what a great design. to put an entire little plant into a small roundish package. just add water & warmth and .... you have yourself a whole new plant.
Growing Vegetable & Annual Seeds can be a very satisfying and money saving adventure. Just follow these few easy steps.
1. Right soil mix. A good germination mix is a fine and light soil of mostly peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. (Note:Do not use old soil as it harbors weed seeds and pathogen spores. Don't use outdoor soil either as it is much too heavy)
2. Watering. Wet the soil before you plant your seeds & keep the soil evenly moist until seeds germinate. This requires watering a lot, especially in warmer situations. Even after they germinate you must be careful to not let the delicate seedlings dry out or they might die. Some people cover their germinating seeds with a clear plastic cover of some sort to keep in the humidity. (Note:This plastic must be removed once the new baby plants break the surface, as the high humidity can increase fungal & bacterial die off & plants need to breath. Also, make sure that the soil is draining well, as too much water will drown the seedlings roots and they will rot.)
3. Right Temperature. Some seeds germinate best at 80 degrees (like tomatoes & peppers) and some germinate best at 45 degrees (like spinach & green onions). You can use an electric heat mat to get those little seeds growing if they like it on the warmer side.
4. Correct Planting depth. Check the package for planting depth. Some seeds need light for germination (like snapdragons) and need to be right at the surface. Usually the larger the seeds, the deeper the depth, but double check.
5. Light. Plants need light to grow, so make sure that you have your seed trays in a place that gets enough direct sunlight to encourage healthy growth. If they do not have enough light they will stretch long and tall looking for it and probably will not survive the transplant out doors.
6. Fertilizer. Once your happy seedlings grow their first set of 'true' leaves, you should hit them with a mild fertilizer such as Neptune's Harvest. This will feed your hungry little babies and make sure that they grow strong and well.
7. Hardening off. Before you plant your tender little green guys outdoors, you should harden them off. This includes cutting back the water supply a little bit and setting them outside for a few days in a protected area. The wind and sun will toughen them up for the transformation into the garden.
GROW GREAT GARDENS!!
Perennials are more complicated, as they often require stratifying (chilling time) and scarifying (scraping the seed surface).