Spring is just around the corner. Really, it is! And we are oh, so, ready! This will be the fourth year (or is it the fifth?) that we have started our own seeds. Let me tell you, it is easy to grow your own bedding plants. The first year we used heirloom seeds and saved seed from the fruit of the harvest each fall since. Each year in mid-February (or March this year!) we plant those seeds indoors and nurture them into beautiful bedding plants of our own. It’s fun, it’s easy, it cost almost nothing, it’s educational, we get to experience a bit of Spring while winter still has a hold on the world around us.
It’s so easy. Gather up a few supplies, follow these simple steps:
- Containers. You can purchase the little trays and starter pots, or you can reuse the small containers last years’ bedding plants came in. You can use those tin cans or plastic tubs you have squirreled away in the cupboard or even a cardboard box lined with plastic.
- Soil. I like to use a good potting/gardening soil to give the seedlings a boost as they start, but you could use soil right out of your garden. Fill containers with soil about 2/3 full.
- Seed. Tomatoes, peppers, herbs, marigolds, alyssum are some that grow well. We used seeds we’ve saved from past years. That’s one of the benefits of using heirloom seeds. Or you can purchase new seed. I am seeing seed displays in all the stores these days. 1 or 2 seeds in small, sectioned containers. Or sprinkle a pinch or two over surface the surface in larger containers. Cover with a layer of soil about 1/4 inch thick.
- Labels. This is important! Those seedlings all look the same. And you wouldn’t want to mix up the jalapenos with the bell peppers, now, would you? You can use craft sticks or seed packages or masking tape or plastic spoons, whatever works on the surface you are planting in.
- Water. Soil should be damp, not drenched. Keeping the soil moist and warm is essential for sprouting the seeds. Once the seedlings are up and growing they’ll require a bit more water, but not too much, you don’t want to drown them!
- Light Source. Set them under a grow light of some type (any fluorescent bulb I think would do in a pinch) and/or near a large window. We use a fluorescent “shop light” and leave it on 24/7.
- Dark Plastic. This absorbs light and holds in moisture. We leave our seeds covered until they are sprouting.
- Patience. There’s nothing like waiting for those tiny seeds to sprout green to teach us patience. But it’s worth it!
And now we wait for our seeds to grow into seedlings and mature into bedding plants, dreaming of the garden we’ll be tending this summer and the fruits of our labor. I’ll be back soon to share our progress and more tips on growing your own bedding plants.
Do you start your plants from seed? What will you be planting in your garden this summer?
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I wish you all the best in your gradening adventures this year. We are going to take time off in our rectangle garden spot this year to hopefully get rid of the morning glory and to redo the garden wall that is about two blocks high but not as straight as we would like. We did, however, plant some sunflower seeds, garlic, lilly of the valley, and holly hocks this year. We also hope to put some new rose plants in towards the back of our back yard to add some color and texture to the perimater of our back yard since that is where we spend most of our time. *smile* Have a great day. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!
Your plans sound beautiful! Sometimes we have to take time to cultivate in order to make it more productive. I’d like to try garlic myself. Lilly of the Valley and HOly Hocks are two of my favorite flowers 🙂 Your yard sounds lovely, a wonderful spot for you family to gather. Have a wonderful week!
Our yard is actually quite simple, bulbs up by the front of the house and grass to the edge. *smile* I would love to add more flowers so when I look out our windows between jobs inside I can admire more color. *smile* Sometimes the grass is more brown than green due to our dry climate. We do have two old large trees that shade the front yard and have planted three trees in the back yard (about three years ago now) – they are Sugar Maple, Blue Spruce Pine, and a London Plain which is a fast growing large leafe disiguous tree. We have a small Foe Plum tree also. *smile* With some roses out along the back window but they are not visable through the window. Just some added color would be nice. *smile* Have a great day and thanks for making the time to visit with me here about yards and flowers. *smile* Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!
Oh, I agree! a little color out the window lifts the spirits and puts a smile on my face. Looking forward to watching the earth come alive again this Spring. It seems to be coming late, and things are more brown than I remember in recent years. Re-birth and Hope – I think that is why God gave us these seasons.
Oh, I’ll bet you’re a good gardener! I am not.
