Sowing Seeds Tips and Tricks

Growing plants from seed is relatively easy, but there are some tips that can make this method easier and more successful. This is a guide containing sowing seeds tips and tricks.

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This is a guide about pre-treating seeds to speed germination. Some seeds need special treatment before they will germinate.

A photo of seedlings in a germinating tray with garden tools.

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This is a guide about tools to make planting and sowing easier. Having the right tools for the job is always a good idea. This is no less true of gardening.

Tools to Make Planting and Sowing Easier

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I stopped using peat moss discs for seed starting many years ago when I learned that the peat bogs were being decimated by this practice. Instead, I save my eggshells throughout the year and fill them with my own homemade compost. Here's how:

  1. Take a sharp knife and quickly and carefully wack off the top most narrow part of the shell. Rinse and place back in an empty egg carton. Put the shell top in the compost.
  2. Poke a hole in the bottom with a pen and place a tiny piece of wet paper over the hole so the compost will not leak out.
  3. Fill with compost or potting soil tapping gently but not firmly to settle. Gently water all the filled shells and plant as per seed pack directions.
  4. Place under grow lights or a bright, south facing window till they germinate. If using the window idea, turn daily.
  5. Plant in pot or garden when they have at least their first set of true leaves. Crush the egg shell gently to help the roots spread out into the soil.

Tip: Some seeds may require bottom heat which can be accomplished with placing the carton on top of your refrigerator, water heater, or a heat mat. You can also make a little greenhouse out of a bakery plastic container, so you will not have to water very much.

By littlegamma from Southern, AL

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Should I put a layer of dirt between the seed and the fertilizer or can I put the seed right on top of the fertilizer?

By Bruce R.

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Most seeds have their own energy supply and should not be fertilized, particularly if planted in well amended soil. You can start with a small amount of fertilizer, scratched lightly into the soil around the plants after they have developed two true leaves. If you are in doubt about a particular type seed, check with your local county extension agent. The advice is free and the Ag Agents love to help.

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To sow all those fly away seeds, simply lay paper towels in your flower beds, wet, and then put seeds directly on the towel. Cover with soil and water as needed. Presto! You will have flowers popping up in no time and the paper will simply rot in the ground!

By Debra from Hampton, TN

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I always soak my pea and bean seeds 24 hours before planting. I cover them with water in containers and set them on the kitchen counter. They spring up so quickly when planted in this way.

By Anne from Green Bay, WI

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It is "sow" (pardon the pun) hard to sow small seeds into seed planters trying to get a head start on outdoor plants. But I had wooden toothpicks separating the seeds and I just wet the toothpick and a single seed would stick to it and I could then put it where I wanted it. I was working with basil seeds at the time, don't know if different seeds make any difference or not.

Happy gardening!

By George from Roanoke, VA

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This is a guide about starting seeds indoors. Often it is recommended that certain seeds be started indoors in order to get a jump start on the growing season.

Seed Starts by Window

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This is a guide about direct sowing seeds. Many flowers and vegetables grow quite well by sowing the seeds directly in the ground in your garden.

Sowing seeds directly.

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This is a guide about winter sowing seeds. Invite nature into your gardening experience by giving winter sowing a try.

Winter sowing.

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When starting flowers from seed, I mark each hydrated pod with a push pin to identify which pods contain a particular flower. For example, yellow for marigolds, red for zinnias, blue for petunias, etc. After danger of frost is past and I plant them outside, I mark the plants with Popsicle sticks with the type of flower written on the stick, until they grow large enough to identify by sight.

By Ginny from New Oxford, PA

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Home and Garden Gardening SeedsApril 28, 2012
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