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Tips and Tricks for Starting Perennial and Vegetable Seeds

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Have you considered starting your own plants from seed this year? Seed starting can be really gratifying, but it’s also a decent amount of work. What are you hoping to accomplish by starting your own seeds? There are a number of reasons to undertake the challenge. For one, seed starting is less expensive than buying plants. You can get a number of plants for a fraction of the price of full-grown ones at the nursery. A second reason for starting your own seeds is biodiversity. When relegated to the selection at your local garden store, you miss out on so many other plants. Seed catalogs advertise dozens of cultivars of your favorite plants that you would have difficulty tracking down at any one store.

Many people prefer to grow their own vegetables for health reasons. When you’re at the helm, you can ensure that only the things you want to go into your food’s soil actually do so. You can also try different varieties of veggies that your grocery wouldn’t have either, which can open up a world of options for recipes and enjoyment alike.

So why does it seem that seed starting is still reserved for the most plucky of gardeners? Seed starting isn’t complicated, after all, but as with most things, there are still ways to screw it up. Below, you’ll find some ways to avoid those common mistakes. Here’s a summary:

  • For starters, no matter what the scope of the project you are beginning, it’s always good to start with a plan. Know what you’re after when you start your own seeds, and why you’re doing so. The reasoning will help with your resolve when the going gets tough.
  • Do some research on different seed types so that you can understand the seeds’ needs. Start with “The Science of Seed Starting” (below).
  • For those seeds that require it, make sure to carry out pretreatment to give your seeds the best chance at germinating.
  • Gather the tools of the trade. Seed-starting stands are a good investment, but if you’re just starting out, you can get the same effect with DIY seed-starting setups.
  • Remember to plant a good mix of vegetables and ornamentals to ensure that pollinators are on hand to help fertilize.

Keep an eye on your seedlings and treat them well, and sooner or later you’ll have your very own robust garden teeming with life and produce.




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