If you’re starting on your vegetable garden, you should consider growing your vegetables from seeds. Although the easiest way to start any garden is to purchase plants seedlings and grow them to full, matured plants, others would still prefer to start them from organic garden seeds because it has its own benefits.
More varieties of plants and vegetable are offered as seeds than as young plants. And growing them from seeds gives you more control over what products you use. It’s crucial, especially for organic gardeners, because some nursery and garden centers spray non-organic products to seedlings to protect them from pests and give them instant nutrient boosts. Take also into consideration that nurseries have specialized greenhouses that provide highly suitable conditions for seeds to grow. And since these seeds were pampered, once you bring the seedlings to a less perfect and harsh environment of an outdoor garden, they might find it more difficult to adapt and will struggle to grow. And if they were fed with chemical fertilizers early on, introducing them to organic fertilizers will require more effort.
Another reason to start your vegetables from organic garden seeds is it’s not really as hard as it sounds. All you need to know are the basics things that seeds require in order to grow and sprout new plants. One good tip is to keep the seed packets because they can give you specific information on what the seed needs and how best to take care of it.
Most organic garden seeds will benefit from a good soil, adequate light source, water and a lot of care. But there are two ways you can raise your vegetables from seeds: sowing them outdoors and growing them indoors.
Sowing Seeds Outdoors
Sowing seed directly into the garden soil is for vegetable seeds that grow too quickly and are not too sensitive to outdoor elements. Before sowing the seeds, be sure to prepare your soil. Rake the soil and remove large and hard lumps or rocks, or break them into finer particles. The young and tender roots of the newly emerging plant will not be able to penetrate through them and they might block some nutrients from getting to the roots. Depending on which vegetable seed you have, it’s a good practice to put appropriate organic fertilizers or organic matters into the soil to give your seeds a healthy place to start.
When sowing the seeds, don’t place them deep into the soil because they will suffocate. Pressing them less than an inch deep is good, but some really tiny seeds have better chances of growing if they are left on top of the soil. Don’t overcrowd the seeds to give each emerging plant enough room to grow.
Next step is to keep the surface of the soil evenly moist but be careful not to soak your seeds in water or your seeds will rot. If you’ve planted them during the peak of summer, a light sprinkle will keep the soil from drying out.
Growing Seed Indoors
Starting seed indoors are for seeds that grow slowly and don’t like to be disturbed often. Like in the garden, a good soil, light source and water is needed in order to grow organic garden seeds successfully indoors. But a good container also plays an important role. You can use small pots, egg carton, milk cartons, tin cans and paper cups. But for convenience, you can always purchase specialized plastic seeding tray or pots from your local garden shop.
To grow seeds from a container, mix a good starting soil mixture and some organic fertilizers. The organic fertilizer that you choose must be mild enough so it won’t burn the young roots once they emerge. Moist the mixture with warm water and place them into the container. Once they’ve cooled, press the seeds into the soil following depth requirement specified on the packet. If the packet is no longer available, press the seed no more than four times its diameter or twice its length is another good practice.
Place them in an area with warm temperature but away from direct sunlight until they germinate. You may also cover the pots and just make sure to check them regularly. Since you’ve already moistened the soil, you won’t have to water for a while until the seed germinates (except only when the soil has dried out before they germinate). Once they germinate, you can place them in brighter and sunnier areas like your windowsill.
Once they’ve grown two to four true leaves, you can feed them mild organic fertilizers to promote fast and healthy growth. A good indication that they are good for transplanting is when the roots have almost filled the container, but are not yet growing out of the drainage holes.