Starting Seeds vs. Seedlings
Some gardeners swear by seedlings, while others prefer starting seeds to grow their own plants.
As with anything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to each option.
Pros and Cons of Starting Seeds
If you’re limited on time or indoor space, it can be hard to grow your plants from seeds. Depending on what you’re trying to grow, you will need to start a few weeks or even months in advance to get your plants big enough that they can be transplanted. You also need to either have a space that gets lots of sunshine or use an artificial UV light (which can cost you on your energy bills, so beware).
There are a number of advantages to growing plants by starting seeds though. A pack of seeds is pennies compared to buying seedlings. You also won’t be at the mercy of the retail supply and demand; you will know for sure (or, as ‘for sure’ as anything in gardening is, anyway!) that you will have the plants you want. This is especially helpful if you want to grow something a bit more unique.
You will also have a better idea of how healthy your plants are and will be able to give them the full TLC they need to grow right from the start.
Tips and Tricks for Starting Seeds
If you decide to grow from seeds, there are a few things you can do to ease the process.
If this is your first time starting seeds, keep it simple. Don’t try to grow a really finicky plant right from the get-go; stick to nice, hearty choices, like basil and tomatoes.
It’s an obvious point, but it’s worth saying: read the instructions. Check your seed pack to confirm how long they need to grow. Is it eight weeks before the last frost, or only four? Also, some seeds grow much better outside, even if the temperatures are cooler. Do a little research to confirm what your plants need.
As we said earlier, make sure your seeds get lots and lots of light; about 15 hours a day in most cases. They also need regular watering. With both water and light, don’t overdo it, or it will be too much of a good thing and your plants might be sickly, or even die.
You can use a wide variety of containers to grow your seeds. There are standardized plastic trays, or if you want a more economical choice, washed out coffee cups, yogurt containers, or juice cartons can be used. Just make sure they are clean and have drainage holes.
Give Your Seeds or Seedlings Their Best Chance at Success…
The time will come when your seedlings look like they’re ready to go out into the great big world. But as much as you might be tempted to just move them outside in one go, it’s a good idea to ease them into the change. About a week before you want to plant them in your garden, move your seedlings outside during the day, into a partly sunny spot that is protected from the wind. Give them a couple of hours outside, and bring them in at night, increasing their time outside a bit more each day.
And when the time times to plant your seedlings in the garden, remember that even if all you do is mix BigYellowBag Black Garden Soil into your garden’s existing soil, your plants will grow bigger and healthier.