Merry meet all,
Here are a few tips about growing plants from seed that I learned. They may help you grow better plants.
Growing seeds in the ground or in peat pots- there are two ways to start herbs or flowers. For root veggies, you have to start them in prepared moist composted soil. The soil should be full of nutrients, not be dry as a bone and contain compost. There is a spot in my backyard under dead trees and dead leaves that is composted soil. I occasionally scoop up soil from that spot and deposit it where I am growing veggies or flowers. It adds nutrients to the plants. If all the soil was totally sterile, nothing would grow. Good soil is full of insects (get used to that- they’re there to help), contain grass, dead leaves or other plants or nitrogen. I worked limestone into my soil. Limestone sweetens and regulates soil. I suggest working limestone in early spring or in the fall.
I put hollyhock seeds in the soil. Nothing. So now I am starting them in peat pots. Now they are germinating. (typical). But if you start them in peat pots, you can keep them in the pots without disturbing the roots. This is one example when it is almost better to start with peat pots to ensure the seeds germinate. I really wanted to grow black hollyhock seeds and now I can. Soon when the true leaves appear, I can plant them outside and let them blossom!! I put lettuce seeds outside. Sometimes the seeds rot or get buried too deep into the soil because of the rain. They never germinated. So I put the seeds in peat pots. Now they are germinating. ….
Also, if you can, place the peat pots on a tray. I find it very helpful to water plants from below. This makes the plant develop stronger roots. The plant has to pull up the water to replenish the roots. If you water from above regularly, damping off can occur. The plant rots. Water the plant about an inch a week from below. Be patient and gentle. Turn the pots to let the roots get exercise.
The hollyhocks’ roots will get established in the soil over the winter. Letting a plant stay in its spot over the winter lets the roots get to know it’s ‘home’, so to speak, save for annuals. This is also helpful for plants.
Make sure your seedlings receive ample sunlight. With all of this care, you may have beautiful healthy strong seedlings to plant in your outdoor garden. Plants are happier outdoors where they get sunlight wind, help from good bugs and sunlight.
Good luck! Happy planting
Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(