Garden Seed Tips

All of your garden seed, whether it is for a flower garden or vegetable garden, is best if purchased from a very reliable source. You want the garden seed to give you the best crop possible and the prettiest flowers ever. Your seeds, needless to say, should be purchased from a company that has a good reputation and has been well established for many years.

Many vegetable seeds will grow well and give you a good crop if you can plant them straight into tilled soil in hills or rows. The supplies that you are going to need for a vegetable garden include a garden hose, garden rake, garden trowel, vegetable seeds, shovel, and a watering can. First be sure your outdoor temperatures will not be dropping to the freezing level; if the seeds freeze they will not survive. The vegetable seed packets will give you the information regarding when you can start planting in your area, how deep the seeds need to be place, how far apart the seeds should be and the best method for producing great results.

If you plan on planting the seeds in rows you need to make several channels with the use of a garden hoe. Each of the channels needs to be as deep as recommended by the seed packet for that vegetable. Generally speaking the larger the seed the deeper it gets planted in the soil. The small carrot seeds only need to be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep while the larger seeds, such as beans, will need to be planted a good two inches deep. Place the seeds in the channel at the recommended distance apart, then cover loosely with the back of a rake or with your hands. Tamp that row of seeds with the back side of your rake enough so the wind will not blow the soil away. Water thoroughly but use a garden hose or watering can that is equipped with a fine-spray.

For hill planting gather your soil to form a mound to a 3 to 4" height and 12 to 18" width. Your seed packet will probably let you know high and wide the hills need to be for planting. You can use your finger or a stick to make a hole into the center of the mound as deep as recommended. Insert 2 or 3 seeds into the hole, cover them with the soil and press down just enough to make sure the soil contacts the seeds well. Thoroughly water the hills the same way as if you planted in rows.

Often times it can be better to plant varieties of flower seed indoors and then transplant them to the flower garden after the last frost. The time needed before transplanting outdoors depends on the flowers you choose. All this information can be found on the individual seed packet or in a seed catalog. Some packets tell you to plant indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost. Some seeds such as zinnias or cosmos can be planted directly outdoors but in order to get an early start you can plant them inside first to transplant later. Geraniums and licorice plants may need as long as twelve weeks before they start sprouting.

The main reason for starting seeds indoors is to help germination by use of heat and water and seed growth with the help of grow lights. You can help prevent "damping-off" with proper drainage and air circulation; this air circulation can be done with an electric fan blowing across the soil surface gently during the daytime. You want to start "hardening off" your tender seedlings a week to 10 days before planting outdoors. Stop fertilizing, cut watering down to half the amount, keep then in a cooler inside space, start letting them receive some direct sunlight and introduce them to outdoor temperatures. You can start by placing the trays outside for about an hour during mid day and increase gradually the time spent outdoors. You do not want them out when it is cold, in heavy rain, strong winds and bring them inside during the night.

Before you purchase any garden seeds pick up some garden seed catalogs and do some browsing to see the different varieties of flower seed and vegetable seed packets that might interest you. You may even want to try some that you have never heard of before and it might turn out to your liking. Just remember to use reliable sources when you purchase your garden seed.


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