GROW ALL THE PLANTS YOU NEED FROM SEED
Please do not use styrofoam cups or soup cans as some will advise for starting seedlings. Seeds grow best in natural containers, such as terra cotta clay pots. Do yourself and your seeds, (and later the plants), a big favor and go to the store and let go of a few bucks to give your plants the best start they can get by buying genuine clay pots- the cheapest ones are the best. Clay lets the moisture in and the soil can breathe and still be protected. Also, when you see your clay pots lined up in the garden, and they look so attractive and professional, you will be so glad you did.
Annuals- Growing Tips - Choose a spot that gets sun for at least five hours a day. Fork or spade the soil a good 8 inches deep; then pulverize and smooth it. Because plants in rows are easier to identify than seeds sown broadcast, mark off rows according to the sizes of the seeds. Roughen soil a little; then sow tiny seeds by covering seeds with just a dusting of fine dry soil; other size seeds plant approx. as they are long. Water the rows before planting! Shade with folded newspapers, burlap, or a veil of grass clippings. Remove burlap and paper when the first green seedlings start humping up into the light. Space your seedlings thin by transplanting - move seedlings so that each has room to develop.
Keep soil on the rootball when shifting your plants. Settle in place each with a cup of water in which you've dissolved a good plant food, at the rate of 2 tablespoons to each gal of water.
Perennials- Growing Tips - Many perennials need cold treatment to break dormancy. In the real world outside, they lie on the ground all winter and then sprout when the weather warms in spring. You can mimic this stage in the refrigerator or outdoors in a cold frame.
For sowing, use a starting medium A mix of peat, perlite and vermiculite, or see our "secret" John Innes growing mixture instructions below. Moisten it an hour or so before sowing. It should not be soggy - aim for the moisture of a damp sponge. As general rule, plant seeds about as far below the growing mix as they are large. Big seeds generally need to be covered with growing mix, while most tiny ones barely need to be covered. If they need light to germinate, do not cover them at all, just press them into the growing mix.
Sowing small seed can be difficult. One trick is fold a piece of paper and then place the seeds into the fold and tap the end of the paper lightly so that they slide down onto your germination mix. If they stick, or won't slide off, sprinkle a little baby or talcum powder over them to reduce the static cling. (See more tips for sowing tiny seeds below.)
Give all trays or pots a light watering and cover with a plastic dome lid or seal the container inside a plastic bag. Newly sprouted seedlings tend to look similar, so label your containers as you sow.
Caring for sprouted seedlings
As soon as you notice germination, remove the plastic dome or plastic bag. Check daily for moisture, but avoid over-watering. Soggy soil, excess warmth and poor air circulation can lead to As soon as you notice germination and your seedlings beginning to grow, remove the plastic dome or plastic bag over your planting trays.
Check daily for moisture, but don't over-water. Soggy soil, excess warmth and poor air circulation can lead to 'damping off,' a fungal disease that kills baby plants. There is a product called No Damp to help combat this.
Most seedlings grow best at day-time temperatures between 70 to 75ºF (21º to 24ºC) and night-time temperatures between 55 to 65ºF (13º to 18ºC).
For healthy, bushy growth, seedlings need plenty of light, place on a windowsill untill warm enough to transplant to garden.
QUICK GROWING TINY SEEDS - TIPS:
1. All of our tiny seeds are packed in inner jewel-paper envelopes to protect them.
2. Mix seeds with sand before you sow (to prevent them from being planted too close together.)
3. When sowing these seeds, gently press into soil; this leaves them as nature would do- open to moisture and sunlight.
4. Provide adequate moisture while seedlings are emerging - Do Not Let Soil Dry Out!
5. Many gardeners find that starting tiny seeds in indoor flats 6 wks before final frost will give best results, and enable close inspection of plant progress.
YOUR BIGGEST SECRET FOR SUCCESS: JOHN INNES SEED COMPOST
This was formulated after considerable research work at the John Innes Horticultural Institution in England. It is easy to prepare: The formula is : 2 parts of loam, 1 part of peat, 1 part of sand. To this add 1&1/2 ounces of superphosphate and 3/4 ounce ground limestone per bushel of soil.
For Thee" from The Rincon Plant Preservation &
Introduction Garden, Where "We don't give our seeds away- but almost do!"
Please visit our
original web pages at http://www.seedsforthee.com for bulk seed packs......
And for gardeners who only need smaller quantities....find seed bargains at http://www.isaacseedsamples.com
Both websites use the same shopping cart with only the single $1.50 postage charge