Don’t be scared of seeds!
There is something magical about seeds. A seed is the epitome of potential, of the miracle that is life. In the palm of your hand, you can hold a meadow of wildflowers, an orchard of fruit trees, a forest of giants or a crop of enviable bounty. To sow a seed, to water it, to see the first tendrils of life pushing through the dark soil followed by leaves, flowers and eventually fruit is to see the entire life cycle unfold before your eyes. And while it can seem tricky or even intimidating at first, there are few things more satisfying than growing a garden from seed.
While you can sow seeds in situ, which means where you want the plants to ultimately grow (and in fact, some seeds should only be sown in situ if the plants they grow into don’t like to be transplanted), it is generally easier and more successful to sow seeds in seeding trays and then plant the seedling out into the garden.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to sow seeds successfully, in this case of flowering annuals:
1. Preparing Your Seedling Mix
- Use a brand-new seed tray or one that you have washed and sterilised.
- Fill the seed tray with a specialised seedling mix, available from your favourite nursery.
- Add a 5g packet each of HumiGro, StartGro and Root Pro to a 5L watering can with a fine rose, fill it up with water, stir and gently moisten the seedling mix.
- Press the soil down gently.
Ready To Sow
- If the seeds are small, scatter them lightly and evenly across the soil. Bigger seeds can be placed individually.
- Cover the sown seeds with a thin layer of seedling mix. The rule of thumb is for the covering to be as thick as the seeds themselves. Don’t sow too deep! Another option is to use vermiculite as a covering layer – this is light and retains water.
- Gently water the seeds, again using the watering can filled with the EcoBuz root-health mixture. Be careful not to wash the seeds away or to wash away the layer of soil covering them. Another way to water them is to place the seedling tray in a bigger container of the EcoBuz mixture, with the liquid about half as deep as the seedling tray. Let the soil soak up the mixture and then remove.
- Place the seed tray in a warm, sheltered place in light shade.
Let the growing begin.
- Don’t let the seeds dry out – failing to keep them moist is the most likely cause of a failure to germinate.
- Once the seeds have germinated you may need to thin them out if they are growing too closely together. Use scissors to do so so that you don’t pull up the plant you want to leave.
- Once the seedlings are big enough, plant them out into the garden or into bigger individual pots until they are well established. When transplanting, make sure to water with the EcoBuz root-health mixture to give your plants the best chance of success.