"The easiest plants to grow from
seeds are annual flowers and annual vegetables," said Susan Grupp.
"Many of the newest introductions are not available from local
sources, and you are more likely to get your first choice if you
place your catalog order early.
"You should also take a trip to your
local garden center store. Typically, seed racks are set up in
January and are well-stocked."
Planning pays off when it comes to
gardening. It is important to choose proper varieties.
"When choosing flowers, most of us
are drawn to certain plants because of their color and beauty, but
be sure to learn about their disease resistance too," said Grupp.
"This is also very important when selecting vegetable seed."
While ordering early is good,
planting too early can be disastrous.
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"It is very difficult to keep
transplants indoors for too long; they tend to get leggy and weak,"
she explained. "You need to calculate the number of weeks it will
take for the plant to germinate and grow to the optimum transplant
size. Then determine the proper date for setting plants in the
garden. Beginning with that date, count back the number of weeks
needed for germination and growth, and you will know your planting
Supplies needed for starting plants
from seeds do not need to be elaborate. Use clean containers with
drainage holes, clean potting soil or seed starting mix, light
(natural or a shop light with cool white florescent bulbs), and
"Try starting some plants from seed
this year," Grupp said. "It doesn't have to be expensive, and it is
a lot of fun."
[University of Illinois news