STARTING YOUR VEGETABLES FROM SEED
How and when to garden from seed and why we think it’s worth your time
We’re in the clutches of another epic winter storm, and I’m looking through vegetable seeds and planning my summer garden. Thinking about fresh summer meals and sharing veggies with family and friends definitely gives me something to look forward to.
WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO GROW FROM SEED?
- You’ll know where your food comes from. Garden to table dining has become popular for a reason—it’s ultra fresh, as local as it gets and you can guarantee your food is free from pesticides.
- You can grow what you love. You don’t have to settle for what someone else grew. Plus, you’ll find you have a lot more choice when it comes to seed varieties.
- Save money. A little sweat equity always saves you money, right? Seed is about half the price of plants and up to five times cheaper than buying vegetables from the store. The gap widens further when you factor in the price of certified organic vegetables.
- Sense of accomplishment. Serving up a salad you started from seed is pretty cool. See what you can do with your own two hands, and earn a few bragging rights while you’re at it.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- A sunny spot(s) Natural light is our favorite, as in bright-filtered southern exposure, but you can also use a cool-white fluorescent or grow light.
- Containers We love growing in little fiber or peat pots for easy transplanting (they’re biodegradable), just make sure you thoroughly soak them before adding soil. You can use almost anything, just make sure it’s clean and has drainage.
- Seeds of choice The fun part. Choose from a variety of beans, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, onions, peas, peppers, spinach, squash and tomatoes. Just ask if you’re looking for something special.
- Seed Starter planting mix This is important, so make sure you use a professional seed starting mix that’s lightweight and designed to give seeds a strong start at germinating and growing into healthy little seedlings.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
- Plant Just like you remember. Fill your container(s) close to the top, water and give it time to drain well. Then make a hole with your finger, drop in the seed and cover gently with soil.
- Water We like to use a fine sprayer to water newly planted seeds. Your goal is evenly moist, never soaking wet.
- Provide Light Just follow directions on your seed packet.
- Check In Keep an eye on your seeds and keep moisture consistent. The first two leaves you see are food storage cells called cotyledons, but once true leaves form, you’ll want to feed with a watered down solution of fertilizer. We recommend organic Neptune’s Harvest or conventional Jack’s All Purpose once a week from that point forward.
- Prepare Each vegetable has its own ideal growing window or windows. Check out our handy visual reference or let us know if you have questions. Once the threat of frost passes, start to prepare your plants to transition outdoors. We like to put them in a shady spot for a day or two, bringing them in each night. Then, increase the time they spend in the sun each day, bringing in at night. Keep moisture as consistent as possible.
- Transplant When it’s time to plant, water the ground and seedling before planting. We like to transplant on a cloudy day and recommend you check for water every day for the first week.
Have questions and/or need supplies? You can always call us at (603) 472-8880 or please stop in for our full assortment of seed and seed starting supplies.