If you want to grow your plants from seeds, you need to understand how seeds work. Seeds are living entities containing live tissue and stored energy. Once planted and watered, seeds will begin to use their stored energy to sprout and grow into seedlings. Since seeds use their own energy, will seeds grow in the dark?
Yes, seeds can grow in complete darkness. While seedlings and plants need cycles of light and dark to properly execute photosynthesis and then use the stored energy to repair themselves and produce new growth, almost all seeds can sprout in complete darkness.
This is because seeds already contain most of the energy they need to begin sprouting! Read on to learn more about preparing seeds for planting, taking care of seedlings, and transplanting seedlings to your garden.
How Do I Prepare Seeds For Planting
Prepping seeds for planting depends mainly on the type of plant. Be sure to pay attention to how long it takes your seeds to germinate and how long it takes seedlings to grow into mature plants. Some plants have a long germination and growing period, like peppers.
If you plan on growing peppers from seed, be sure to plant your seeds indoors no later than the first week of March to ensure mature plants in time for the summer heat.
There is not much you need to do to prepare seeds. Some gardeners swear by soaking their seeds in lukewarm, NOT HOT, water for 48 hours before planting to help speed the germination process. This step is unnecessary, but if you feel like it helps, go for it!
Is It Better To Plant Packet Seeds or Fresh Seeds
When deciding to grow your garden from seeds instead of seedlings or plants purchased at your local store or farmers’ market, you may be wondering which seeds to plant. You can purchase seed packets at your local stores and have great success if you tend to them properly.
This is the most common approach to gardening from seed when you are new to gardening or just starting with seeds. More experienced gardeners may be saving seeds from last year’s crops. They would have harvested the seeds from vegetables from their gardens and stored them away properly until it was time to use them again.
The last option is to use fresh seeds. You can take the seeds from almost any vegetable and plant them directly into the soil. Peppers are very easy to grow from live peppers. Even store-bought peppers have seeds that will produce pepper plants. No one way of gathering seeds is better than another. Go with the option that works best for you and your gardening goals.
How Do I Test The Viability Of A Seed
When you find a packet of seeds or you have harvested your own and are unsure if they are viable or not, you can do a simple test. You can put your seeds in a damp paper towel, place the whole thing in a plastic bag then store the plastic bag in a cabinet for a few weeks.
Once you remove and check, your seeds should have begun sprouting. If you don’t mind planting a few duds, you can also go ahead and plant your seeds and wait and see what comes up in a few weeks. Be sure to label your seeds and seedlings properly to ensure proper care as the plants continue to grow.
What Do I Do When My Seeds Begin Sprouting
Nothing beats the excitement of when you check your seeds and see little green plants sprouting from the soil! You have successfully germinated your seeds. At this point, it is important to take proper care of your fresh baby plants. Be sure they have enough sunlight.
Place your seedlings in a south-facing window or use a grow light to help if your area does not get enough daylight. Keep your seedlings watered thoroughly, but avoid overwatering as this can drown your seedlings. Keep an eye on your growing seedlings, and when they get large enough, you can transplant them either to a larger pot for a potted garden or directly into the soil of your outdoor garden.
What is “Hardening” Plants
Hardening plants is how we help plants adjust to the outdoor weather slowly before they are transplanted. This process is fundamental to help prevent a traumatic transfer and prevent the plant from going into shock, stunting its growth, or even killing it.
To begin hardening your plants, take them outside for a few hours at a time, gradually increasing their time outdoors. Start with placing your plants in a shaded area and gradually moving them into direct sunlight. After about two weeks of gardening your plants, they should be ready to make the big transition into living outside full time in your garden.
How Do I Save Seeds From My Garden
The season has slowly ended, and you had a successful crop! So successful, you want to save the seeds from your vegetables to regrow next year. Luckily, it is simple and easy to harvest and save seeds for up to 5 years. All you have to do is remove the seeds from your vegetable, rinse them, dry them on a paper towel for a few days, then store them in a Ziploc bag in a cabinet.
After rinsing your seeds, allow them to dry on a paper towel on your counter for a few days until dry. You don’t want to store them wet, as they could mold or even begin sprouting inside the bag. After they have dried, place them in a fresh paper towel and put them in a plastic bag with a Ziploc top.
Be sure to label your seeds properly with their name and the date so you can keep track of the year. Most seeds begin to lose their viability after five years. If you have seeds older than five years, you can still try to plant them or do a viability test. You will find that even 10-year-old seeds can sometimes still produce plants.
Growing plants from seed is exciting and cost-effective. When planning your garden seeds, it is important to take steps to set your seeds up for success. This includes appropriately preparing and storing your seeds, taking care of your seedlings, and harvesting and seed saving from your current garden.
While all plants and seedlings need light and dark cycles to grow and thrive properly, seeds can grow in complete darkness. This is because seeds are self-contained living organisms, which means that seeds have all the energy they need to sprout stored within them. When you give seeds a little water, they start their germination process, and soon enough, you have seedlings! It is interesting how different each step in the plant’s life cycle is.
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!