Want more Details on Planting Seeds...
Just because you can't get the weeds in the cracks of the side walk to stop growing does not mean growing plants is automatic. However, the reward is very fruitful (no pun intended...okay perhaps). Nothing is better than making a great tasting meal with savory basil or ripe cherry tomatoes from the backyard. You don't have to worry about pesticides, pollution, or storage conditions. Of course nothing comes for free. Food or flowers from your garden is about the closest though.
Like I said, growing plants takes the right steps and environment to make a successful result. The following steps apply to growing any plant from seed, but I will also include the added steps for the new product Plant Stamps which are stickers that grow into plants.
When it comes to growing plants indoors, timing is not critical. Go ahead and plant seeds any time of the year. Plants just need a lot of sun, warmth, water, and love.
If you have a Plant Stamp which is a sticker that grows into a plant, the first step is to peel it off the card or gift. On the back is a QR tag that can be scanned in which takes you to instructions on how to grow it. Also, there might be additional messages from the sender or some helpful coupons. If the QR tag is unreadable...no problem, luckily you have these instructions.
Soak the Plant Stamp or general seeds in warm water (not cold) for 1 minute. During this time, the sticker will pop apart leaving the layer of seeds exposed. Don't worry, this is a good thing. You are "awaking" the seeds to do their job. The paper without the seeds is your instruction reference sheet as previously pointed out.
Next comes perhaps the most overlooked step and that is the selection of dirt. Please don't just go outside and grab what the builder of your house left you. The good top soil that once graced your land has been sold off by the builder to stores like Home Depot. Solution then is to go to Home Depot and buy your dirt back (or someone else's). Choose good potting soil. Poor dirt will just soil your results...full of puns today.
4a. Simple set-up
For a few Plant Stamps or a pinch of seeds, a small peat pot is perfect. The key here is that you want something that breathes and drains. As a grower, you want to balance the fine line being too dry and too wet. If the soil ever looks dry, game over. The other extreme is being too wet that causes all types of bad growth like mold and fungus which also eventually means game over. I would recommend covering the pot with clear plastic wrap until the seedling is 0.5" tall. This traps in moisture and raises the temperature. Otherwise, keeping the dirt at just the correct moisture level requires supervision. If you keep it covered for too long, bad things happen again so never leave covered more than 2 weeks.
If you want to grow a lot of different seeds then you might want to invest in a terrarium which is a miniature green house. You can pick one up at your favorite home improvement store for $25 which includes the soil, pots, and cover. Add in grow lights, automatic watering system, and a heating pad and you just might get a knock on the door from the police. Kidding aside, you will get great results especially during the winter when temperatures are cold and you are at your favorite winter retreat leaving your poor plants to fend on their own.
5. Seed Depth
Most guides say plant seeds at 0.25" deep. This is a great idea for Plant Stamps as well. I personally did an entire experiment with different level seeds. While results did vary, 0.25" did fare well. On a further note, medium packed dirt worked the best.
Here is the amazing part of the seed, it actually needs sun to germinate. I don't know how it can see the sun under dirt. Perhaps, it's temperature, gravity, or fairy dust, but it's an amazing phenomena. Fun fact: the longer the plant sees sunlight, the more the plant thinks that it is summer and will bud. Bottom line is that plants like sunlight so a window sill is usually perfect location to park this miracle of life.
7. Watering schedule
As mentioned previously, the set-up can highly influence how much you need to water. First for the obvious, the goal is to create moist soil all the time (remember damp or dry is death). The part they don't say in botany books is how do delicately water the seeds which is just as important. Putting your pot under a full stream is like getting shot with a fire truck hose. It's bad for the plant and bad for protesters. A sports bottle or fine nozzle with a narrow stream pointed into the side of the pot can be very effective. Otherwise a dripper or an even light spray is nice. I would not bother with misters unless they can put out some major volume or you really have nothing better to do. Depending on the soil quality, plant food mixed in with the water can help accelerate growth of a small plant.
8. Have you petted your plant yet today
And you thought I was making up the love part. The wind blowing on plants actually helps produce a strong stem for the same reason we work out. If touching plants is not your thing, just wave over them with a piece of cardboard once a day.
9. Graduate pots
Have you ever heard that a gold fish will grow as big as the bowl it is in? The same truth can be applied to plants. The key here is that you should just take the entire contents of the smaller pot and put that into a bigger pot with fresh dirt. The roots are way too delicate to manipulate.
10. Graduate to Outdoors
After spending some valuable time nurturing your plant you may just want to keep the little one indoors like a good house cat. However, if you want to create backyard decor, you might want to transplant your precious to the outside. The secret is baby steps. First expose the plant to the open sunlight (moving from window sill to deck). After a week of this, then it's time for a true move which means digging a whole, applying potting dirt, and nutrients. Once again, plant the entire contents of the pot.
Nothing is more rewarding than raising a plant from a seed. I suppose you could say raising a child, climbing Mt. Everest, or solving world hunger is more rewarding, but for more people find pleasure in growing plants than climbing mountains so think about that.
More about Plant Stamps
Plant Stamps (stickers that grow into plants) was developed primarily for kids and special events like weddings. The idea is reward the child with a Plant Stamp for a good job. This allows a unique reward while teaching the child how to grow real plants (not video game ones).