OR HOW TO SOW SEEDS CORRECTLY
If you sow your own plants you have a lot more varieties to choose in on what you can plant in the garden. You can always buy ready made plants at garden centres, but the selection is, limited to what kind of plants is most demand for and what can stand in the garden centre for many weeks before planting without withering.
I make a point-wise list on how you do it:
- Instructions-Always read the instructions on the seed pack. Many seeds merchants have been very good at writing as detailed descriptions of the package. You can often find many great tips on seed dealers’ websites.
- Soil quality-Soil/compost must be weed and disease free. Buy soil from the store. If you sow in sterile soil you don’t have to worry about diseases and rot that otherwise quickly would kill the precious seedlings yours. The soil must be moist, not too dry and not too wet. Pat the soil gently together (but not too hard) and create an even ground for the seeds you sow.
- Trays/containers– I’m sowing in old plastic containers that I wash thoroughly with soap and water. (I get so incredibly angered by those costly green trays that we plant lovers are being offered in stores. They are usually made of poor plastic, which has a low tolerance for sunlight and becomes brittle and nasty after two or three years of use. I can happily buy something expensive, but then the object has to last several years!) You can sow in all kinds of plastic and waxed paper containers that are deeper than about eight cm.
- Sowing depth of seeds-Varies with the type seeds. Rule of thumb if you are unsure is to cover the soil over the seed three times the diameter of the seed. Some seeds need light to germinate, others want total darkness. Small seeds can be sown on the soil surface. I often cover with vermiculite which is sterile and prevents rot in 3-4 mm thickness. Read on the seed bag if in doubt!
- Time of sowing– Depends on your local growing season and if the plants can be kept sheltered outside before it hits its final planting place. It also varies with plant types.
- Make nametags – Name and date for sowing. It helps you to keep track.
- The waiting time-When seeds are sown, readily labelled and watered, you can take some clear or white plastic around the tray to retain moisture. In general, seeds germinate best in a temperature between 18 to 24 degrees. I place the trays on the bathroom floor with a grate between the tiles and the bottom of the containers with seeds to be sure it does not get too hot.