Tips & Tricks For Sowing Veggie Starts
March 29, 2023 | View PDF
The first place I like to start with this process is deciding what it is you would like to grow. People often ask me that question about their gardens and I respond with, “What would you like to consume!?” When it comes to veggies you should always seek to grow things you have a use for.
The next part of the process is how will they be grown. Will you be gardening traditionally, in the ground, with rows? Will you be doing raised beds or containers? Answering these questions will help you make decisions on plant varieties. There are many growth habits of various veggie plants and deciding where you will be growing them can help make some determination as to what varieties to choose.
Once you have these two decisions made, it’s time to select your seeds, if that is how you plan to start. Sowing from seed has tremendous advantages to the purchase of veggie starts. Perhaps the greatest advantage is the availability of items. While we pride ourselves in carrying a diverse selection of veggie starts come Spring, we could never carry LL the items that are available by seed.
One of the most important ways you will be successful in sowing seeds is to utilize good potting soil. One designed for germinating is often best. The particle size of these mixes is often fine and small ensuring that there will be good “soil-to-seed” contact. An important factor in germination because much of the “magic” of seed germination comes from water. Good germination mixes often to ensure good “soil-to-seed” contact. It is also helpful if this media has been sterilized. This will ensure it is free of pathogens that can cause rotting or dampening off.
Next, pay attention to the needs of your crop. Your seed packet is often the first place you should look for this information. If you don’t find it there, refer to a seed catalog you purchased seeds from, or spend some time searching on the internet. When looking for answers to horticulture questions online it is always good practice to look for sites with an EDU as their domain suffix. These sites are often more likely to have accurate information.
The Germination Process:
When you have determined the needs of your seeds it’s time to start. I like to begin the process by thoroughly wetting my soil mix. Pressing it down with my fingers or tool to remove any air pockets. I like it to be almost soupy. Allow the soil to drain slightly and then scatter your seeds on top. Next, determine if your seeds require light to germinate or not. If they do not, you may cover them lightly with dry soil mix. I usually don’t cover any deeper than twice the depth of the seed. Maintain good humidity for the duration of the germination process. Put containers in a plastic bag, or use a dome over your tray to maintain good humidity. Germination varies by plant type and variety but most veggie seeds germinate within a week if conditions are right.
I hope you’ve been helped by this information. We hope you’ll visit us soon, until then, good luck, and happy growing!