14 Super Tips For Starting Your Own Seeds

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14 Super Tips For Starting Your Own Seeds
14 Tips For Starting Your Own Seeds
Graphic © off-grid.info. Photo © Adobe Stock (under license)

This short tutorial will give you some great information to give your seeds the best possible start. There is a lot to take care of when planting seeds – find out how to create the right conditions for germination, how to look after your seedlings and how to prepare them for being planted out in the garden. Anyone who is new to gardening can learn a lot here and it’s a useful reference guide for more experienced gardeners too!

February through to April is the time for starting most of your seeds for this year’s vegetable and flower crops. In many temperate areas, the ground outside is beginning to warm up but there is still a risk of frost that could kill off young seedlings – starting them off under cover, either in a greenhouse, cold frame or even on a bright window sill is a good way to give them a head start before planting out in April to June.

One common mistake that people make is to grow too many seedlings without having enough space to plant them out. This needn’t be a problem (as long as they receive enough light to grow without becoming “leggy” and weak) because surplus seedlings can be exchanged or shared with other gardeners – it will help to boost the community spirit in your area!

Sowing times will vary from year to year according to the weather patterns but a seed sowing calendar will help you to get the timing right in a average year. Please see the resources below for online calendars.

A lot of the seed compost you find in the stores is made from peat, it is still the most common component of commercial composts. There are good alternatives available that won’t cause the damage to rare wildlife habitats that peat extraction does – these are by-products of other industries and include coir (from coconut fibre), composted bark and wood fibres – be sure to look out for them!

Many seeds can be saved from your vegetable crops for future planting, although you need to make sure that they are not F1 varieties as these will not grow true to the original (or in some cases won’t grow at all). “Heritage” or “heirloom” varieties are the best for saving each year and are commonly available online – please see our growing list of suppliers: https://off-grid.info/food-independence/heirloom-seed-suppliers.html

There are two advantages to saving seeds – firstly, you won’t need to buy new seed every year and secondly, many plants will adapt to your local growing conditions so each year the quality will improve!

Ok, here’s the link to the full tutorial: http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/14-tips-starting-your-own-seeds?page=0,0

Further Resources:
Excellent free guide to seed saving for download: http://www.realseeds.co.uk/seedsavinginfo.html
http://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-dates/NH/Dublin (add your own location for an accurate calendar).

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14 Super Tips For Starting Your Own Seeds
Graphic – off-grid.info. Image – © Tomislav Stajduhar – Fotolia.com

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