How to Grow Plants from Seed
Have I mentioned that I grow most of my plants from seeds? Seeds that I stick directly in the ground? In the garden? Where they will grow into big plants that will make me food?
Why I do this:
- It’s easier.
- It’s cheaper. 1 packet of seeds = dozens and dozens of plants. Planting seeds in the ground saves me hundreds of dollars.
- I can plant whenever I want. I don’t have to wait for the big-box store to sell seedlings.
- My seeds never go through the “shock” of being moved from a greenhouse to the outdoors.
- They never go through the “shock” of being transplanted.
- They establish strong root systems and are healthier.
- Healthier plants mean stronger plants who can withstand attacks from pests and diseases.
- AND I like watching seeds emerge from the soil and grow into huge plants that will feed my family.
Today I am planting some lettuce, spinach, and radish seeds. These are all generally cool season crops.
A Word About Lettuce
Lettuce grows best and has the best flavor when grown in cool temperatures. I’ll be honest. I grow lettuce all spring, summer, and fall. My secret is to continually plant new seeds. As long as I harvest the lettuce while it is young the flavor is good. I have also found that red lettuce is more heat tolerant than other varieties.
Let’s plant some seeds!
I started with a bed. I have roughly 20 raised beds. They are filled with a hodgepodge of manure (chicken, goat, cow, horse). I’m not picky. I’ll take any manure I can get.
I pulled out all the weeds, rocks and sticks that emerged in the bed over the winter.
After weeding, I used my old, metal-rake handle to make a straight divot. I also use this handle to poke holes in the ground to put onion sets in.
I made all my rows using the rake handle.
Then I sprinkled the seeds in the row.
I planted a few varieties in this bed. I put spinach seeds in the back row, 2 rows of buttercrunch lettuce seeds in the center, and radish seeds in the front row.
Last, I used the back of the metal rake and covered all the seeds.
All these seeds need to flourish is some water. If there is plenty of rain in the forecast, you can call it a week and wait to see germination soon. If you live in a dry area or there is no rain on the radar, give them a drink every 2-3 days.
That’s all it takes to grow plants from seeds. It’s really simple and anyone can do it.
When I lived in a neighborhood I used to garden in shorts and a tank top. Not anymore. Now I live in the middle of nowhere with poison ivy, chiggers, man-eating mosquitoes, horseflies, deer flies, ticks and other HUGE flying things I can’t identify.
So I wear this.
Better safe than sorry.
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