For those of us that like to grow-our-own, that time is once again here. The ability to walk around the garden at the end of the day collecting dinner or cutting flowers for the table is truly an exciting experience; every time I take that walk, I am overwhemed at what I have created.
Here's a few things to consider if you plan to grow from seed (and if you don't, give it a try - it's easy!)
Use the best quality seed you can afford. If you have seed but are unsure of how old it is or where it originated, don't use it. Buy new.
Good lighting is essential. Seeds need light to germinate. And heat.
If planting indoors, use a good soilless potting mixture. This provides the needed air circulation, good drainage and typically contain no diseases or pests. Garden soil is too heavy for young seedlings - and may contain pathogens that little plants can't fight.
Use the seeding guidlines on the package. It will tell you how far in advance of the usual last frost date to plant - if you're planting indoors, and explain how and when to seed if planting outdoors. Some plants prefer the cooler weather, some need the summer heat. When in question for any part of seed starting - follow the seed package instructions and information - the seed growers know what they're doing! (Trust me, I've learned the hard way.)
What's best to start indoors?
- tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, broccoli, brussels, cabbage, cauliflower, perennials and herb
Best for either starting ahead or directly in the ground?
- greens, kale, chard, cucumbers, squash, melons, sunflowers, zinnias, marigolds
Best for sowing directly in the ground?
- peas, carrots, beans, corn, radishes, parsnips, onions, turnips, morning glory, scarlet runner, sweet pea.