In our previous post, we have shared with you a little preview tour of our garden. Many of you direct message us and want to know more about how we started it, thus here you go. We are no expert in planting thus we will only share with you our experience during our process.
Growing plants from seed is a great way to start gardening earlier in the season. With the right light and some simple equipment, it’s easy to grow from seed to harvest. Because each plant has unique seed-starting requirements, it helps to start small by growing just a few varieties. Some seeds — such as tomatoes and camomiles— are especially easy to start indoors. Other good choices for beginners are basil, mint, parsley, and our favourite coriander. If you’re a beginner, choose those first, and then move on to more fussy seeds, such as watermelon or even strawberries.
Find the right equipment
This is not the first time we tried germinating seeds, it is either we are under-watering them or we over-watering them and drown them. We came to a long pause as we are discouraged by the result before Joe came through this YouTuber’s Hamimommy on tips for growing edible plants indoors using a self-watering system where it highly encourages her to start her planting journey again.
Get the right container
During germinating, the seeds are very sensitive to the among of water intake, thus this self-watering system using recycled water bottles. You could also purchase self-watering pot online however it does cost an amount. You want to make sure the soil stays consistently damp but not soaking wet.
However, when the plant is getting bigger you may start needing a bigger pot or de-pot the seedling individually to an individual self-watering pot. Moreover, we also used biodegradable peat pots when we have more experience on know how much water the seeds need. One advantage is that you can pot time right into the soil when they grew up without de-potting them.
Get the right soil
Choose potting soil that’s made for growing seedlings. Do not use soil from your garden or re-use potting soil from your houseplants. Start with a fresh, sterile mix that will ensure healthy, disease-free seedlings.
Check the seed packet to see how deep you should plant your seeds. Some of the small ones can be sprinkled right on the soil surface. Larger seeds will need to be buried. During the initial stage, we spread the seedling in the soil without gaps where it is a bad idea, as it will be tough when you want to de-pot them. Spread the seeds evenly with gaps between them.
Taking care of them
As the seedlings grow, use a mister or a small watering can to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Let the soil dry slightly between waterings. Remember to feed the seedlings regularly with liquid fertilizer, mixed at the rate recommended on the package. However do not over fertilizer them, it will result in the stem and roots getting soften and die which is what happens to us.
Something that we didn’t realize at first and was reminded by our mom was that seedlings need a lot of light. If you’re growing in a window, choose a south-facing exposure. Rotate the pots regularly to keep plants from leaning into the light. If seedlings don’t get enough light, they will be leggy and weak. If you’re growing under lights, adjust them so they’re just a few inches above the tops of the seedlings. Set the lights on a timer for 15 hours a day. Keep in mind that seedlings need darkness, too, so they can rest. As the seedlings grow taller, raise the lights.
The Growth of Tomato
It has been nearly two months since we started planting, and so far the tomato is the only plant that is doing well compared to ours like basil leaves, mint, and parsley. During these two months, one of the tips we have experience and want to share with you was that the bigger the plant grows the bigger pot you may needs. Believe in the power in nature too! As we are blessed to have a big balcony in our home, during our 4 days trip on a cruise, the rain and sun do the job for us and they did a better job. It grows 2 times taller in just 4 days.
There is still a long way before we can start harvesting in our garden, many may ask why plant them when it is easier to purchase them in the market? While many can get their food in the market but not many can plant their own food. Planting our own food also teaches us the toughness of how food is formed and making us want to appreciate the food we have more. Can’t wait to share with you our edible garden again.