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Projects & Activities

Starting Your Garden Plants From Seed

By Miriam Goldberger, president and native plant expert, Wildflower Farm, your wildflower source.

  1. Helps your garden get a head start.
  2. Saves money over buying “already grown” plants.
  3. Makes a great in-class project.

Starting plants from seed is a very gratifying experience, one that is not as difficult as many people think. Unless you are planting a wildflower meadow, I recommend that you start your seeds indoors. This allows the seeds the best conditions in which to germinate and removes the possibility of competition from weeds. Most people do not have a greenhouse, but almost everyone has a sunny window ledge that can provide an ideal space to start your seeds.

It’s best to sow the seeds in a sterile, soil-less mix you can purchase at your local garden centre. As a rule of thumb, plant the seeds at a depth of twice the diameter of the seed. Some seeds, however, require light to germinate and should be placed on the surface of the soil mix. Keep the soil moist but not wet, and never allow it to dry out. A hand-held mist sprayer is ideal for this. Almost all seeds will germinate at average household temperatures of 18-21°C (65-70°F). You'll need to exercise some patience as some seeds will germinate within a few days while others may take a few weeks.

treesFor other tree-/forest-related activities, check out the printable PDFs in the Printables section under Science & Nature. Or click here for information about forests and trees.

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