While waiting for the weather to warm up for spring gardening, many of us gardeners start our garden seeds indoors. But being in Texas where weather is unpredictable, better get familiar with the seeds we are going to plant.
There are many garden seeds of both flowers and vegetables can be started outdoors, at the start of the growing season. Some plants don’t like being transplanted and grow better if you seed them directly in the bed where they will grow without disturbance. But still, direct sown seeds need special attention as much as possible.
Every planting season, we direct plant garden seeds like peas, long beans, green beans, squash, gourds etc. Here are our experiences for success when direct seeding:
- Soak the seeds overnight before the day you direct plant into the soil. Pre-soaking your seeds gives them all the water they need to get a jump start on life. Soaking seeds before planting speeds up germination by stirring up the process of the dormant baby plant inside the seed’s hull coming to life. This simple technique can pass several days off the usual germination time.
- Label the seed, put stake on and make sure the area is weed free. It’s easy to mistake sprouting weed seed for your flower or vegetable seeds. And yet you forget if you don’t put marker or plant tag.
- Follow the sowing information on the seed packet, if there is one. The rule of thumb is to plant seeds 3 times as deep as their circumference. Some seeds require light for germination so gently press into the soil and make good contact is enough.
- Find the right timing to plant and sow your seeds. Some seeds or seedlings won’t survive frost. Some require a cold period to germinate.
- Water gently. Don’t wash the seeds away or have them all flow into a pile.
- Keep the soil moist until the seed germinates. Water whenever the soil looks dry.
- Thin your seedlings to give air space and room to grow. You can remove the unwanted and leave the healthy ones.
- Continue to pamper your seedlings until they become established plants by checking them everyday what needs to be done until they are ready to flower and bear fruits.