Every Newbie gardening enthusiast dreams of growing a plant or tree from Scratch, that is to say, from the seeds itself. To plant a seed and make a plant grow from it is a vision which most of us dream of.
The feeling when you have managed to make a plant thrive from seeds gives a beautiful feeling of self-satisfaction and self-fulfillment. It fuels your sense of accomplishment and helps in dealing with stress and depression.
There are certain plants like various varieties of Tomatoes, Coriander (Cilantro), etc. which are easy to grow from seeds and there are some which require additional steps to make the seed germinate. Here are a few general ways to make a seed germinate to flourish in your garden.
Before we dwell into the germination, there are a few things you should ensure to successfully germinate a seed.
- Make sure that the seeds are not more than 2 years old, as mostly the germination rates of seeds begin to fall after 2 years.
- Make sure you procure seeds that are indigenous to your area as they would be more adaptable to the environment.
- Make sure you need to pick the right time to germinate and plant the seeds as they need the right conditions to germinate. Brussel sprouts, asparagus, garlic, leek, etc. take more than 150 days to germinate while tomatoes, pepper, zinnias (marigold), cosmos usually can sprout within 2 weeks. You can look at the back of the seed packet for instructions or online, or you can also germinate them indoors and then plant them outside after they grow a few inches high.
- Make sure you have the right potting medium. These are available locally and online in standard and premixed versions as well.
- And lastly, you need a seeding container that is available in the form of seed pallets or trays online or the local nursery shops or you could recycle and use an egg carton, cardboard boxes, or wooden boxes. The seedlings will be transplanted into wider containers so aesthetics aren‚Äôt that important.
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- Some seeds require a good soak in water while others can be planted direct into the growing medium.
- However, ensure that the seeds once soaked do not dry out, plant them as soon as possible after the soaking. Scatter the seeds over the growing medium and lightly press then into the soil with your fingers.
- Add an inch of growing medium on top to provide a cover over the seeds, and moisten the growing medium.
- After you are done, put the seeding tray in a suitable spot so that they get an optimum amount of sunlight and shade to get the right conditions. When they have sprouted, make sure there is enough space between the seedlings to ensure they get a good amount of nutrients and are healthy. Once they are grown a few inches, transplant them to wider and larger containers.
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Paper Towels are made from mechanically and/or chemically processing Cellulose fibers thus making them a good option to germinate seeds from. Paper towels are no different just make sure they do not have chemical composition on them like facial tissues have.
- Take a single paper towel and dampen/ moist it using a spray or a bottle. Add the seeds to the towel with optimal space between them and fold it up smugly in half and the trifold.
- Place the paper towel in a plastic Ziploc bag to ensure that the water vapor doesn't leave the towel due to heat and sunlight. Now place the plastic bag in a wark dark place where direct sunlight doesn't fall on them. Make sure the towels do not dry out (keep adding tiny amounts of water to ensure it doesn't dry out).
- Check your seeds for germination and transfer them to containers once they have sprouted.
Peat Pellets or Rockwool Cubes:
- Place the peat pellets or Rockwool cubes in a container with water for a couple of hours to allow them to expand.
- Now add two or three seeds to the pellets or cubes and place them in a shallow container with 1 or ¬Ω inches of water and cover them with a plastic lid or a bag.¬†This helps make a humid environment which would help the seeds germinate faster.
- Put the container in a warm dark place; avoid placing them in direct sunlight as it would dry out the growing medium and the seeds won't germinate. You can also add liquid nutrients solution to the tray to ensure a healthier crop.
- Once the sprout has grown up to a few inches, transfer them to containers or you can also set up an active or passive hydroponic system to help them grow indoors.
Get up and get going because soon you will be able to stand and proclaim yourself as an expert in gardening. So take care, wash your hands, and keep gardening!!