It’s really easy to grow your own plants and vegetables but sometimes you might need a little helping hand. A lot of people – especially in Britain – avoid growing their plants right from the start and opt to buy seedlings from nurseries or garden centres instead. A lot of the time this is down to the short growing season; however, despite this short growing season it is perfectly possible to grow your plants and vegetables from seeds.
In order to grow successfully right from the seed you will have to be willing to give up a bit of space in your home to keep your seeds healthy. You should also arm yourself with a greenhouse too so that your seedlings can flourish outside when the weather gets better.
Growing seeds indoors isn’t difficult as long as you avoid making some really common mistakes. It’s important to make sure your seeds have enough light; a lot of people think that growing seeds by a window is enough, but it isn’t. It’s advisable to put them in a conservatory – if you have one – with the lights on as well. If you don’t have a conservatory then artificial light works just as well as natural light; you don’t have to buy lights that are especially for growing seed either as fluorescent tube lights work just as well if they are hung above the germinating seeds. You should make sure the lights are close to the growing seeds but make sure that they do not touch them, the seeds should have a constant source of light for between twelve and sixteen hours per day – it’s easy to monitor this as you can attach a timer to your light so that they turn on and off automatically.
The way you water them needs to be exactly right too; it’s not good giving them too much or too little water as the outcome will be the same either way. It’s important to keep the soil that your seeds are growing in damp, it should never be wet.
Another big mistake that people make is letting their seeds get to cold. Seeds must be kept warm of you want them to grow successfully and they should generally be kept between 18?C and 24?C. If you can’t bear your home being this warm then there are special heaters or seedling mats that you can buy which will keep them at their optimum temperature.
Once your seeds have begun to grow and the weather begins to improve you’ll be able to move them outside into your greenhouse. The greenhouse will provide the plants with enough light and heat as well as protecting them from the elements until they are sturdy enough to be planted.
This article was written by professional gardener John Riley on behalf of greenhousepeople.co.uk.