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Wednesday, 21 January 2009 15:45

Plants that are easy to grow from seeds

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We’ve talked about saving money by growing plants from seeds, and that many more plant varieties are available as seeds compared to what you find at the local nursery. Then we discussed how to get seeds to germinate and grow. Now you’re ready to start; here are some plants that are easy to grow from seeds.

Sow tomato seeds in the pots that the seedlings will grow in. If you want four plants, use four pots, etc. Tomatoes grow quickly, so use a pint size or larger pot. In mid-April sow 2 to 3 seeds in each pot about ? inch deep. Keep in a warm area, or use gentle bottom heat from a heating cable or pad. Germination should occur in about 5 days. When second leaves appear snip off all but the strongest sprout in each pot with scissors. Grow on the dry side, but don’t allow to wilt. Start hardening off May first. On May 15th remove all but 5 or 6 leaves at the top of the plant, then put in the ground deep enough so that only 6 inches of stem are visible. Additional roots will form along the buried part of the stem, making the plant stronger.

Start lettuce indoors March first to have plants ready for the garden in April. (Lettuce plants can take quite a bit of frost.) Put 2 to 3 seeds directly into a small pot, on the surface of the medium. Do not cover. At a cool room temperature seedlings should emerge in a couple of days; after a week or two thin to one per pot. Keep moist. When they are 3 inches tall, start hardening off, and plant outside at the depth they were in the pot.

Sow basil seeds in mid-March 1/16-inch deep in the seed flat. Keep in a warm area, or use gentle bottom heat. You should see the first seedlings in a couple of days. When second leaves appear transplant to individual pots. Keep moist. Start hardening off May first, and put in the ground in mid-May at the depth they were in the pot.

Start marigold seeds in early March about 1/8 inch deep in the seed flat. Seedlings should emerge within a couple of days at room temperature. When second leaves appear, transplant to pots. Keep moist. Start hardening off May first, and put in the ground in mid-May at the depth they were in the pot.

Buy pelleted petunia seeds; they are much easier to handle. Un-pelleted petunia seeds are microscopic. Sow in mid-March on the surface of the seed flat. Do not cover. Keep in a warm area, or use gentle bottom heat. Germination should occur within 5 days. When second leaves appear plant in individual pots. Grow on the dry side. Start hardening off May first, and put in the ground in mid-May at the depth they were in the pot.

Put the packet of snapdragon seeds in your freezer for a couple of days in early March, then sow on the surface of the medium in the seed flat. Do not cover. Keep in a warm area, or use gentle bottom heat. Seedlings should emerge within 5 days. When second leaves appear transplant to individual pots. Keep moist. Start hardening off May first, and put in the ground in mid-May at the depth they were in the pot.

Start zinnia seeds in early April about 1/8 inch deep in the seed flat. Keep in a warm area, or use gentle bottom heat. Germination should occur within a couple of days. When second leaves appear plant in individual pots. Keep moist. Start hardening off May first, and put in the ground in mid-May at the depth they were in the pot.

Growing plants from seeds can be rewarding, save you money, and is lots of fun. Give it a try!

Jim Janke is a Master Gardener Volunteer in Haywood County. For more information call the Haywood County Extension Center at 828.456.3575.
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