You bought your vegetable, sunflower seeds, or any other. You may have (or not) your garden plan ready. I bet like many people you can’t wait to start. But only, I am sure you are confused whether to start sowing indoors or outdoors!?
I know I was, when I first start. Because the seed packets don’t always inform you what to do, am I right?
For sure, you are thinking this can’t be that difficult. Regardless, you need to understand a few things. You are having this very satisfying internal voice, that is telling you – I am going to grow my own veggies.
I really get that too. The state of mind could go from happiness to can’t wait to care and nurture the plants.
Why a garden plan?
When sowing your own vegetable seeds, you need to have a plan, which normally tells you the best time to sow, the ideal place, when to water and what to do next.
You will also feel responsible (emotionally attached) when nurturing the plants from the very first day.
When gardening, be in the moment, stress-free and follow your little plan. My plan includes the vegetable names and what to do first. I often ask myself how can a tiny seed turn into a tasty veggie. Have you ever asked yourself the same question?
Anyway, let’s talk about how the seed develops itself, instead, I describe the process of sow seeds, and growing seeds indoors and outdoors from the very beginning of the growing season.
Whether you are an urban, country, patio or balcony gardner, you surely will have the same thoughts on why gardening makes us happy.
Gardening and being outside is healthy and rewarding! What about you? I wonder if you feel the same?
Here is a challenge for you, you can either continue reading and learn how to do it yourself or you can order some seeds (ready to grow) and start your own project indoors. These seeds will be ready to grow in 7 days.
Really, in just three steps, Microgreen kit will do all the work for you.
Why sowing crops from tiny seeds?
The perennial crops among other soft fruits are best grown from plants. Sowing crops from seed is rewarding and allows you to have wider control. It also allows you to grow other unusual varieties you won’t get in shops.
Many crops can only be grown from a seed indoors, whereas others are best grown outdoors.
This also enables you to grow lots of plants very cheaply.
How to sow seeds indoors?
Depending on where you are living but also taking into account the weather conditions, you may want to get a few packets and sow your seeds indoors.
Early spring is the best time to begin seed sowing.
A rule of thumb when sowing seeds indoors is:
- to know when to start,
- prep your space,
- select your seeds,
- how many seeds you need,
- the material needed.
Sowing seeds indoors will give you an earlier head start.
Step 1) get the small pots or trays clean and ready. Egg cardboard will also do if you are on a tight budget.
Next, grab the multi-purpose compost and fill them just below the rim. Water well and leave it to drain. Gently sow seeds onto the compost and cover with more compost. Remember to follow the depth given on the seed packet.
Step 2) cover the seeds with a clear plastic bag to help retain moisture and place them somewhere warm with good light. Check them daily, and when seedlings appear, remove the plastic bag.
Step 3) Once the seedlings have two pairs of leaves, and if reaches half finger high, then transplant them into trays. You want to give them some room to grow, so the best option is to plant them into individual pots.
Finally, grow the seedlings under warm conditions or cover them if need be. When they are large enough, and the risk of frost has passed, acclimatise them to the outdoor climate. Only place them outside by day, and collect them inside by night, for the next ten days or so.
Direct sowing outdoors
The easiest way is directly sowing them where they are supposed to grow, outside.
Like many things in life, sowing outdoors require some thinking, preparation and tools if you want to be successful in harvesting fruits or plants weeks later. What’s so hard in sowing seeds directly into the soil, you ask?
It’s not hard at all. But there is a bit of science behind it.
Test your soil, weather before sowing
We all need to check if the soil is rich in nutrients and or are in a suitable condition before planting any seeds. Spring is not showing up this year (2021), grounds are hard, lacking water and moisture making it difficult to make holes in it.
Other than a poor quality soil, you may also have strong winds and frosts that can suck up the necessary moisture to help germinate the crop. In doubt, you can check the weather and should test the soil if you are uncertain.
Weather forecasting zones:
- In the United States, farming or growing zones go from zone 1 to 11. Check Weather and Growing Zone Map.
- The United Kingdom is located in zone 6,7,8 and 9, although the seasons are running late, and you’ll find chilly mornings around the beginning of Spring. As a rule of thumb, the U.K. has harsh cold winters up north and sometimes early warm Summers. Visit the farmer’s weather interactive guide.
Alternatively, get hardy seeds (see example below) that are available and can be sown while the temperatures are frosty if covered properly with thermal fleece, anything else wait until the last frost has passed.
Follow these steps:
- When sowing into a raised bed, prep the soil first. Then remove any weeds, branches and stones. Rake the surface level, and break up any clumps to leave a fine crumb.
- If using a big raised bed, use a string to mark out a line where the seeds will be sown. Then make spaced holes (shallow grooves), using a dibber (aka dibble or dibbler) make holes, so you can sow seeds. You can also use a trowel to open and create some depth in the ground. Read the instructions on the back of the packet.
- Small seeds should be thinly dispersed along the string line – larger ones can be placed individually. Always read the seed packet for the correct planting distances.
- Cover your seeds over with soil and water them, gently, preferably using a can with a fine sprinkler head fitted.
- Patience is a virtue -after several days some seedlings germinate, thin them out to the recommended spacings.
The best hardy seeds to grow outdoors are:
- Broccoli Seed Stemia F1 aka Calabrese – is the perfect broccoli plant for those of you who like to harvest a few stems at a time. Broccoli stemia grows the main head, which then splits into multiple long stems.
- Cauliflowers Seeds – Speed star variety develops and grows quickly. After seeding, it will be ready a few weeks earlier than most regular cauliflower.
- Rocket (Wild) Seeds Captiva = When sowing in fertile soil, these seedlings pop up quickly too, with strong upward growth. Great, peppery ‘Rocket’ taste. We love “wild Rocket” in our household, so we sow it early spring.
Best months to sow seeds and harvest
That will depend on your geographic zone. Southern zones are (where you leave
The crop germinates and grows in 3-4 weeks from sowing. Some flourish in 4-6 days. Harvest continues all summer as you cut, pick, and it all grows back again.
The plants can grow and reach 20-30 cm (8-12″) heights and can spread up to 11-20 cm (4-8″).
Direct sow in outdoor pots or containers
Seeds can also be sown directly into a pot outside, in a very much similar way as in a raised bed. Just fill the container with balanced compost and water it well.
Once it has drained, make tiny holes on the compost surface to sow seeds. Cover them with further compost once you are done. Always remember to water the seedlings.
How often should I water my seeds?
You need to water the seeds daily. Say you get a bit of rain still, but if they are indoors, your crops will rely on you for water. Remember to water daily, especially during the warm sunny days.
To sum up
Whether seeding during April, May and or June, you can always find a corner to seed a tasty variety of vegetables you can sow directly in your patio, garden or own allotment.
If you start seeding in early spring, you are better off starting indoors or in the greenhouse, although from the end of May they can safely be sown outside.
Then, rip the rewards. You can share with family and or neighbours if you have (in your basket) too many vegetables. You can also read how to save seeds
Share in the comments below what you are up to (seeding) and sow as many seeds as you possibly can!