The Humble Bean

I often think back to my school days and the excitement around the classroom when it was that time of the year to learn about seeds. How we would take a peek at our beans every morning, waiting for that tell-tale sign of life. It is the one thing we all have in common, those lessons with our beans. Seeing the roots shoot and not long after, the leaves starting to form. Some of us even went on to plant our little seedlings and in return get to harvest from our plants.

It is spring and the season for growing. If your primary school days were the last time you sowed a seed, now is the perfect time to get back on that wagon. We all have packets of seed that we have collected. The rule is to remember that even nature has an expiry date. Seeds do not last forever and should they have been left to the elements, it would be better to start afresh. There is a very specific way for seed storage, usually a cool, dark, dry place will do. No worries, there are an abundance of seeds to for you to choose from right here

The next rule is to sow what you will use, some seed packets have hundreds of seeds in them. Should you be sowing all the seed in your packet, a nightmare awaits when you have to prick them out and transplant into your ornamental garden or veggie garden. Unless you are growing microgreens, do not sow all the seeds and be mindful to count them out.

There are two ways of sowing seeds, into containers or directly into the soil (in situ). Usually bigger seeds like beans and pumpkin seeds or even radishes are sown where you want them to come up. Onions and turnips are also sown in situ. Preparing your soil for in situ will only take a moment, and going to that extra bit of effort will surely reward you as your crops grow. Rake your soil level and remove any clumps of soil and stones. Make sure that the soil is free of weeds. Weeds will take up water and nutrients that are meant for your little seedlings. We all know that weeds grow very quickly and can get out of hand if not kept in check. You want to provide the best possible location to sow your seeds. Well drained soil and loads of compost and lastly loads of sunlight. Mark out the area where you want to plant and keep in mind the size of the actual plant when fully grown. A good tool to use for helping create straight lines is a Post and Line.

How deep do you plant your seeds? The general rule of thumb is that planting depth is the height of the seed. Lightly cover and firmly press down soil. Now label! Otherwise you will have no idea what you have sown. Water well and make sure that the water spray is not forceful as you will unearth all your seeds.

Sowing seeds in trays is one of my favourite things. I can better control their needs and move them should they not get enough light to germinate.This way of sowing only takes a couple of minutes but your preparation beforehand will add to the success of germination. Make sure that your seedling trays and tools are clean.  You can read up on the whole process in this blog https://www.tanyavisser.com/grow-your-own/growing-seedlings-timing/

You are welcome to share your experiences of seed sowing with me on my Facebook page.

Happy seed sowing!

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