Garden Guide: Don’t start your plants from seed until you read this

Here are three tips that will help you grow plants from seed faster and cheaper.

Alex Calamia

Apr 17, 2024, 10:29 AM

Updated 38 days ago


Most summer veggies grow fast enough to make it more than worthwhile to grow from seed. Starting plants from seed takes a little longer than purchasing seedlings at the nursery, but doing so will give you an opportunity to grow unusual varieties that wouldn’t be available otherwise.
Here are three tips to make starting plants from seed a breeze.

Start seeds in small containers

I start almost all my plants in small containers before putting them into their final spot in the garden. It’s easier to keep an eye on them and manage watering. It may sound counterintuitive, but small pots can help them grow faster too when they’re young. The soil in small containers warm up faster on a sunny day than in the ground. Containers will also give you the flexibility to easily carry your seedlings inside if there is a late season cold snap.

Check your local library for free seeds

Many libraries have a “Seed Library” program. Gardeners bring seeds they collect from their yard in change for new seeds. Some libraries will offer seed packets completely free of charge with no exchange required.

Pre-soak your seeds in water

Soak your seeds in water for up to 24 hours. This will give them the signal that it’s time to sprout. Make sure not to keep them soaked for too long. Emerging sprouts are very brittle and will break if they are handled. It’s best to plant those seeds in soil right before the seeds open up.

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