Planting your own vegetable garden by seed might sound like a difficult task but the age-old tradition is probably easier than you think. While in recent generations planting gardens by purchasing starts has become very popular, planting a garden by seeds gives you diversity you cannot find by purchasing starts at a nursery. Whether your motivation is to plant rare varieties to impress gardening pals or whether it is to find varieties that are better suited for your climate, planting by seed can make gardening even more exciting.

SeedGermination

How do I get started?

The first question that most people ask is how do I start seeds? The next question is, do I start them indoors or out? Here, we will give you the best advice to make planting your seeds, as easy as possible.

Inside or out?

Because most of Southern California has mild climate, there are very few occasions that warrant starting seeds indoors. Areas far inland or in the mountains take exception to this rule. Mild areas don’t have harsh winters and freezes in most areas so, we can safely start most seeds outdoors. If you live in an area that does receive frost, it is beneficial to start some seeds inside to get a couple weeks ahead of the growing season. Crops like carrots, leafy greens and tomatoes can easily be grown indoors and starting these crops indoors can give them a head start.  You can also increase the germination rate by protecting the germinating seeds from harsh weather conditions.

Why start seeds indoors?

Starting seeds indoors offers a wide variety of benefits. They can be started earlier in the season and gardeners will often experience a higher germination rate due to the more controlled conditions.

How to start seeds indoors or outdoors?

It’s a simple process and anyone can do it. Simply choose a shallow container with holes in the bottom for drainage and fill it with rich potting soil or seed starting soil. Make sure to water generously. It is important that the soil is thoroughly moist all the way through. Be careful not to drown the soil. After the soil is moistened all the way through you can simply press your vegetable seeds into the top of the soil.

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Steps to prepare planting area:

  • Loosen the soil in the planting area
  • Add nutrients and compost
  • Thoroughly water

You can plant in a prepared bed in a variety of methods. The most common method, is the row and furrow method.

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Caring for your newly planted veggies,  herbs and flowers:

If you direct sow into the ground, you will want to thin the seedlings and fertilize.  Keeping the garden bed or pot evenly moist is important. Weed to prevent competition. For specific instructions on vegetables, refer to each on our online catalog at: www.sandiegoseedcompany.com.

Planting Herb Seeds

Most gardeners start by planting herb seeds for the ease of having fresh herbs to cook with. Herb seeds can pose special challenges as they tend to be very small seeds.  We recommend soaking your herb seeds in water a few hours prior to planting.  Plant in pots that have rich potting soil and can hold moisture.  To plant, press the seeds into the surface of the soil and water lightly.  Give a light dusting of finely sifted potting soil. It should be similar to dusting the top of a cake with powdered sugar. Error on the side of light dusting, over covering up the seeds with too much soil.  Once sprouted, follow instructions above.

Watch the video to be the best Seed Starter ever!

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