Buying seeds is far less expensive than buying full-grown plants, and many gardeners enjoy getting their hands dirty and nurturing a seed from the very beginning of the growing process. There are thousands of types of flower and vegetable seeds, and they all need a particular combination of soil, sun and water to thrive. If the right environmental factors are provided, seeds will grow into seedlings relatively easily. Seeds can be sown directly in the ground or started indoors earlier for transplanting into the garden at a later time. The gardener should follow packet guidelines.
Growing Seeds Indoors
The biggest benefit to growing seeds indoors is the ability to get a head start on the season. It also allows the gardener to provide optimal conditions such as correct temperature and moisture levels. Unlike planting seeds outdoors, seeds can be started indoors before all danger of frost has passed. When the time comes to plant the seedlings outdoors, the time to bloom or harvest will be closer than it would be for seeds started outdoors after the weather warms up.
It’s essential to provide the right environment for seeds to get their start indoors. Seedling pots or seedling trays are usually made of plastic or biodegradable material. Some seedling pots are made with biodegradable material which require additional soil; others are full constructed with biodegradable material such as peat moss. With biodegradable seedling pots, the seedling can be planted directly into the ground without having to remove the delicate seedling from the pot.
Plastic seedling pots may come filled with peat moss to support the seed or the gardener may need to fill the pots or trays with planting soil or peat moss. After pots are filled, moisten the soil by watering or using a mister. Poke a small hole in the centre of each pot using a pencil per the depth suggested by the seed package and drop two or three seeds into the hole. Lightly cover the hole with more soil.
Place pots or trays in a protected area and out of the direct path of a vent, which may cause temperature fluctuations. Ensure proper lighting is provided according to the instructions on the seedling package, taking care to keep the seedlings out of direct sunlight.
Keep soil moist at all times, but standing water in the pot is a sign of over-watering. If the seed dries out before it has sprouted, the shell may become impervious to growth. Over-watering can cause a similar effect.
If the gardener has started seeds indoors, the time to transplant the seedlings is after all danger of frost has passed. Once this has been determined, the gardener can prepare the area to be planted by defining the area, amending the soil and providing adequate space between the plants. Then, dig holes that are slightly larger than the seedlings and place the seedlings in the ground.
Planting Seeds Outdoors
The biggest difference between sowing seeds directly into the ground and starting seeds indoors is the timing. The geographic location of the garden determines when seeds can be safely planted outdoors - after the last freeze. Because seeds are planted with minimal dirt coverage over the top, they are vulnerable to the elements. Even a light frost can damage the hull and kill the seed. Be sure you check your garden zone for a recommended planting calendar.The gardener will want to prepare the necessary tools for planting outdoors. A good pair of gardening gloves can save hands from bug bites and scrapes and enable the gardener to manipulate the soil well.
Once the garden area has been chosen, prepare the ground with quality compost and amend the soil to encourage good drainage with peat moss or other amendment. Proper drainage allows room for the roots to spread and encourages water accessibility for the plant. A raised bed allows a garden to be defined and contained, and it also makes it easier to prepare the ideal mix of soil and amendments. Ensure the planting area is free from pests. Use garden tools to rake and loosen the soil and to create rows for planting. Seed packets list spacing guidelines that take into account the plant’s full size when mature. It’s important to pay attention to spacing requirements to avoid overcrowding, which may inhibit the plant’s growth.
Sow seeds directly into the ground. Planting depth is dependent on seed type. Some seeds need direct sunlight to germinate; others need a light coverage of soil.
Keep seeds moist at all times; do not allow gardening area to become either too saturated with water or dried out.
Once seeds have sprouted, the gardener should thin seedlings per package guidelines. This will allow plenty of space for the remaining plants to thrive.
How to Buy Seeds on eBay
Buyers can find a wide range of flower and vegetable seeds on eBay. To browse available types, shoppers can first type ‘seeds’ into the search bar on any eBay page or narrow the results immediately by choosing ‘flower seeds’ or ‘vegetable seeds’. Available filters will load on the left, providing options for further defining the search results.
eBay is a popular choice for gardeners and collectors alike. eBay gives avid gardeners and novices a platform on which to buy an extensive variety of seeds and tools to help a garden grow.