Don't judge everyday by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant - R.L. Stevenson
We would like you to experience all the benefits that being around nature can give you - this goes both for your wellbeing and your personal growth. Growing seeds teaches us wonderful lessons of life.
Planting seeds is an amazing and rewarding experience. We start from a seemingly lifeless seed, to then watch it sprout and grow. We can assure that when you see how easy it is to plant, you will want to get your hands in the soil more often!
At Forest Homes we provide you free bulbs grown from cultivated stock with your first order over 49 € of natural decor. Follow the instructions on the package and these tips to get you started with your seeds. Now let's have a look at the type of seeds you will get.
Anemone Bulbs (Lord Lieutenant)
Also known as windflower bulbs, these grow with lots of very colorful petal blooms. Anemones are perennial herbs native to the Mediterranean region. Their blooms reach 5-14cm (2-6")higher than the foliage and they close up at night and in harsh weather. They symbolise unfading love
You can use Anemones to:
- Embellish borders and naturalise spaces.
- Excellent to use in cut flower arrangements.
- Great choice for wooded locations and rock gardens.
Anemones bulbs look dried and crumpled up. They are tubers or rhizomes bulbs. Due to their hardness, it is recommended that you soak them for about 4-6 hours before planting them. Anemone plants are adaptable to many types of soil as long as it drains well. Anemones do best when they grow in full sun during the morning hours, then in the shade during the hot afternoons. These are fast growing flowers, their bulbs bloom for two to three weeks. In warmer zones, they do best in light shade. Plant 5-7 cm (2-3") deep and about 14 cm (6") apart. The tubers can be lifted and dried in the fall to replant in spring.
Crocus Bulbs are are not only beautiful, but also quite hardy and drought tolerant. They are hardy plants native of the Mediterranean region. Their -hardy- classification comes from their capability to come back every year and hold up well in colder conditions.
They're some of the first flowers to pop their heads through the winter snow. Crocus bulbs are becoming very popular due top their easy cultivation in fall.
Crocus bulbs are also excellent attractors of beneficial bees, butterflies, and birds. They are fleshy and have mushroom-like appearance that make them part of the corm-kind bulbs. Crocuses prefer sunny spots, but will also usually tolerate some filtered shade.
Plant in either sun or partial shade, and water normally for best results.The standard planting recommendations are 5-7cm (2-3") deep. The crocus bulb should be planted pointy side up and root side down. Once placed in the soil, it is recommend to add some fertiliser and/or bulb food to the crocus bulbs.
Tips for growing your seeds
1. Provide lots of light
To germinate seeds we require a considerable amount of light. It is recommendable to place the planted seeds close to a sunny, south-facing window. If seedlings don't get enough light, their germination process could be slow and weak. Keep rotating your planted pot regularly to prevent plants from leaning towards the light. Remember that seedlings also need darkness so they can rest.
If you can't find a place with the right sun exposure, you could use grow lights and a timer. With 15 hours a day and enough water, you're sure to obtain the desired results. Adjust the grow lights so they're just a few inches above the tops of the germinated seeds, and as the seedlings grow taller, raise the lights accordingly.
2. Time planting with weather
If you experience harsh or cooler winters where you are, it is best to start planting late in winter or early in spring so that your seedlings are ready to go outside when the weather is more favourable. If you live in milder to no winter weathers, you won't experience much difference in timing your germination, whether indoors or outdoors.
3. Use the right containers
You can start seeds in almost any type of container, as long as it is at least 5 -7 cm (2-3") deep and has some drainage holes. If you are the DIY type, you could grow your seedlings in paper cups, carton boxes or yogurt cups. Seed starting trays are also a great option as it is easy to fill the trays, it has a watering system that ensures consistent moisture.
4. Prepare the soil
For planting your seeds, it is highly recommendable to use a fresh, sterile mix that ensures healthy, disease free flowers. Moist the planting mix, just enough to get it moist but not drenched. Fill the containers and pack the soil firmly to eliminate gaps. Sterile mixes contain few nutrients and needs to be fed with liquid fertiliser a few weeks before transplanting your flowers to the garden.
5. Locate the seeds/bulbs in the container
Small seeds can be sprinkled right on the soil surface. Larger seeds will need to be buried. For your seeds, this is usually not deeper than 5 cm. Make a divot on the soil, accommodate the the seed and cover them. Mist or sprinkle the newly planted seeds/bulbs with water and if you'd like to speed germination, cover the pots with plastic wrap or a plastic dome that fits over the plant container. This keeps the moisture in for germination, when you start seeing signs of green, remove the wrap or cover.
6. Water, feed, and do it again
Mist or sprinkle water to the soil to keep it moist, not drenched. Let the soil dry slightly between waterings. Feed the seedling regularly with liquid fertiliser. You could also set up a fan to ensure air movement and prevent disease or insect attack.
If you're growing your seeds indoors and would like to move them outdoors, make if gradually. Over the course of a week or more, start placing your flowers in a protected spot (partly shaded, out of the wind), then bring them indoors at night, and continue to progressively expose them to sunshine and wind.
What if your seeds do not grow?
There are a number of factors that could affect seed germination. Dig up a seed and examine it. Cold soil and excessive water can rot the seed. If the seed is swollen and soft, it has rotted and you will need to start over. If the soil was too dry, the seed may not germinate or may dried up before their roots could take hold. Try again and be sure to provide consistent moisture.
What to do if...
Your plant looks a little skinny and weak
When plants don't receive sufficient light they can grow tall and leggy. If you don't have access to enough light, use grow lights to ensure your planted seed gets 15 hours of bright light each day. Warm temperatures can also stimulate leggy growth. Try lowering room temperature and reducing the amount of fertiliser.
Some of your leaves are purple
When the plant doesn't get much phosphorus, its leaves turn slightly purple. If you started using a half-strength fertiliser, it may be time to increase the fertiliser's strength (i.e. phosphorus content level 3).
Your seeds collapse at the base
Soil fungus can kill the stems of young seeds causing them to bend over. This can be prevented by using a sterile growing medium, and by providing good air circulation.
Mold is growing on the top of the soil surface
If the medium is to wet, it provides the conditions for mold to appear. If you take action quickly, this will not harm your plants. Restrain water for a few days and increase air circulation around the containers. You can also scrape off some of the mold or transplant the seedlings into fresh soil.
Have another question? Tell us about it here.
Get your hands in the soil and start blooming love and hope for our natural world!