Grow Veggies from Seeds


Kitchen gardening

Grow Veggies from Seeds

Growing your own vegetables from seeds is far cheaper than buying seedlings, and it also allows you to choose from a wider variety. Here are some tips to get your veggie patch off to a good start:

Grow beans from seeds :

Beans are available in two varieties: bush beans and pole beans. Bush beans grow quickly and produce their entire crop in one go. Pole varieties need to be supported by poles or trellises. They grow more slowly and produce a harvest over a longer period.

  • If temperatures in your garden regularly reach above 30°C, you will need to provide shade for your bean seedlings in the form of shade netting.
  • Pick beans regularly while they are young and sweet.
  • Leave just a few pods on the bean plant to mature to their full size. Dry the fully grown pods and use the seeds to sow your next bean crop in the following spring.

Grow lettuce from seeds :

Lettuce is available in “loose leaf” and “head” varieties. The loose leaf variety is far easier to grow, especially if you are a beginner when it comes to growing veggies.

  • Lettuce needs plenty of water to grow well. The lettuce plants also like being planted close together, as this allows them to shade each other.
  • Mix a number of different lettuce varieties in one pot or garden bed for an attractive display.
  • Cover lettuce seeds with a very thin layer of soil, as they need light and warmth to germinate. Sow seeds in areas which receive afternoon shade.
  • Harvesting lettuce is easy – simply pick the leaves as you need them. Remember to leave some plants to flower and produce seeds for next year’s lettuce crop.

General sowing tips :

  • Keep seeds moist until they germinate. After germination, reduce watering to encourage deep root development.
  • Protect your young seedlings from the birds by erecting protective netting and ward off snails by surrounding seedlings with crushed egg shells or sea shells.
  • If you sow your seeds too thickly, wait until the seedlings are about 7cm high before you thin them out.
  • Other veggies which grow very easily from seed include radishes, spring onions, cherry tomatoes, nasturtiums, peas, rocket, beetroot and Asian greens like mizuna and bok choi.

Sowing by size :

The best sowing method for vegetables depends largely on the size of the seeds. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Small seeds like lettuce or carrot seeds easily create clumps of seedlings with bare patches in between. Prepare the soil well beforehand by removing all weeds, stones and soil clods. Mix in plenty of compost and seedling food and use a flat piece of wood to level the soil. Mist the soil with water and then thinly sprinkle small amounts of seeds on top. Cover with a thin layer of compost and seedling mix and mist with water again.
  • Medium seeds like Swiss chard can be successfully grown in furrows. The depth of the furrows should be twice the diameter of the seed. Carefully spread the seeds in the furrows, cover with soil and water well.
  • Large seeds like beans and squash are the easiest to sow. Simply poke holes (also twice the depth of the seed diameter) in the soil and drop the seeds in. Cover with soil, firm down and water well.