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How To Grow Vegetables Seeds

Next time you’re buying your vegetable seedlings at a garden supply store, take a look at the cost of the seeds. You’ll probably notice they cost more than the seeds.

Growing your own vegetables from seed can be one of the most rewarding gardening experiences. You can see your work start from scratch. It gives you a wider choice of varieties, is more economical and lets you get a head start on the growing season. While it may seem like a lot of extra work, it's fairly simple and easy once you know how to do it. Here are the steps you need to follow to successfully grow vegetables from seed:

1. Choosing Your Seeds

First, decide which vegetables you want to grow. Consider factors such as your personal taste preferences, the size of your garden, the climate, and the growing season in your area. Purchase your seeds from a reputable source to ensure they are high quality and disease-free.

Unlike seedlings, not all seeds are going to give you a plant. When you go to buy or order your seeds, be sure to get some extra. You’re going to have seeds that don’t germinate. So get more than you need. This ensures you’ll have the right number of plants.

The next thing you need to consider is whether your seed should be grown in the garden. Or grown indoors as they do at the nursery. Some plants don’t do well when moved, while others are better planted separately to avoid the elements. In most cases, you can figure this out by looking at the directions on the seed packet.

2. Indoor Seed Starting

Some vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, benefit from being started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date. This gives them a head start and ensures they get enough warmth to germinate and grow.

To germinate plants indoors, there are several steps you should take to ensure they grow. Use a seed-starting mix, which is lighter and more sterile than regular garden soil. Place your seeds in seed trays or pots filled with the mix, following the packet instructions for how deep to sow them. Cover the trays with a plastic dome or wrap to maintain humidity and warmth.

If you're growing plants in trays. First, most plants should be planted in separate spaces in seedling trays. This ensures their roots won’t have to compete. Some people prefer to plant two in each container and pull the one that isn’t growing as well. Place the trays in a warm spot but not in direct sunlight. A seedling heat mat can help maintain a consistent temperature. Once the seedlings appear, move them to a sunny window or under grow lights.

Fill the tray with compost until the surface is flat. Several small seeds, not too densely packed, should be gently sprinkled onto the surface of the compost. Cover the seeds with sifted compost or vermiculite to the proper depth. You'll find the depth you need to cover on the back of the seed packet. This is important because too much fertilizer will make your plant's life difficult. Then water it to keep the seeds moist.

3. Outdoor Seed Starting

When planting in the garden, you should take special care to help them germinate. First, be sure not to plant them too deep; no deeper than three times the length of the seed. Second, be careful not to have your plants eaten by critters in your yard.

Vegetables such as beans, peas, carrots, and radishes are usually sown directly into the garden soil once the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed.

Prepare the garden bed by removing any weeds and amending the soil with compost. Sow the seeds at the depth and spacing recommended on the seed packet. Water well after planting, and keep the soil consistently moist until the seeds germinate.

4. Transplanting Seedlings

When your indoor-started seedlings have developed their second set of true leaves and the outdoor conditions are right, they can be transplanted into the garden. Harden them off first by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions over a week.

Dig a hole for each seedling, place it in the hole, and gently backfill with soil. Water well to settle the soil around the roots.

5. Ongoing Care

Once your seeds have germinated and the seedlings are growing, provide regular care. This includes watering, fertilizing, weeding, and pest management. Growing vegetables from seed requires patience. Not every seed will germinate, and not every seedling will make it to maturity. But don't get disheartened. With every gardening season, you'll gain more knowledge and experience. 

Remember to place the tray where there is adequate light. Either through windows or a greenhouse lamp. Once they’ve started to grow, you can transplant them into your garden.

If you can’t block off your garden, feed the birds and other animals so they’re less likely to dig for seed. Lastly, be sure to properly prepare the soil before planting, and don’t plant too early when the soil is still cold.

 

Final Thoughts

Vegetables are a staple in most diets. They are an excellent source of essential nutrients. Skip the shopping isles. In times like these, you can begin to grow vegetables from Mother Earth right in your own backyard! Growing your own vegetables from seed is an engaging and rewarding endeavor. It allows you to witness the miracle of a tiny seed turning into a bountiful plant that provides fresh, nutritious produce for you and your family. Happy gardening!

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