Although it may seem like a process that is easy enough, there is actually a lot that goes into planting seeds and nurturing them into plants. Seeds need the right balance of factors to allow them to grow. Here are the steps that you should follow for healthy plants:
Start With the Right Container
It is best to plant seeds in trays that are made from some form of plastic. This material helps to retain moisture. You have a lot of choice when it comes to the actual container, however. You can purchase a seed tray from a nursery or gardening store. Of course, a simple yoghurt cup or takeout container will do as well. Just make sure to drill evenly spaced holes in the bottom of the container. This is where the water will seep out from.
Use Potting Soil
A common mistake that people make is to use soil from their garden or to borrow the soil from plants that have already been potted. Doing so can result in the transference of diseases or the soil simply may not be suitable. Always start with fresh potting soil. Prior to placing the soil in the container or tray, you need to moisten it first. You can use a spray bottle to get the soil crumbly before packing it into the container. Make sure to pack the soil in tightly so that there are no gaps in the container.
Plant the Seeds
The manner in which you plant the seeds depends on whether they are small or large seeds. In most instances, small seeds don’t need to be buried but instead, can be sprinkled on top. Even the larger seeds don’t need to be buried deep down. Instead spread the seeds on the surface of the potting soil. Then sprinkle more potting soil on top of it. A light layer should be fine. It is only the really large seeds that should be planted about a quarter of an inch into the earth. Once done, gently mist the soil with a spray bottle.
Cover and Keep Warm
The next step is to cover the seeds. This will prevent the moisture in the soil from evaporating. If the seeds will be kept indoors and will not be exposed to sunlight, you can cover it with a thin layer of plastic. If the planted seeds will be kept outside, you should keep something thicker, such as a layer of wood on top. This cover should be removed once you begin to see some green appearing as this is a sign that they are beginning to germinate.
Expose to Light, Keep Moist
Once the seeds show signs of germinating, you should place them near a window that allows sunlight to shine through. Rotate the pots or tray on a regular basis to prevent them from leaning into the light. Since the seedlings will be suddenly exposed to the warm air and sunlight, there is a chance that the soil will dry out. To prevent this from happening, continue to gently mist the plants.
This is what you need to know about growing plants from seeds. If you want to learn more, take a look at Starting Seeds: How to Grow Healthy, Productive Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers from Seed: