Planting seeds is easy and an economical way to grow plants. Seeds generally cost a few dollars but a package can contain many seeds allowing you to grow more plants than you will need. Check the front of the seed packages to see how many seeds you are buying. Packages can range from ten seeds to two thousand.
When starting to grow seeds for the first time, choose larger seeds that are easy to grow. If you are working with children and growing plants for a plant sale, you should choose seeds that are easy to handle like nasturtiums or peas and beans.
Growing seeds and holding a plant sale is a fun activity for children.They get to watch the seeds grow and learn along the way. At the plant sale they can help to count the money as plants are purchased. This helps them with their math and people skills as well.
To get started with your fundraising plan, have all your supplies ready to go. You will need to use plant pots, soil, labels and seeds.You can have the children make labels ahead of time from recycled plastic or use popsicle sticks commonly found in craft stores. Be sure to label each plant pot as you go as its easy to forget which plants are being sown. Try to do your planting outside so the mess can be controlled. Set up all your supplies and start planting. You can use either plastic pots or peat pots. Plastic pots can be washed out and used year after year. Peat pots can be planted directly in the ground which makes transplanting your new seedlings easier.
Place soil or seed starting mix in your containers and fill to the top. Water the soil well before planting your seeds. This helps the soil settle and removes any air pockets in the soil.
Plant the seeds according to the seed package instructions. Note if the seed needs light or darkness to germinate. It should say on the package. You only need to plant one to two seeds per pot. Tiny seeds are planted on the top of the soil and pressed down slightly to make contact. Larger seeds can be planted in a depression and then covered with soil. When planting seeds with children expect some to go astray. They may end up planted at the side of a pot but the plant will be fine.
Place your planted seed pots on a tray that will hold water. I like to use what is called a no-hole plant flat as it will hold up to 15 four-inch pots comfortably. The tray below acts as a reservoir for your plants. A couple of days after planting your seeds, check the soil by feeling it with a finger or lift a pot to feel the weight. If it feels heavy, it doesn’t need watering. If the soil looks and feels dry, add water to the tray below. The soil will wick water up and take it to the seeds. You will need to place your seeds in an area that gets good light such as a south-facing window. In a few days to a week you should see signs of growth on your plants. This is a good time for children to record what they see in a journal. That way they will see how a plant develops.
Once your plants are large enough and the temperatures are warm, they can start their move outside. If you plan on selling your plants at a plant sale, be sure to harden them off beforehand. Hardening off means gradually moving them outside a bit at a time, one hour the first day and increasing the time each day. This is very important to your plants. Its like going outside without a coat on and they need to get used to the change in temperature. If you decided to plant them in your garden, be sure to choose a location with the proper light requirements. You may have to refer back to the seed package for this information. Now that your plants are ready for outside its time to enjoy them.