Starting from seed

Starting from seed

Why plant from seed when you can by established plants in nurseries?

Well seeds are going to be substantially less expensive, for the price of 12 of the cheapest tomato plants you should be able to buy a bag of compost, pots and a packet of 50 tomato seeds. If you were to grow Bell Peppers, Chili Peppers, Cucumbers, Courgettes, and Tomatoes from seed then the savings would be substantial. Further economies can be made by buying your seed trays, pots and seeds online, although because of the cost of postage it is usually cheaper to buy your compost locally - of course it is even cheaper to make your own compost, and everyone with a garden should be doing that. Perhaps the main reason that people choose to grow from seed is variety, the nursery might have 2 or 3 different varieties of each plant, but if you grow from seed then you have the choice of hundreds of different varieties. Many people choose to grow their own fruit and vegetables because you can grow tastier varieties than are available in the shops.

Shops choose plant types that produce fruit and vegetables with a long shelf life, that fit into their standard packaging, flavor is not important to shop owners. So by growing from seed we can eat better tasting fruit and vegetables, in interesting shapes and sizes. So what do we need to get started, well for seeds that can be sown directly outside, we just need a piece of land to grow on, but things that can be sown directly outside tend to be a bit boring, carrots, parsnips, beetroot etc. The more interesting things to grow tend to need to be started indoors, either in a sunny windowsill, a conservatory or a greenhouse. The next thing we need is plant pots or seed trays, the smaller the better, if we plant seeds in a container that is too large, all the water passes the seed and sinks to the bottom of the pot, eventually we will wash all the nutrients out of the soil before the seeds roots have grown long enough to absorb them. You don’t have to use plant pots, small plastic containers, such as yogurt pots with holes cut in the bottom for drainage will work just as well. Now we have to fill out containers with compost, you can buy special seed compost, but this is unnecessary and expensive, any compost will do. Water the compost before you sow the seed it should be damp but not saturated. The very smallest seeds such as basil, can just be placed on the surface of the compost, there is no need to cover them. For slightly larger seeds such as coriander and bell peppers, make a very small indentation with the blunt end of a pencil to drop the seed into.

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start with small plant pots

Start with small seed trays and plant pots, move to a larger pot as the roots fill each pot this ensures the roots receive sufficient water.

free seeds

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