Without a doubt, seeds are one of the most economical ways to grow plants – for just a few dollars, you can buy them in abundance. This is no secret, but many go straight to seedlings or mature plants, believing seeds to be difficult to grow. But with the right plant choice and care, they can thrive. Here are five of the best vegies to grow from seed.
Most plants grow well from seed, but as a general rule, the bigger, the better. “Large-seeded varieties, like beans, are foolproof,” says Dana Pank, horticultural adviser to Mr Fothergill’s. “They’re easier to handle and more robust, making them ideal for beginners.” Beans love full sun, so plant them out after any risk of frost has passed.
Carrots love a sunny spot with well-drained, crumbly soil and plenty of compost. Sow seeds in a shallow trench, lightly cover with soil and water. Cover with a plank of wood to help keep the soil moist and remove once seeds have germinated. When seedlings reach 5cm, thin out the weak, straggly ones.
Grow in full sun and well-drained soil enriched with compost and well-aged manure. Provide a trellis for climbing varieties, but if you don’t have space, stick to bush or dwarf peas. Sow directly into gardens or pots, cover lightly and water in well. Don’t water again until seedlings emerge. Feed regularly and pick often to spur on more pods.
This leafy green doesn’t take up much space and grows quickly – harvest the leaves in as little as five to six weeks. Plant in full sun to part shade in well drained soil, feed regularly through the season with a high-nitrogen liquid fertiliser and water regularly to keep the soil moist. Sow seeds every five to six weeks to maintain a constant supply.
Position beetroot in full sun and enrich the soil with plenty of organic matter. For best results, soak the seeds in water overnight before planting directly into a shallow trench or holes. Remove thin, straggly seedlings to allow more room for the others to grow.
Follow our easy guide on how to start a vegetable garden.
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