Starting Seeds for Your Square Foot Garden
When it comes to square foot
gardening, and gardening in general, gardeners are of two minds. While some gardeners prefer to buy young seedlings
and transplant them in the garden, other gardeners prefer the control and the sense of accomplishment that comes
with planting flowers and plants directly from seeds. For Square Foot
Gardening, it’s sometimes nice to start from seed, since you are planting in such a small area, and here’s
Planting from seed has a lot to
recommend it. For one thing, although transplanting seedlings can
provide a good head start for the gardener, it can also introduce problems like disease or insect infestation to an
established garden plot.
Planting from seed helps gardeners
to avoid these problems. It is not difficult to plant from seed, but
it is vital to read and follow the instructions on the seed packet for best results. As with other types of gardening, it is important to follow the instructions
carefully. It is also important to protect the seeds and the delicate
seedlings as they grow.
Whenever you plant seeds, it is a
good idea to use a quality growing tray. It is important to choose the
right growing tray, and you can get recommendations from your local nursery or garden center on the best type of
tray for your needs. After you have the tray and the seeds in hand,
the next step is to fill that growing tray with a high quality seed mixture. This type of product is also called a seed starting mix, and it is similar in
consistency to potting soil. Another advantage of the seed starting
mix is that it is sterile, and free of diseases and garden pests.
We have found some nice outdoor
planting trays and soil at the
Gardners Supply store.
After the growing tray has been
prepared, the seeds should then be placed in the seed starting mix.
The rule of thumb when planting seeds is to plant them at least twice their own depth. In some cases, such as with very small seeds, you may want to simply dust the
seeds with a light coating of seed mix, since if they are buried too deep they may not be able to
After the seeds have been planted
in the tray, they should be labeled, using either sticks printed with a waterproof marker or actual nursery
labels. Do not use the seed packets as labels, since they will quickly
disintegrate from moisture as the seeds are watered.
Only a misting sprayer should be
used to provide water to the newly planted seeds. If you use a hose or
watering can, you could inadvertently dislodge the seed medium or uncover the seeds. The growing tray should be covered in order to prevent the moisture from
evaporating. A covered tray will also encourage the germination of the
Another thing that can speed up
the germination of newly planted seeds is heat. Heat has been shown to
speed up the germination of seeds, and this is a technique used by many successful gardeners. Another favorite technique of gardeners is to use a bell jar to protect delicate
seedlings from late frost. If bell jars cannot be found, a regular
water bottle with the bottom cut off makes a good replacement.
With a little tender loving care,
your seeds will outperform your seedlings every time. And what a sense
of accomplishment! If you want to find a variety of seeds, bulbs and live plants, get Exclusive Web-Only Specials at Park Seed