Seed gardening tips for growing vegetables at home
One of the many things every Gardening enthusiast should remember is that it is okay to make mistakes. A failure is an option that happens to every gardener and there cannot be a perfect Gardener, as even professional ones have been known to make mistakes. The important thing is, just because you failed doesn’t make you a bad gardener, it just means you are still learning.
Gardening is a path where there are tumbles and obstacles which are both natural and man-made occurring. During such times, most experience and sometimes the Internet also helps curtail the issues. When you start a seed garden, there are however a few mistakes everyone is known to make. Whether it would be due to lack of knowledge or inexperience, here are a few mistakes which you can take care of.
I remember the first time I started seed gardening, I was browsing online and saw these beautiful Saffron seeds which I felt would look great in my garden. The purple flower in the seed starter was enchanting to my eyes. I ordered them and when they came, I was excited to plant them. It was my first time and I just went about doing my own thing. I took the seeds, put them in a seed-starter medium, and went about my way. I didn’t know how much care and attention is to be given to maintain a seedling. The result was out of 15 seeds, only one managed to germinate and that too died within a week.
So if you are starting a seed garden, start small; tomatoes, cilantro(Coriander), chilies are some of the best options to start with. You can learn and develop experience on how to take care of seedlings from day one.
Indoor or outdoor:
One of my mistakes was when I was growing Carrots and radish. I started them indoors and about half of them managed to germinate and sprout. However, when I transferred them outside, all the seedlings died off. After which I started directly sow them to the ground, and they would germinate with a 90% success rate and about 60-70% of them would grow to full growth.
Another mistake of mine was when I tried to plant tomatoes directly and not start them indoors. I'll skip the details and tell you the result was that my seedlings dried off. Some seeds thrive indoors and there are those which thrive outdoors. Go on the internet, ask an expert or experienced person at your local nursery to know which is which.
Seeds that are best for indoors are Basil, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Collards, Eggplant, Kale, Leeks, Onion, Peppers, Scallions, Shallots, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, etc. Beans, Beets, Carrots, Radish, Cucumbers, Kales, Lettuce, Peas, Pumpkin, Winter Squash, Zucchini, Summer Squash, etc. are best when sown directly to the soil.
Time and place:
Some like it hot, some like it not. It’s very important to plant seeds during their given time. Many can thrive during the start of spring while some like it at the beginning of frost. There are books and materials available at the click of a button which can help you know when to plant and when not to. It’s also important to take care of the place.
Many can germinate in a warm, damp environment while some do need sunlight. Some require a certain degree of humidity while some require a particular level of coolness. It is very important to research about the seeds you are going to plant to get a success rate in germinating.
Standard potting soil lowers your seeds chances of germinating quite significantly. A good potting mix or seed starter is recommended to help increase your rate of success in germinating. You should also take care to not put the seeds too deep and that will not allow the seedling to break ground and will ultimately lead to its demise. Another thing to take care is about the nutrients available.
Seedlings like children need a certain amount of nutrients to grow healthily. Too little and the sprouting will be weak and look malnourished and too much will also affect the seedlings negatively. You need to ensure that the seedlings stay a deep dark green as they will be the ones who thrive after they are transplanted. Healthy seedlings can fight off weeds, pests, diseases, and all of the other forces in the garden that threaten them.
Make sure there is ample space between the saplings to ensure that they can get the proper nutrients while growing. You can remove the weaker ones to ensure that the stronger ones can grow healthier. Also, make sure that the light after sprouting is overhead and not sideways (near windows) as this will affect the growth of the saplings as to whether they would be stout and short which are a healthy look as compared to long and dainty which look like they would be Gone with the Wind.
Always remember that it is okay to make mistakes. To err is human to forgive is divine. So learn to forgive yourself if you are unsuccessful. One of the most common mistakes we make is giving up. During our failures, we tend to think that we are bad with this or it’s just not meant for us. You are wrong. It’s like every other hobby or talent or skill. You need practice.
So it’s okay to fail, and it’s okay to fall, just make you don’t stay on the ground. Get up and get going because trust me, one day you will be able to stand and proclaim yourself as an expert in gardening. So take care, wash your hands, and keep gardening.