Below is part 2 of Growing Your Plants From Seed. Our guest blogger Mindy McIntosh-Shetter AKA Mindar the gardening gnome. She explains the next steps in the process.
by Mindy McIntosh-Shetter
Growing plants from seed can be a very rewarding experience while extending ones gardening budget. In part I , we prepared you for the planting process, in part 2 we will discuss how to plant the seeds so that you are the most successful gardener you can be.
Once the container has been filled with the potting soil, it is time to begin the planting process. If you are only going to plant one type of seed per container, you can move on to the next step. If you are going to plant several different types in one container, then you will need to create rows. The easiest way to do this is with powdered milk and only requires one to draw rows with this simple kitchen staple.
The next step in this process is the planting. At this point one may ask, how do I know how deep to plant my seed and the answer is two-fold. First, you could read the seed packet. This information is plainly printed on the package. The second way is to follow a gardening golden rule. This rule states that you never plant a seed deeper than its height. In general, what this means is that very small seed like tomato and pepper only require a ¼ inch covering of soil while a larger seed may need a hill.
Watch this video on the process:
Once you have planted your seed, the next step is to make sure that there is contact between the soil and the seed. To do this, simply lay a piece of cardboard on the soil surface and gently push down. Then, remove the cardboard.
The next step is to create a miniature greenhouse by placing the container in a clear, plastic bag. Make sure to tie off the top and place in a warm location. Do not worry about placing the container in an environment that receives sunlight. Seeds do not need sunlight to germinate but do need it after germination for photosynthesis.
The amount of time it takes for seeds to germinate depends on many factors including variety and environment. But a general rule to follow is to check your seeds in three to five days after planting. Then, continue to check everyday after.
Once you begin to see little dots of green life, it is time to remove the container from the bag and place it on a sunny windowsill. Keep an eye on the soil moisture and before you know it your seedlings will become mature plants ready for your garden space.