Some people think that all garden seeds are alike and that how you store and use them is not really important. However, if you want to be a truly successful gardener you have to pay attention to the quality of the garden seeds you buy, how you store them and how and when you use them. All of the top nurseries and gardeners pay particular attention to where they buy their garden seeds from and how they take care of them.
The number one rule when buying garden seeds is to buy good quality seeds. You can, if you want, buy unbranded seeds from your local supermarket to try, but if you are going to be reliant on a crop you really should buy branded seeds from a reputable garden centre or seed seller.
Only buy varieties of garden seeds that are designed to do well in your soil conditions and climate. There is no point in buying seeds designed to do well in arid conditions and planting them in a rainy area of Scotland. Some will grow, but most will not.
Storing Garden Seeds
Once you have brought your seed, check the back of the packet for any specific storage instructions. Do not open seed packets until you are actually ready to sow them.
Store all garden seeds in a cool, dry place. If you do not use all of the seeds first time around you can store them until the next year, but they must be stored in an airtight container. Re-wrapping them in their packet and wrapping that in foil or Clingfilm works well.
Using Garden Seeds
Pay attention to the use by date on your seeds. Most garden seeds will germinate after the use by date, but the rate of successful germination falls the longer you keep them.
Follow the sowing instructions on your garden seeds, to the letter, and do not forget to plant them out as per the instructions. Once sown be sure to thin the crop as per the instructions. This strongly impacts on how successful your final crop will be.
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