Seeds are incredible. They are designed to survive, thrive, and eventually reproduce. Contained within each one is an embryo, a set of small first leaves, and enough food to get the first stages of growth underway. The only other things needed are water, sun, and a place to grow.
Seeds are economical (500 lettuce seeds for the same price as a 6-pack of transplants), and most packets have 80%+ germination rates. Seeds are easy to plant. Any seed can be planted in the ground, and many can be broadcast over an area or planted an inch or less deep. For containers, plant seeds
suited to shallow soil depths.
But, what to plant? How about vegetables! Now is the perfect time to get seeds going. A “short list” includes beans, carrots, chard, dill, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuces, mustard greens, bulb onions, parsley, peas, radishes, shallots, spinach, and
turnips. Whew! Imagine the harvest from that!
The other good news about seeds is that each packet comes with specific sowing instructions. They will be different for each plant, so be sure to read thoroughly. Moisten your soil in the container or garden bed a day or two before you plant to give the
water time to sink down and settle in. Once planted, gently give the seeds their first watering.
Over the next week or two, keep the soil moist. This is the time to be extra careful with your watering; too much or too little will cause the seedlings to fail. With just enough water and sunlight, you should see the first set of leaves emerge. When the third and fourth set of leaves arrive, your seedlings will be well on their way to full growth.
BY AMANDA SIGAFOOS, MASTER GARDENER