Growing This Year’s Garden: Steps to Starting Your Plants From Seed

While the air is still cold and the ground is still frozen, many of us gardeners feel like spring could not come soon enough! The great thing about gardening is that no matter what season we’re in, there is always something you can be doing to tickle your green thumb. Within the next month, start to plan you garden layout! Think of varieties you would like to try to grow this year, what plants would work best in certain locations, and perhaps some new herbs and veggies you’d like to try.

shutterstock_279007145Benefits to starting your seeds indoors:

More Rewarding

While it seems like an intimidating activity for many, there is nothing more satisfying that transplanting the small plants you’ve seen grow from seed into the fresh garden dirt come spring. You’ll put the work in, watch your seeds turn into healthy green plants full of promise, and it’s only right that you should be able to enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your garden plans come to life!

Save Money

Starting your own garden from seed will also save you a lot of money in the long run. A seed costs only a small portion of the amount a potted plant does, and if you store your left over seeds in a dry location, you may have some left over for next year.

shutterstock_527880916Wider Selection

With seeds, you have a wider selection of flower and vegetable varieties! At Royal City Nursery, we have a great selection of seeds to choose from, including beans, peas, radishes, and corn – everything for the armchair
gardener. We carry West Coast Seeds, which offer a great line-up of GMO-free and untreated seeds for organic flowers, herbs, and vegetables.  We also have OSC seeds in stock, which offer a great variety of flowers and vegetables as well.

Head Start on Growing Seasons

In areas where the growing season is shorter, starting your plants from seed is a great way to ensure that you can have enough time for your plants to reach maturity. This is particularly useful for crops that require a longer growing season, such as corn.

Before starting your seeds, make sure you have everything on hand to start. This can include items such as pots or starter kits/trays, seedling mix, labels, and of course, the seeds. Royal City Nursery has everything you need to get started.

shutterstock_559617109Some things to keep in mind when starting your seeds:

  1. Look at the length of time each plant takes from sprout to maturity. This will be located on the back of your seed packet. You don’t want to start your seeds too early because they can become thinner the longer they stay in a pot that’s too small for them. You want to have healthy, full plants to transplant come spring.
  2. Place the seedling mix in your containers and place individual seeds in each container. You can also give your mix a watering before you put the seeds in them to help the soil settle.
  3. When placing your seeds in the soil, don’t push them down too far. It’s best to follow the seed package and following the planting depth instructions given.
  4. Be sure to label your seeds! It can be difficult to tell them apart once they’ve sprouted!shutterstock_498605608
  5. Your seeds need heat. Ensure you have a steady source of heat. Most have found that placing your seedlings on top of the fridge helps with supplying a constant source of heat. You can also purchase a heat mat. Buying a plastic tray cover is also a great way to keep the heat and moisture at optimal levels for your seeds.
  6. Your seeds need sunshine. Try to place your seeds in a sunny location for as many hours a day as you can, such as a south facing window – just be careful not to place them in a draft!
  7. Water consistently, but gently.
  8. Check your seeds daily. Once they have sprouted and are growing you will want to remove the plastic covering and continue to water and provide plenty of sunshine.
  9. Acclimatize your small plants by placing them outdoors once the weather begins to warm up, but still taking them indoors at night. Once the frost has left the ground and it’s warm enough, get your garden ready and transplant your new plants!

Have more questions? Looking to begin planning your seed strategies and garden? Give us a call or stop by today! Our garden experts are always ready to provide any advice or supplies you need to make this year’s garden the best one yet!