|Hardy and quick-growing annual flowers and vegetables are usually started in beds or cold frames in the garden.
More tender plants, slow-growing plants, those which take a long time to germinate, and those with seeds so fine that weeks are required to develop the seedlings into manageable plants, are usually candidates for starting seeds indoors.
Sterile containers, planting material and soil are advisable to protect germinating seeds and young seedlings from diseases such as fungus disease and damping-off.
However, it should be considered that some organic growers have found that the bacteria and actinomycetes in unsterile composting attack damping-off fungi. These organisms also encourage seedling growth. You be the judge.
Sphagnum moss may also have antibiotic capacities. A good mixture for planting consists of equal parts of milled sphagnum moss, perlite and vermiculite. All of these natural materials have the capacity to hold water which encourages germination.
Sow early vegetable seeds indoorsFor early vegetables, seed may be sown indoors and the plants hardened in a cold frame or in a sheltered place outside before they are set in the garden. Such vegetables as cucumbers and squash, normally planted directly in the garden, may also be sown inside in pots or paper containers. At the normal time for planting in the garden, if all danger of frost has passed in your moon phase planting zone, these early plants may be set out without disturbing their roots.
Planting seeds outsideSeeds planted outside are usually planted in the soil in which they will grow during the entire season. The soil preparation must be properly done in advance, by adding manure, compost, bone meal, or whatever that particular vegetable or flower needs to grow but, not so much of it that the seedlings will grow too fast and be leggy. If the seed is to be planted in rows, a drill or trench may be made by using the edge of a board to keep the row straight.
Depth of planting
Depth of planting depends upon the size of the seed, the consistency of the soil and the season of the year. The usual rule is to plant a seed at a depth that is three or four times the size of its diameter. This rule is modified by soil. Heavy clay soil is damper so seeds need not be planted as deeply. Sandy soil will dry out faster at the top, so the seed may need to be planted deeper.
Seed should never be over watered during germination, nor should it be kept too cold. If the soil is heavy and wet, it will be cold beneath the surface early in spring. Seed will germinate more rapidly if it is sown on the surface. When the soil is warmer, seed can be planted further down.
Since seeds need air as well as water during germination, keep the tilth of the soil granular so that air may penetrate to the depth of the seeds and they can breathe.
|For more see:
Wide Row Gardening - Growing an abundance of produce in a small area.