Click HERE to watch the PA Live Segment on Seed Starting!
You know, it’s funny, a lot of people have a very hard time believing me when they see the pictures of what my garden looked like in the peak of last season, that I had not only accomplished that in one planting season, but did it by myself, with just two hands a few dozen pair of gloves and my trusty mini shovel, haha. Because, I mean it’s psychotic, right? You have to be a special kind of crazy to dig through layers of dirt and rock and more rock, and more rock …… with nothing but the hands that God gave ya and a tiny little shovel. And I sure am that special kind of crazy. I am the kind of crazy who woke up one day after several painstakingly difficult years of battling through my oldest son suffering through cancer treatments and a wretched postpartum depression diagnosis after the birth of my youngest son and realized that I have the power and the God given gift of functioning hands, arms legs, and feet, to create the beauty and the peace and the joy I seek in this world. I don’t need to rely on anyone or anything else to give me that happiness…. it’s mine for the taking. All I have to do is put in the work. And so I did. I taught myself how to use power tools, how to plant and grow all the things, how to sew, how to upholster, how to lay brick, literally anything I could teach myself to do in order to make things prettier and happier around me, I did; and it has reimbursed me TENFOLD.
For this particular Tuesdays with Tori segment, I really wanted to hone in on starting your garden from seeds, particularly because I see this as the absolute BEST avenue to take if you: A.) Live in a colder growing zone and have a shorter season and B.) If you want to grow a beautiful garden without having to take out a second mortgage to pay a landscaper or spend thousands of dollars at your local nursery to fill out your space. I will absolutely admit though, even with how much I started and grew from seed last year, I probably kept Corky’s in business with my “retail therapy trips” because let’s be honest, sometimes a girl just has to rage spend to make herself feel better. There is no better local gardening center than Corky’s in Scott Township, so if you are local I highly highly highly recommend. They are my primary source for literally any and everything garden related whether it be my soil amendments, my Bobbex deer repellent spray or the rage-spending perennials that find their way into the trunk of my SUV from time to time.
Anyyyyyyywho, back to the NO EXCUSES tune of this blog post, literally all you need is some patience, a few packets of seed of your choice, some seed starting soil, seed trays (and grow lights and heating mat if you don’t have a warm sunny area in your home to keep the seedlings happy) Below i’ve listed and sourced all of the supplies you will need to start your seeds indoors! You probably have missed the window on a few types of seeds, but if you’re in a colder zone like me (5B/6A) you still have time to start some of my personal favorites like zinnias, which I plan to start this week or next, myself.
Now, in my opinion, seed-starting indoors, in general, is pretty easy. Pretty much every time someone has come to me with a question as to why their seeds are not germinating, it’s always because they are simply not following direction. Each individual seed packet will come with a list of instructions on the back. They should always list: How many days typically until germination occurs, the life-span of the seed, when to start the seed indoors (if thats what you plan to do), when to direct sow them outdoors (if that’s what you plan to do), what depth to plant the seed if not surface sow, and what temperature the soil needs to be in order for the seed to germinate and thrive. If for whatever reason, your seed packet does not contain information that you need, just remember, Google is your friend. Do not assume what the seed needs based off of what other seeds you’re growing need. Seeds and plants, like ANY living growing thing all have different needs. No two are exactly alike and it is important that you tend to the individualized needs of whatever it is you are trying to grow if you want your seedlings/plants to thrive. If you try to sow poppies in the same way/environment as you are sowing your snapdragons, they will not grow. They will not even sprout. It is not as simple as just throw down the seed, add water and sunlight and voila! BUT it is also not as hard as some people think it to be, you just need to follow the directions 🙂
Below is a list of seeds that I prefer to start indoors and which I have better luck with sowing directly into the garden. A lot of times the seed packet will tell you which method is recommended by them. There are a variety of reasons why some seeds fare better to direct sow, but often times its just because they have very sensitive roots that do not transplant easily. If you live in a warmer climate and have a longer growing season, you can honestly probably direct sow most of your varieties, but if you live in a colder climate like me, starting your seeds indoors will not only ensure successful germination because its being done in a controlled environment, but also you are extending the life of your plant. If I were to direct sow my zinnias, I would maybe only get a month or two of enjoying them, but because I start them indoors I get to enjoy them for 3-4 months instead 🙂
My favorite seed sources are Baker Creek Seeds, Johnny’s Seeds, Uprising Seeds and Swallowtail Seeds! I hope that this blog post was helpful! Seed starting and growing from seed is honestly a topic that I could go on and on and on about, there is so much information on this topic — way too much for me to include in one post. But I hope that this will at least help give you the jump start you need to give seed starting indoors a try 🙂