Growing Plants

If you want to start a flower garden and grow your own plants from seeds, then you can probably benefit from expert advice in this area. There is nothing as rewarding as seeing the first sprouts of a plant that you started yourself by planting a small seed in the soil. You do have to take note of the different seeds and their requirements because some seeds do well in sandy soil, others need fertilizer and still others grow well among rocks. All the information you do need is printed on the back of the package, including the kind of weather the plants need, when they should be planted outdoors and how often you should water them. Most seeds are germinated indoors and then transferred to the garden just after they start to sprout.

First of all, you need to gather all the materials you will need for your gardening. This includes plastic pots or trays or pots made from peat. You can buy the potting soil you need in large bags at a nursery or garden centre. If your seeds need a constant temperature in order to germinate, you should have a sheet of plastic with which you can cover them once you plant them in the pots or a heating coil that you can place them on. When planting a variety of different plants, use a method of distinguishing them, such as printing the name of the plant of a stir stick and placing it inside the pot.

Fill the pots with soil to within ¼ inch of the rim. Moisten the soil in water at room temperature until it has been thoroughly dampened and allow it to drain through the holes in the bottom of the pots. Once the water has drained, tap the pots so that the soil settles down to about a medium height. Make sure you read the instructions about sowing the seeds carefully as some of them may have to be soaked or a few hours or even placed in the freezer before planting.

Whether you are using pots or a tray, you need to poke small holes in the soil with a small stick. The rows in a tray should be at least one inch apart. Plant the seeds at a depth of one to two times their diameter. Very fine seeds should not be covered with soil because they need the sunlight for germination. Sprinkle the seeds into the soil making sure that they are not crowded together.

Place the pots or trays in an area where they will receive direct sunlight and as close to the desired temperature as possible. Depending on the seeds, some will sprout quickly, while others may take longer. Once you notice the greenery starting to poke through the soil, remove the casing and move the pots to areas of greater sunshine. At this stage, the seedlings are very fragile and you should be very careful when handling them.

Start feeding the plants when the first green leaves start to appear. Suitable plant food should be mixed with water and added to the soil in the bottom of the pots once a week. Once they reach a height of three inches, you can start to water them from above. Wait until at least four leaves have formed before you even think about transplanting them to the garden.

To move the plants to an outdoor setting, make sure they are well watered first. Move the pots and trays outdoors during the day and bring them back inside at night when it gets cooler. After two or three days they will be acclimatized to the outdoors and you can then plant them outdoors. Try to group the different plants together so that they form bunches.