Few things compare to the feeling you get watching tiny sprouts push through the soil reaching for the light, especially when these sprouts are from the seeds you planted.
Organic Non-Gmo seeds cost so little that they match any gardening budget. They also give you control over the start of the planting, which means control over the end of the planting season. You can start later in the planting season and enjoy the harvest longer.
As usual, life places an obstacle in your path so that you can enjoy the results when you overcome it.
There are challenges in growing vegetables from seed. Here are seven steps to help you get a better harvest.
Step #1: Mak A list – Write down everything you want to grow this season. Daydream about the end product first without any limitations. Limitations will come later as you focus.
Once your garden is formed in your vision, do a reality check by looking at your space, the amount of time you can allocate to your seeds, and the cost of seeds and maintenance. Water in some areas is a factor. Some vegetables are thirstier than others.
Gardening Tip: Some spiritual paths refer to life as a garden. You are here to learn. Your physical garden is part of your life. Experiment with new ideas, new varieties, new combinations. Think of your garden as a personal development project. You’ll be amazed at how much you learn that applies to life.
Step #2: Gather Seeds and Supplies. Finding a reliable source of Non-GMO seeds is the first step. You’ll also need tweezers, plating containers, starter mix, and labels. A warming tray and light may also be necessary.
Gardening Tip: Label Everything. Seedlings and sometimes even young plants look alike. However, as they grow, their soil type, nutrition, and light needs may vary. You don’t want to have rows or even trays of seedlings without a clue of what they are. Label first so that you do not grieve later.
Step #3: Disinfect Supplies. Many diseases stay on the containers and your other gardening tools like spade or pruner. Disinfect them before you use them. Bleach, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide are some common ways of disinfecting tools. I prefer hydrogen peroxide since it converts to water and oxygen.
Gardening Tip: One part food-grade 3% hydrogen peroxide combined with 11 parts water gives you an effective disinfectant.
Step #4: Drainage Maters. Your seeds need moister, not standing water to rot them. Your soil drainage quality is a key, as well as drainage holes in your containers. Just make sure that you have a tray underneath to catch the excess water. Special trays have grooves to catch standing water in the groove and keep the container above the waterline..
Step #5: Follow Instructions. Seed packets often give you the necessary details on how to plant and care for each type of seed. Some seeds may need overnight soaking. Others may need a shallow planting depth to germinate. Seed sellers can also provide the best time to plant and time to harvest as well as watering schedule and light requirements.
Gardening Tip: Time is of the essence. Plants do not have watches and do not pay any attention to the calendar. They work with weather events. Frost is one event that impacts planting. Many seeds are planted about six weeks before the last frost. That is pretty tricky with all the changes in our weather pattern. You need to pay attention to your weather pattern so that you give enough time to your seeds to grow before you can plant them in your garden. Almmanc.com provides a planting calendar.
Step #6: Waters of Life and Death. Working with seedlings, you find out how fast they dry out. They need water when they need them. Forget to water and they die. Overwater and they die. Check the soil. It should not be wet; it should be moist on the dry side. Some people use mist sprayer to water the plant without drowning them.
Step #7: Tough Love Could Kill. Our door environment may be too rough for seedlings. Allow them time to acclimate by putting them outside for a few hours, preferably in the morning before the hot sun is out. Over a week, you can gradually increase their exposure before you plant them in your garden.
Be prepared to lose some seedlings, be ready to research problems, and be willing to learn.
I lost more than half of my seedlings the first time I tried. In the third try, I lost only about 1%
With practice, you’ll get better in growing your organic seeds. Isn’t that like life?