Your budget-friendly garden includes growing at least some of it from seed every spring. Not only does a three dollar packet of seed give you multiple plants, but it’s fun and ridiculously easy to do. Share extras with friends and neighbours, while you humbly brag the phrase, “I grew it from seed.”
The video above shows just how casual you can be about sowing. No need to be finicky about carefully spacing out seeds, as you can thin extras out later. Use scissors. A seed needs the basics: pot, soil, water and sun. They are very forgiving. Most seed packets have germination tips on the packet to help you out.
Hints for easy seed sowing:
• Use a loose soil-less mix for seed starting, like Pro-Mix.
• Water your mix in a tub or bucket before you add it to your growing container. Use warm water, it helps to absorb the water by breaking the surface tension of the mix. Get the mix damp, but not sopping wet.
• Buy a bag of horticultural or play sand. Use it to mix with tiny seeds like poppies or lettuce. This spreads them out and makes sowing easier, and more even. Use 2/3 sand to 1/3 seed.
• Sow small seeds randomly in a large shallow container, just by scattering loosely over the planting mix. Avoid large clumps of seeds in one spot.
• Cover small seeds lightly with sand, rather than potting mix.
• Large seeds like nasturtiums or squash can be inserted into the soil with your finger, twice the depth of the seed.
• Use a block of wood to lightly tamp down the soil with even pressure.
• Water small seeds with a plastic sprayer, or set pots in a tray of water and let the water absorb from the bottom. Watering with a hose can dislodge seeds and make them clump up or get washed away.
• Cover seeds with plastic while you wait for them to germinate. Most seeds need light for germination, but not all. Check the packet.
• Cool white artificial shop lights are the best light source for seed starting, keeping the lights inches away from the soil. If you have a south facing window, you have the next best thing.