Vegetable Garden Seeds and Seedlings
Why Use Organic Seed?
Successful gardening depends on good quality seed and seedlings. Good quality seeds mean that they are free from chemical treatment or that they are not GMO (Genetically Modified Seed). If given a chose when buying your seed, buy Vegetable Garden Seed from companies like Aimers Organics and Burpee® to name a few.
Benefits to Using Organic Seed?
There are many reasons why we should use organic seeds. Please go to www.seedsofchange.com. Seeds Of Change specialize on the benefits when growing crops with organic seed.
Decide what vegetables you love to eat? Do you like lettuce? Cucumbers? Basil? Parsley? Potatoes? Tomatoes? Kale? Green peppers? What vegetables and herbs would compliment the recipes that you cook and eat with?
Planning which crops you want to grow will direct the list of seeds that you need for the organic garden. Which seeds and seedlings to use is an essential part of the garden planning process. Examining the Companion Planting recommendations will help guide your choices.
Most plants can be started from seed, though some plants, like mint and comfrey do best propagated by cuttings or root division. Most vegetable crops are grown either directly in the garden beds or in seed trays till they are big enough to be transplanted into the garden beds.
Organic vegetable garden seeds like carrots, corn, cucumber, radish and pumpkin should be planted straight into the garden. It is better to start plants like tomato and lettuce in trays as the seeds are tiny.
How to plant vegetable garden seeds
- Seeds that are planted directly into the organic garden must be watered and cared for intensively till germination takes place.
- Keep the soil beds moist (but not saturated) a day before putting the seed in the ground.
- When watering your seedlings, use a watering can, or a misting spray bottle. If the flow of water is too strong, the seed can be washed away, leaving the area barren.
- The average planting depth is 2.5 times the width of the seed. If the seed is lying flat, put 2.5 times the depth of soil on top of it
- Small seeds like tomato should be lightly covered with soil. Make sure the soil is damp when you plant, and tamp it down once you have put the seed in. (tamp=give soil a light tap to secure the seed in place)
- The new seeds need to stay moist, water everyday two days or if in hot conditions water more frequent until the seeds germination.
- The top of the soil must not dry out at all during germination otherwise the seeds will not germinate properly.
- Make sure not to overwater. Root rot could set in.
- Weeds will germinate when. Learn to recognize your crop and know what to pull out.
- Always remove weeds close to the growing seedlings.
- Weeds drain nutrients out the soil. Pull out the weeds.
- Take care to remove the weeds by the roots. Put them back on the soil. Use them as green mulch.
- Consistency is key when watering and weeding the organic vegetable seeds. It is important to the success of the seed that will grow into a healthy plants filled with fresh vegetables to eat.
- Light mulch (organic matter that decomposes) can be spread around the area where you have planted the seeds.
- Mulch helps to keep weed germination to a minimal.
How to Transplant Seedlings from indoors to the outdoor garden
- If you are transplanting seedlings from indoors, leave the trays of seedlings outside for a day or two to allow the plants to adjust to the outside light and temperature.
- Leaving the seedlings outside in natural conditions makes the transfer into the organic garden soil easier.
- The best time to transplant is in the late afternoon or evening. The soil is warm and there is no stress from the hot sun so the seedlings have time to acclimatize overnight.
- Gently lift a seedling out of the tray, keeping as much soil around the base/ roots as possible.
- The soil must be moist when the transplanting takes place.
- Dry soil will fall away from the root ball.
- Dig an opening in the ground big enough to make room for a generous scoop of compost and the seedling.
- Place the compost then the seedling into the opening.
- Make sure the soil is damp when you put the seedling into the hole and tamp it down once you have put the seedling in. (tamp=give soil a light tap to secure the seed in place)
- Seedlings can be easily displaced by water or wind if not tamped down.
- The topsoil must not dry out at all. Add green mulch to help keep the soil from drying out.
- Make sure not to over water either. Root rot could set in.
- Distribute mulch and/or compost around the seedling. Be careful that the mulch and or compost Does Not Touch the stem which is the base of the seedling.
- The mulch will burn the seedling as it decomposes.
- The water must soak in deep, giving the seedling a boost to acclimatize and grow.
- Water the seedlings well for the next 2-4 days until they are established, then water them once or twice a week. Read more on How to Water Organic Vegetable Garden.
- Some seedlings go through transplant shock( will do a post and send you a link). When a plant has transplant shock, it looks wilted.
- The seedlings normally recover from transplanting them in a day or two.
- Feeding seedlings liquid fertilizer helps to avoid transplant shock.
Weeds in the companion planting garden
- Weeds indicate what is missing in the soil. They grow to replenish nutrients in the soil.
- Lots of weeds will grow around your seedlings. Make sure to remove all weeds that grow close and around the seedling as it grows.
- Take care to remove the weeds by the roots and use them as green mulch. Adding greens to your soil will give back to the soil and help build it.
Heritage Heirloom Seeds
There has been a large debate over the last decade around the world about the Seed Issue. Seed giants have been altering the genetics of seed for years, even though it is now proven to be unsuccessful.(GMO seeds = Genetically Modified Organism).
Article of Interest: Genetically Modified Seeds: Women in India take on Monsanto: The way to food security
Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming Organic v. Monsanto
Information From A Different Perspective Be Aware of Monsanto
There is a world wide movement that is part of the Heritage Seed preservation. Heritage seed is not tampered with, making it viable, reliable and high yielding. Take a look at some seed sharing networks and companies which specialize in growing organic or heritage seed. Seeds of Diversity is a Canadian volunteer organization that conserves the biodiversity and traditional knowledge of food crops and garden plants in Native North America.
Always save a few seeds from your companion plants to grow in the next season, especially if they are organic or heritage seed.