Like a child in a candy store, excited over each sweet treat, I’m every bit as ecstatic watching those first seeds sprout, slowly poking through the soil, hungry for light after weeks of darkness.
For the Love of Seeds
I enjoy growing plants from seeds so much that I’ve been known to get a little carried away. If it’s a plant I don’t yet have, if it’s something unique or different, I must acquire it. It’s become somewhat of an obsession (or more like an addiction) and I’ve built up quite the collection. So many seeds, in fact, that I had to create a binder to keep them all organized.
In late winter and early spring, my kitchen table becomes home to flat after flat of seed-filled trays and pots. When it’s warm enough outside and they’ve sprouted abundantly, they get moved to the unheated greenhouse, and from there they’re slowly hardened off and transplanted into the garden or in containers.
I always end up planting far more than I need, since not all of them will survive. That said, there have been years when the seedlings exceeded my expectations and I’m left scratching my head as to where in the world I’ll stick them all.
In many ways, growing plants from seeds is similar to raising kids. I even give them pet names. Don’t you? They’re my babies after all. I planted them, cared for them and watched them grow into maturity. I really get excited when they bloom or fruit, creating youngsters of their own – a new generation of plants to grow. Yes, it’s true that hybrid seeds won’t turn out as exact replicas of their parents. Like that box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. And that’s part of the fun!
Something else I like about starting seeds is that it’s a cheap way to expand your plant collection. And you can start them in just about anything. I’ve experimented with various containers and one of my favorites is egg cartons, especially the cardboard types. These are great in that you can easily sink them straight into the garden (or a large container) once they’re ready for transplanting. No need to disturb the fragile seedlings and the cardboard trays eventually break down. Easy peasy!
If you haven’t yet tried seed starting, you should. Growing plants from seeds is a wonderful way for beginners to start their first garden. Try a flower. Once it blooms, you’ll be hooked. Grow an easy herb like basil or try your hand at a veggie – nothing tastes better than homegrown and nothing beats the pride felt watching something sprout from seed to harvest ready produce.