How to plant a seed

I have been spending my time listening to the Food Growing Summit. While I am in no way a part of this wonderful online seminar I am thoroughly enjoying listening to the speakers and learning some new things. I am finding my self very surprised at the fact that a common theme among the speakers is fear, as in many people are afraid of growing things. The reasons vary from fear of trying, fear of failure and fear of the unknown. I grew up in a home where there was always at least a small garden for tomatoes so the fear of gardening is completely foreign to me as gardening has always been something that just happens. I am gaining the understanding of why people find gardening is so intimidating but I want to encourage anyone who has fear about growing things. Gardening can be difficult and yes there may be failures but at the same time the basics are very basic.

Pick a seed. Try to pick something that grows in your area. Beans and peppers like mild weather. Tomatoes can tolerate warmer weather as long as it's not too dry. Herbs are by far one of the easiest to learn with. You can plant anything you want that can tolerate your climate.

Take a small container, grab any old container you have near by. Your yogurt cup from your breakfast will work perfectly. Fill it with some dirt to the top, preferably potting soil or seed starting mix, whatever you can find at the store. Try to get organic.

Once you have completed that take your finger and poke a hole in the dirt and put your seed in the hole.

Cover the seed with dirt lightly. Do not pack the dirt on top. Take a spray bottle and spray the dirt until it is moist. Place your cup with your seed safely nestled in the dirt near a window that gets a lot of sun and keep your seedling warm. House temperature is perfect.

Now here is the important part so listen up: look at your seedling several times a day. If it looks dry, spray it with water. If it looks to wet, leave it alone for a while. Just get used to peaking at it to see how it is doing.

Learn when the last frost date is for your area, the farmers almanac online is a good place to look. After your last frost date you can move the plant outside for a couple weeks. Continuing watering and watching your plant. After your plant has been outside for about 2 weeks you can plant it in the ground or in a larger container outside.
For planting in the ground dig a hole that is about the size of your cup and add water to the bottom of the hole just until it takes a few seconds for the water to absorb into the dirt. You don't want a puddle in the hole. Take your plant out of the container and place it into the hole and fill the hole back in leaving you little plant stick out from the dirt. Give it a drink of water again until it takes a couple seconds for the water to absorb but not long enough to puddle. To plant in a container follow the same steps as for planting in the ground except use a five gallon bucket or other larger container.

The dirt quality assessment manager hard at work. Hence the need for organic soil. 

There you have it planting a plant broken down into very simple steps. Yes, the plant may die. You might over water, under water, some critter might eat it or some other unforeseen event COULD happen. On the other hand the plant may live and you could be eating something from a plant that you grew yourself. I always tell my children that you never know what could happen if you never give it a try. Without trying there is only one outcome.

Now you should be feeling very confident. Let me share my most recent failure with you. I brought in some of my herbs when the weather turned cold and I was doing such a great job at keeping them going. Then suddenly I noticed that the herbs were drying out despite my frequent watering, I have a feeling it may be due to the very low humidity in my home but I don't really know. On the bright side I now have some freshly dried oregano to add to my cooking and I am sure I can find a use for dried lavender leaves. So sometimes failure is an opportunity waiting to be seized.

A big special thank you to my Little Guy for being an expert model for all of my photos. Even if he couldn't understand why he had to plant the seed in s-l-o-w motion.


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