You can overfill your trays and use a ruler to scrape the excess soil off from the top.
- Never stack your trays on top of each other, as this will also cause compaction.
- Now it is time to make your seedling markers. Write the name of the variety and the date sown on your markers. Insert into your seedling trays.
- Seedling markers help plenty when sowing varieties of the same type, such as tomatoes or different colour Petunias.
- The best spot for keeping your seedling tray is a patio or veranda which receives plenty of natural light. Just make sure it doesn’t get any harsh sunlight.
Step 5: Mist spray with water
- Mist spray your trays until they are thoroughly moist.
- Place the germination tray cover on top. This will create an ideal microclimate for your seedlings to grow in.
- Only mist as soon as the soil has dried out. Keeping them too moist can lead to seeds rotting away.
Step 6: Looking after your seedlings
- You can water your seedlings overhead as soon as they are bigger and stronger, bearing at least two sets of leaves.
- As they grow, lift the germination tray cover more and moreover a few days taking care to mist spray them more frequently. This will help them acclimatise to the outside environment.
- As soon as you can lift the plants out their trays with all its roots, it is time to plant them in the garden.
Growing from seed allows you to grow plants that aren’t always available in seedling trays whilst providing an amazing experience. Start developing the habit of collecting seeds wherever you find them and sow them when you get the chance. To further help you enjoy the promise of spring, have a look at our seed promotions. I hope you enjoy sowing your own seeds. To inspire you here is a stunning slow-motion germination video.