While we wait for mother nature to wake up, it's time to think about spring. The growing season is just around the corner. Growing plants from seeds instills an appreciation for the seasons and is a way to connect you to nature. Here are some tips for how to start seeds successfully.
Know your Hardiness Zone
Seed packets, germination directions and growing instructions are based on your growing zone or hardiness zone. It’s important to know your frost dates; both your last projected frost date in the spring and your projected frost date in the fall. These are guidelines but they act as a very important indicator to seed starting and transplanting success.
Timing of seeding
It is important to start seeds at the right time. If you start them too soon, they will be tall and spindly with weak stems. They will need to be transplanted before your garden is ready for them. Ideally, you want sturdy seedlings that grow steadily and are ready to be transplanted into your garden just after or around your first frost date. Seed packets or a quick google search will give detailed instructions on when to start seeds. For example, some suggest 6-8 weeks before your last frost date. When you know your growing zone, you count back the number of weeks from your first frost and that’s your seeding date.
Germination Preference of Seeds
Knowing the optimal germination conditions of the seed you are starting is a game changer. Seeds have certain preferences when it comes to germination. Some seeds need light to germinate. Other seeds need to be covered with soil before germinating. Some seeds need stratification (cold conditions before germinating) which means a few weeks in the fridge or freezer before seeding.
A Little Bottom Heat and A lot of Light
Germination is expedited with a heat mat or at the very least, a warm draft free area until seeds emerge. Once seeds emerge take them off the heat and under the lights they grow. The lights should be close to the seedling and adjusted as the seedlings grow taller. You don’t want the seedlings stretching for the light.
Happy Seeding! If you’d like to learn more about starting seeds, we’re hosting seeding workshops this year including one especially for kids. Starting plants from seeds is a great way to connect with nature and observe the magical transformation from seed to a plant.
If throw and go seeding is more your style - check out our Seed Bombs
And if you are not into growing plants yourself…don’t worry, we will happily keep you in a steady supply of flowers all growing season.