I do love my herb garden. Herbs are such friendly and forgiving plants! My husband usually plants a small vegetable garden. He gardens; I cook. It works out in the long run. 🙂
Funny you should say that, Cheryl. I’m a lot like you! My husband and children are much better gardeners, they have taught me alot, and I leave ALOT of the work to them! I’m good at getting things started, and I love the kitchen work, but my family are the ones that keep it all going and bring in the harvest. I’m planning to add some more herbs this year, they really are easy! All this gardening talk gets my fingers itchy to be digging in the dirt 🙂
Jennifer S. says
Every year I think about growing my own plants from seeds, but we just don’t have the space. So I buy seedlings and direct sow whatever I can. I love to garden although I can’t claim to be much good at it.
It can be a challenge to find the space, Jennifer. I’m really not much good at gardening either, but I learn something every year and improve on the next year. It’s my children that really keep me going – they love getting involved making things grow! Their enthusiasm is contagious 🙂
Neva @ Retire for the Fun of it says
Spring seems to be coming quite early for us in Utah. When the grandkids were (pudgy fingers) 2 and 3 years old, they had fun planting the onion sets in the ground. They were big enough for them to hold and what kid doesn’t love to dig in ground.
An early spring? What a blessing! Planting onion sets is the perfect thing when you are 2 and 3 🙂 There is a lot of ‘schooling’ that takes place when we put the garden in – my children measure and mark the rows and space the seeds, sometimes even planning it all out on graph paper. I am so glad they enjoy it, our garden would be in a sad state (or non-existent) if it weren’t for them!
We’ll be starting our seeds in about two weeks. I am patiently awaiting their arrival in the mail. And I must say I love the spoon marker idea! Genious!! I will be doing that from now on.
It’s always a thrill to get those seed packets in the mail, isn’t it? Some have made fun of my spoon markers 😉 but they stay put, stay visible, and don’t deteriorate. I like them too. Happy planting!
It is so warm and sunny in Switzerland at the moment. Started sewing our seeds. The veg patch down the side of our house has doubled in size this year. Don’t think there is much we aren’t going to try growing. My son loves digging in the soil. Wonder If I will manage to leave a bit empty for him. I have my doubts but he loves helping and then picking the fruit and veg.
Sounds wonderful, Jo! What a blessing to have your son working along side you, digging in the dirt and bringing in the harvest. Enjoy!
Linda, I’d love to know some bedding plant recommendations. I’d have no idea where to start, but would love to try this. I’ve recently planted some veggie seedlings, but haven’t done much more than that. Thanks for the great idea.
Hi Jelli 🙂 We keep things pretty simple. Any type of tomatoes and peppers are a good way to get started. Marigolds too! The first year we started our own seeds I bought one of those started sets and the farm and home store (walmart, target, etc). Filled each section about 2/3 full with potting soil placed 2 or 3 seeds in each one. Keep soil moist but not soaking, give them plenty of sunshine (grow light helps too). In a couple of weeks I’ll be posting again about what to do once they start growing – like thinning them and moving them to bigger post if necessary. In my area, I don’t plant them outdoors in the garden until May. Do you have other specific questions?
I miss my garden! We are in transition as we build our new home and I cannot wait to plant a garden there next year! Love these tips!!!
a new home! how exciting, Carrie! you will thoroughly enjoy getting back to gardening when the time comes. Thank you for stopping in. I’m glad my little tutorial was helpful!
CJ Huang says
I can’t say I’ve done too much for the garden this year since we just moved, but I tend to grow things from foods we buy from the grocery store. 🙂
Some things are just hard to do when you are in the transition of a move. Have you thought about planting herbs in pots? or a small lettuce garden? I hope you find away to play in the dirt in you new yard 🙂 and if not, thankful for those grocery stores, right?
Judith @WholeHeartedHome says
We had a big garden and grew our seeds for years. That was where we used to live. Here we have lots of rocks and though we dug them out, bought dirt, I need manure or nothing will grow. Unless that happens, no garden again this year.
ahh, rocky soil is very challenging. You do live in a beautiful place though. I’ve seen photos you’ve shared on your blog. What wonderful memories you must have from your days of gardening. I imagine you find ways of adding touches of life in and around your home, Judith. I hope Spring makes an appearance for you there soon!