How to start plants from seeds

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Starting plants from seed.

Starting plants from seed.
There are a few basic methods for sowing seeds
Some seeds require special pre-treatments, if you have purchased seeds that have special needs it will be explained on the packet otherwise these general instructions will apply to the seeds you have purchased
Your seed packet will instruct you to sow either direct, in trays or jiffy pots. I prefer to sow most of my seeds in trays or jiffy pots (with the exception of root vegetables and onion varieties) because my climate is very hot and it is easier to monitor the water in trays or jiffy pots but many seeds can be successfully sown direct.
Sowing Direct
Firstly dig over the area where the seeds are to be sown, add organic matter such as compost there is no real need to add fertilser at this point, but if you are adding organic matter I recommend adding some blood and bone as well.
Rake out the soil so it is nice and even, if the seeds you are sowing are fine dig a small trench to the depth required and scatter the seeds evenly along the trench, then cover with a fine layer of soil. (You can thin
Sowing in trays
You can use margarine containers, egg cartons, recycle take away containers or seedling punnets or trays just make sure you have punched drainage holes in the bottom of the containers.  Fill the container with fine potting soil or seed raising mix which can be purchased at most hardware stores, (don’t use garden soil). Sprinkle fine seeds over the surface of the soil, then cover with a fine layer of the seed raising or potting mix. If planting larger seeds simply push them into the mix with your finger making sure they are fully covered.  Plant seedlings out when they have approx. 4-6 leaves
Sowing in Jiffy pots
Jiffy pots are an excellent way to start off most seeds as they hold the right amount of water to aid germination of most seeds. Soak jiffy pots in warm water until they expand you will notice there is a small opening in the mesh that hold the jiffy pot together this is where you sow the seeds plant only one or two seeds to each jiffy pot, once the seedlings have about 4-6 leaves plant the whole thing into the garden jiffy pot and all. Ensure jiffy pots can drain easily jiffy pots are available from my store
Handy Hints
Read the packet the seeds came in for any specific instructions or treatments for that particular seed
Keep seeds moist but not wet at all times ( an atomizer full of water kept handy to seeds is great to keep them moist)
For extremely fine seed mix seeds with sand or fine seed raising mix then sow for more even coverage
General rule of thumb is plant seeds as deep as they are big ( so if seed are about 5mm in size plant about 5mm deep)

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