Why Grow From Seed?
The seed provides nutrients for the growing plant for the first few weeks, so all you have to provide is water and warmth. The bigger the s
eed, the more nutrition it has to provide, the easier it is to handle, and the more robust the seedlings are! Beginner gardeners should try large seeded varieties such as Sweet Corn, Sunflowers, Nasturtiums, Peas, Beans, Beets and Coriander – you can’t go wrong with these!
Seeds often have protective coatings that work as a buffer against poor growing conditions (e.g. too much/too little water), so these are hard to grow ‘wrong’. On top of this, Mr Fothergill’s packs come with very clear and easy instructions, as well as a growing guarantee in case anything goes wrong!
A frequent misconception is that growing from seed requires patience; germination time varies greatly between varieties – starting at just 2 days through to 6 weeks – but most home grown varieties germinate within just 10 days. Mr Fothergill’s packs advise you how long it will take for the seed to germinate, and how long before flowering/harvesting. For quickest results in veggies, try out our Radish, Cress and leafy greens such as Spinach, and you’ll be harvesting in just 4 weeks!
The direct sowing of seed eliminates transplantation shock, and allows the plant to establish strong, healthy roots quickly, leaving you with the healthiest result and best harvest! When you buy a seedling grown in a plastic pot, it has often been grown in a greenhouse in optimum conditions, so will begin to struggle once you take it home – when transplanting to the garden, the seedling can go into shock, stop growing, and take weeks to recover, if it ever does. Often seedlings grown in a pot for a prolonged period also have deformed roots, which limits growth and nutrient absorption. To allow the roots to spread in the garden, you have to separate them from the ball they’ve formed, which dramatically increases the chance of transplantation shock, as the plant will focus its energy in repairing the damage to the roots before it can continue growing.
It Saves You Money
Seed fills vary greatly between varieties, but in most cases you get hundreds or thousands of seeds per packet! Seeds also hold a long shelf life, so you can plant them over time and get a succession of veggies and flowers – this is particularly handy with one-off harvesting plants such as cress and coriander. A pack of seeds can cost as little as $1.60, and at most $5.00 – the price is similar to a punnet of seedlings, but in comparison you get far more plants, have the option and opportunity of selecting the strongest seedlings, and save some serious money in the long run.
It Gives You Peace of Mind
Growing from seed allows you to know exactly what has gone into your produce. You can avoid any and all chemicals that you choose to, and can even buy organically grown seeds to grow your own, cheap organic produ
ce. All of Mr Fothergill’s seeds are GMO free, and any seed varieties that MUST be chemically treated by law are clearly marked on the packet. If there is no chemical warning on the packet, these seeds have NOT been treated. Remember, the seed feeds the plant for just a few weeks, so what you add to the soil for the next few months is the most important part.
It Gives You The Best Choice
Year round, you have endless options with seeds – you have hundreds of varieties to choose from, any time of the year, and not just when they are in peak season.
Certain Varieties Must be Directly Sown
Some plants cannot tolerate transplanting, so you must sow them directly to their final growing position for them to succeed, either because their root system is delicate, or they have long tap roots. Some varieties can be transplanted, but still perform better if directly sown from seeds – for example, peas, beans and corn.
Direct sowing is a must for all plants with long tap roots, such as poppies and carrots. If they can’t grow their roots straight down, it will start circling and deforming. Even if it survives the transplanting, the damage to that tap root is irreversibly done – for example, carrot shape is developed in the first three weeks of its life.
It’s Enjoyable, and Satisfying!
There is incredible enjoyment and satisfaction in watching a humble seed grow into a magnificent flower, or a bumper crop of vegetables! By growing from seed YOU have made it happen – YOU have been a part of this incredible transformation from the start, and YOU can taste the difference resulting from the effort you’ve put in. It’s a particularly amazing and education experience for kids to see what they can make happen with just a few, small seeds.