By Susan Martin for Proven Winners
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners
More people than any time in recent memory are growing fruits and vegetables from seed. You might think December is too early to be thinking about next year’s garden, but we’ll show you why now is the perfect time to be seed hunting. You’ll also find handy seed starting tips in this helpful article.
You might be looking out the window right now at your winter garden and wondering why we are talking about growing seeds this time of year. Surely, we are months away from being able to garden again, right?
In fact, winter is when most people order their seeds for the upcoming season. Wait until spring and you’ll surely miss out. Popular varieties sell out quickly in winter, plus you will need time to start them indoors an average of six to eight weeks before your last frost date. Now is the time to snap some up for yourself and maybe a lucky person on your Christmas list, too.
Berried Treasure® strawberries, for example, are plants you will definitely want to start from seed in winter. Once you receive the seeds, you’ll need to prep them by setting the seed packets in your freezer for three to four weeks before sowing. Eight weeks before the average last frost date in your area, sow the seeds in small pots indoors and you should start to see green in about three more weeks. Another few weeks after frost, they will be ready to plant outdoors. If you wait until spring to order your strawberry seeds, the plants will miss much of their first growing season. Fortunately, they are perennial so they will return and fruit every year in most parts of the country.
Now, more than any time in recent memory, people are turning to their own gardens to grow their favorite fruits, vegetables and herbs. Some are doing it as a safer way to feed their families at a time when in-store shopping can be a challenge and we’re increasingly on alert for food recalls. Others are leaning into gardening as a welcome distraction from the daily news.
Knowing what goes into what you consume is important. When you start with plants like GMO-free Tempting Tomatoes™ seeds and nurture them with fresh air, compost and sunshine, you know the resulting yield will be healthy tomatoes that you can be comfortable feeding to your family.
Whether you have just a few containers on a balcony or an entire backyard to devote to growing your own food, you can grow enough to make a meaningful impact. Smaller varieties like those in our Proven Harvest® Patio Collection are easily grown in patio pots. Or, dedicate a corner of your in-ground garden to grow the Spicy Marinara Collection.
Starting plants from seeds in good garden soil is a small investment compared to the value of the produce you can yield. There’s a certain pride and satisfaction that will come from seeing your seeds sprout, grow and finally yield the fresh food you’ve been eagerly anticipating. We promise, it will be worth every ounce of effort!
5 Essential Seed Starting Tips
Ready to start your seeds? Keep these five handy tips in mind.
Each plant will come with its own unique set of instructions on the seed packet. This will be the formula for growing it successfully. Follow it closely.
Use a sterile seed starting mix when you plant your seeds in small pots indoors. It provides the ideal nutrients and texture seeds need to sprout.
Bright light is essential for stimulating growth. If you can’t grow your seeds next to a very bright window, you may need to supplement with grow lights.
Seeds thrive in a warm, moist environment. Watch the temperature and never let them dry out.
New seedlings are very sensitive to frost. Pay close attention to your local weather forecast and wait to plant them outdoors until all risk of frost has passed in the spring.