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5 things you should know when growing from seed

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

Have all the gear but no idea? What about no gear and no idea?

Well, hey it's actually not as hard as you might think...

Grab some seeds, pot/tray, dirt (ideally potting mix) and let's get started!

#1 Plant more seeds than you will need.

Yes, it may seem a little excessive.

But to make sure you actually germinate* something, toss a few extra in the mix. Not all of your seeds will take and if they do?

You have the power to choose!

Or just plant them all. Nice and close together because you completely overestimated how big your garden is. You do get a bonus - less weeds.

Remember, some seeds take a little longer to pop through, so patience really is needed at this stage.

*Fancy word for when the seed grows a little green sprout = successful germination

#2 Keep your soil damp.

Seeds will not sprout if it’s as dry as a desert. Think about it, what grows in deserts? 🌵

Your seeds will likely MUCH prefer humid environments, which is why you see mini greenhouses (plastic pots, with clear plastic lids) everywhere! At least I do…

I tend to leave my pots in the best sunny spot in the house. If nothing comes up, that's a sign I need to change up the environment.

Still not having any luck? Try dampening a paper towel, lie it flat in a small plastic Ziploc and pop your seeds on top. Close it up and place the bag in a warm, light area. A windowsill will do.

Don’t forget to check it every now and then to see if the seeds have little green shoots & that the paper towel hasn’t dried out!

#3 Sprouts getting leggy? Rotate!

Once your seeds have sprouted they will start to grow up ⬆️. Ideally.

However, if they are getting really tall and starting to look a little unstable, drifting off to the side, waving to your neighbour... start to rotate their container or place them in a spot with more light/sun.

What they are trying to do is ‘reach the light’. Literally.

To help them get stronger, with studier stems lightly brush your hands through the seedlings, as if you were the wind. FYI. You are aiming for a light breeze, not a raging Wellington gale.

Something like this...

Tickling plants gif

#4 Wait for the second set of leaves, 'true leaves'

Yes, you may have gotten excited when leaves start to appear.

But don't be fooled! These are only the 'seed leaves' (Cotyledons if anyone was interested in the technical term 😝).

You'll need to wait for the second set of leaves to appear, the 'true leaves'. These ones actually do the whole photosynthesis thing. Meaning they can be a little more self-sufficient, a little bit stronger, and with a few of those, they will be ready to pop outside to harden off.

More on that later..

#5 The strongest plants are not necessarily the biggest.

Let’s keep this short and sweet.

Check the root system. That’s where size matters 😉

Especially if you really want a big and beautiful plant. One that THRIVES.

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Some seedlings at my place, flowers, lettuce, squash & corn!

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