- Early blooming Sweet Peas
- Zinnias in all colors
- Bachelor’s Buttons
Landscaping and gardening at home are some of the most relaxing and rewarding activities you can imagine. Unfortunately, all that relaxation can evaporate when you see the bill for buying all those plants, bulbs, and shrubs at the nursery. Seeds are a much more affordable option. Yet many would-be gardeners are put off by how hard some plants are to grow from seed. Try focusing on the easiest-to-grow seeds from all plant categories to build your skills.
Better for direct seeding into the ground or a bed rather than transplant, root vegetables tend to be easy to grow as long as the soil is loose. Turnips and radishes are recommended in particular. Depending on the variety, they both can reach a harvestable state in as little as 30 days after sprouting. Many are colorful and mild-flavored, making them appealing even to picky eaters. Other varieties are decorative with colored foliage, offering decorative value from seed.
Many summer vegetable plants commonly pictured in garden advertisements, such as peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes, are hard to grow from seed or require a lot of attention. Squash and related gourds are easier than other vegetables to grow from seed without extra work. They’re easily planted directly in the ground after the season warms up. They’ll grow vigorously enough to smother out weeds and competing plants with just a little fertilizer. And you won’t need to worry about harvesting pumpkins or winter squash until the end of summer. Even summer squash can be harvested only when you want, leaving the other fruit to grow huge for decorating. There’s an easy-to-grow squash for everyone, from decorative options to tasty varieties.
Many herbs are hard to start from seed, requiring special treatment or long periods of waiting before they’ll appear. Basil and dill are two of the easiest herbs to grow from seed. With the right indoor conditions and a powerful 1000W equivalent light, you can raise a pot of each plant without taking it outdoors at all. Start by spreading a thick layer of seeds in the seed starting mix, then be willing to trim down all the sprouts to just one to two plants. This will help you get a good start without smothering out the sprouts by trying to keep too many. Seeds for these herbs are so affordable that there’s no reason not to trim them out and toss them on a dish.
Speaking of trimming out sprouts, consider sprouting seeds or growing microgreens for a boost to your diet without much work. As long as you rinse the seeds regularly and keep them well-aerated, the resulting sprouts are nutritious and easy to add to sandwiches, salads, and more. Microgreens are easily grown in trays with a thin layer of seed starting to mix at the bottom. Specially made foam layers or trays are also available for this purpose. Seeds popular for these practices include broccoli, clover, oats, alfalfa, and mung bean.
Cover crops are a technique used in regenerative agriculture. Instead of leaving soil bare between crops and risking erosion and topsoil loss, cover crops are grown as living mulch. These plants can be used around the home, with many proving even easier to sprout than turf grass seed. There’s a cover crop for every season, allowing you to quickly fill in bare dirt around the landscape until it’s time to plant something else. Clover, Austrian Winter Peas, Rye Grass, Cowpeas, and Hairy Vetch are all excellent options for around the home.
Don’t be afraid to spend more of your landscaping budget on seeds this year. However, stick to spending just a few dollars on a packet of flower or vegetable seeds. For covering larger areas on a budget, look for cover crops and microgreen mixes that can be had for less than $10 a pound. There’s a way to use seeds in any gardening hobby or landscaping effort to get more plants while spending less money.