Plant Story's How to Guide to Seed Starting

April 13, 2021

Thomas Tran

Plant Story's How to Guide to Seed Starting. Don't miss out on this great info and start growing your garden today!

One of the most important and often overlooked aspects of any garden is seed starting. Whether you're a pro or an enthusiast, many successful gardens start with successful seed starting. We have gathered some information below to help with this process in order to leave out the guess work and give you the boost you need to make your vision a reality!!!

Selecting the right seeds and plants!

Selecting the right plants and plant seeds is a critical role in getting your garden started on the right foot. Select plants that pleases you, something that enlightens you when you see it and enjoy its presence. When selecting seeds, make sure the best samples are picked to ensure you have the best subjects to work with. Check if the seeds have not expired on the package and check for visible signs of diseases, mold or physical damage. Sort out any small, irregular or dried out seeds as they may not work as well. Some seeds may require some dormant period or stratification period where they are kept cool for a certain timeframe much like they would in their natural habitat.

Various plants in pots
Various plants in pots

For a selection of seed sources please click on the link below.

Soil

Aside from selecting the right quality seeds, soil would be the next most critical item. How else would you grow your plant without soil? Select a soil that is made for the specific needs of your plant. For example, succulents would be best grown in cactus soil that has the right combinations of materials and matter that is optimum for them. Where as, potting soil would be a good all purpose soil for most other plants. Other additions that can be added to help with soil are perlite, peat moss, compost, mulch, etc.

Perlite: Perlite is an amorphous volcanic glass that has a relatively high water content, typically formed by the hydration of obsidian. It occurs naturally and has the unusual property of greatly expanding when heated sufficiently. It is an industrial mineral and a commercial product useful for its low density after processing.

Compost: Compost is made by decomposing organic materials into simpler organic and inorganic compounds in a process called composting. This process recycles various organic materials otherwise regarded as waste products. A good compost is rich in plant nutrients and beneficial organisms.

Peat Moss: Peat moss is the decomposed remains of sphagnum moss and other living things that forms a dead, fibrous material over the course millennia in peat bogs around the world. Unlike compost, peat moss forms in the absence of air.

Mulch: Mulch is any material that is spread or laid over the surface of the soil as a covering. When it comes to improving your home’s curb appeal, mulch provides a clean finishing touch to any landscape. It also reduces your soil’s moisture loss, prevents erosion and blocks weed growth.

With all these in mind, there is sure to be the right combination that can be used to increase the productivity of your plant.

Select the right soil for your needs
Select the right soil for your needs

To Learn more about types of soil and how it benefits your plants, please visit the link below

Pots

As important to a successful garden, pots are the first homes most plants have when they are planted as seeds. Therefore the right kind and size pot helps in getting the plant the great start that it needs on its way to a more permanent location in your home. These days, conventional pot types range from plastic, terra cotta, galvanized steel, wood, ceramic, and metal. Non-conventional types makes use of just about any spare object a gardener has that can be a box, tires, wheel barrows, wooden pallets, the list is as extensive as the gardener's imagination. Not only do pots serve as the initial home of your plants, but also home of wild imaginations.

The most important consideration as far as your plant is concerned is the size of its pot. If the pot is too small, plants will quickly become rootbound and the soil will not be able to hold enough moisture between waterings. On the other hand, if the container is too large, your plants may spend all of their energy on root development and not enough on growth. The reason why many varieties need larger pots has more to do with what's going on under the dirt, as opposed to above it. Buy a pot with a diameter that’s at least one inch wider than the diameter of your plant’s root mass, and if you're expecting your plant to grow quickly, use a pot up to four inches wider. Almost all plants will need to be repotted at some point in their life cycle, so you'll want to familiarize yourself with the signs and be ready for when that happens. If you're really unsure about which direction to go, gently remove the plant from its current pot and check the roots. Are they filling out the pot? If so, go up a size. If you see an equal amount of soil and roots, chances are the plant is fine in the current pot size. If you see loads of soil and very little roots, you may want to go down a size if the plant or its roots look unhealthy.

To Learn more about the different types of pots, please click on the link below

Temperature/Location

Location and Temperature plays an important role in the health and success of your plants. Too little/much sun can suppress or kill your plants as is too hot or too cold. It is important to understand the temperature and sun light requirements of your plant and place them where they receive what they need within that range. Do remember that as the seasons change, as does these two factors. So continue to monitor and move them to keep them within that happy zone. With the right conditions, plants will grow and become lush in a short amount of time.

An analog thermometer reading of soil temperature
An analog thermometer reading of soil temperature

To Learn more about Sunlight and Temperature requirements of plants, please visit the link below

Watering

Water is the lifeblood of plants. It is what helps keep the plants alive, and brings much needed nutrients from the soil to the plant cells. Lack of water is one of the quickest way a plant can die. Due to this importance, it is recommended to understand the watering needs of a plant based on the type of plant you have. Leafy green plants may require a good amount of water to keep them happy whereas a succulent (which can store water) may not need as much to sustain itself. Too much water can also be detrimental and can lead to issues such as rot and disease. But, don't get too flustered too soon, there are devices out there that will help determine your soil moisture level and when to water. If you don't have these techy gadgets, the rule of thumb is to feel the soil to know how often to water your potted plants. For potted plants at home, you may be unsure of how often to water them. For most plants, the golden rule is to see if the first inch or so of soil is dry. If dry, this is an indication that the plant needs water. If there are leaves that have shriveled or are dry/discolored, the plant might need a little extra water than a regular routine.

watering potted plant
watering potted plant

To Learn more about watering, it's importance, process, and how to determine the right watering schedule, please click on the link below.

Orientation

How a seed is oriented may seem absurd to some. Why must one worry about such a thing? Does it really make a difference? The answer is simple, yes it does. Though it may not be essential for the plant, it does help it better focused on growing. If a plant is tilted, water may drain to one side of the pot, therefore, some roots may not receive the necessary nutrients or will need to redirect itself to better support its growth. A plant will now also have to adjust itself to grow more erect and toward the light, expending more energy to its growing needs rather than just growing bigger. Some plants, if planted awkwardly, will continue to grow in that awkward fashion until it is somehow corrected either with repotting or by support such as staking. Whatever it may be, it is important to have your plant in the best orientation for it to grow.

Seeds sprouting in different directions due to improper orientation at planting
Seeds sprouting in different directions due to improper orientation at planting

Find out how to orient and support your plants by clicking the link below!

Spacing

Spacing between plants is a very important factor in the success of a garden. Too much space and it may not get the nutrients it needs , not enough space and the plant gets crowded and does not grow well. Just like us, as we grow, we need larger clothes, bigger beds, plants need more space. Each kind of plant has its optimum spacing that will give the best results. This means, the space for not only the leaves to push out but also for the roots to spread. Spacing also allows both sunlight and air flow to be accessible for the plant.

Properly spaced flowers allows rays of sunshine to give energy and food to plants
Properly spaced flowers allows rays of sunshine to give energy and food to plants

Learn more about how space affects your garden please click below

Growing plants from seeds is not only rewarding, but you will have the satisfaction that you were able to do it all by yourself from scratch. Even better if those seeds rewards you with bounties to share with your friends and families.

Recommended for you

Share with your plant friends

Plant Story™ Copyright 2022 Plant Identification Inc. All rights reserved