Planting your own seeds is an all-round win in the garden. Not only do you save money and stress from trying to find the perfect starter sprouts in the greenhouse while everyone else is just jump starting their garden, but it’s also super rewarding and much much easier than most people think. Best of all, it’s a meaningful little joy to watch life sprout from the ground as you nurture it!
Why Plant Seeds
Once you’ve given it a shot once, you’ll agree with us when we say the better way to ask this is – why not?
The modern garden has a bit of old and a bit of new, but starting your own seeds at home is a slice of tradition we’re happy to have returning to our gardens. With seeds, you’re embracing your garden from the very beginning of its life, and you’ll love the difference it makes in how you look at your own gardening space. There are lots of benefits to starting from seed, especially with your edible garden. Here are some of our favorites:
Starting From Seed for Health Reasons
When starting from seed, the health benefits are undeniable. You can already taste the difference in the vegetables that are fresh from your garden and those that have been in the supermarket for weeks. Your vegetables are at their best when they’ve just been picked and are packed full of nutrients.
When you grow your own and start from seed, you get all the nutrition benefits but also the assurance of knowing where your food comes from. When your plant’s life starts in your home, there’s no mysteries about what went into it. Growing from seed gives you all of the homegrown nutrition you want from your garden, with the confidence in your food’s story.
Starting From Seed For The Best Flavor
Put your homegrown produce next to something purchased from the store and we can guarantee that you’ll be able to taste the difference instantly. Pulled straight from the garden, you not only have all the best nutrition your food has to offer, but you can also practically taste the sunshine lingering on your food. Starting from scratch with a seed gives you the next level of these benefits. Let your taste buds be the judge on whether it’s worth homegrown – we think we know what the answer will be.
Starting From Seed For Your Bank Account
Growing food is basically growing money. Instead of paying for the finished product (that usually doesn’t live up to what you could grow at home), you only pay for something simple, like seeds, and then you invest time instead. Thankfully, time spent in the garden is so therapeutic that the effort pays for itself!
Starting From Seed For Your Family
Many people that are growing food in their gardens are doing it for their family. You’ll all get to experience delicious and healthy food more often, and save money growing them yourselves.
More importantly, though, is the shared experience you get in the garden. Taking a step away from technology and getting your hands dirty with a project that really rewards you back is our favorite way to bond with our children and loved ones. Learning and teaching a bit about essential life skills, like nurturing and growing plants, is valuable beyond dollar amounts – some lifelong rewards and experiences simply can’t be bought.
How to Get Started Seeding
The toughest part about growing from seed is figuring out when to start. Even when planting little starter plants from the garden center, it can be tough to find the right time to get your plants into the ground, and seeds undeniably add a second step.
Some of your tougher plants, especially those that thrive in cooler soil, can be sown directly into the garden in the spring and grown from there, while others that require a warmer head start will do better if you start them early indoors and move them to your garden later. Thankfully, it’s not an exact science, so there’s no perfect answer and a few weeks of leeway on either side for guesswork. Read the packaging of your seeds for a guide to when to plant, and with a bit of flexibility your plants and crop will turn out great.
Seeding directly outside is pretty simple, but for those plants that you have to give a head start inside, it adds a few steps. This is a good way to get some of your produce started before you want to take the risk with spring weather, exposed to the elements in your garden. Plus, we also love seeing cheery little sprouts on our windowsills in the spring to get us excited about the gardening season to come. Here’s our guide to starting your seeds indoors:
Start with all of your materials ready so that you don’t have to look for things halfway through your process. Use clean containers (wash with soap and water!) and fresh bagged soil (not from your garden) to make sure everything is sterile. Your mature plants will have no problem with the microbes in your garden soil, but little seedlings are pretty vulnerable and will do better if they aren’t fighting off bacteria in their first few days of life.
Pick a spot to sprout your seeds. The seeds won’t need that much lighting, but the seedlings will soak up all the rays they can get once they’ve started to sprout. We like to use a windowsill for it’s warmth and ample light.
Maximize humidity to give your seeds a helping hand. You can make a miniature greenhouse over your seed with a clear plastic dome to trap in moisture. Once the seedlings appear and have sprouted, you won’t need the dome anymore.
The first leaves you see on your plants are called “seedling leaves” and are nourished by the nutrient stores in the seed itself. Once the roots start to develop the “true leaves” will start to grow, fuelled by the nutrients in the soil. Wait until true leaves start to show before transplanting!
Watering your freshly sown seeds might wash them away. Instead, use a fine mist for the first few waterings – your seeds will love to have things uniformly moist. Aim for something that has an effect like the very lightest of rains.
Once your seedlings have true leaves and have successfully started, they are ready to move to your garden, where they will grow and give you tasty food all summer. Starting from scratch has a long list of benefits, but we like to think that the satisfaction of nurturing your food from a seed is also important in making your produce taste better. With so many varieties of seeds available, you can customize your garden to grow more of what you want to see more frequently on your dinner plate.