So many seeds…what to plant first?

Aryna V., Copy Editor

So, you want to have a go at growing plants? I mean, how hard can it be? Well, it depends on WHAT you want to grow.

I would say that perennial flowers are a lot easier to grow than fruits/vegetables, but both have their ups and downs. While fruit/vegetable gardens produce food, it doesn’t mean it’s worth the time. These gardens tend to take up a lot of your time because they need a lot more weeding, watering, and checkups.  In addition, you have to restart all over again next year because these plants aren’t perennials. They don’t come back year after year. They do produce food though and can be a fun project for little kids. They’d have fun watching their plant grow into something they know well, like a cucumber.

My mom’s young cucumber, pepper, and tomato garden

A lot of flowers are perennials and will come back every year. Yes, you have to water them, weed them once in a while, and check up on them but not as much as fruits/vegetables, because bugs tend to like those plants more than flowers. Some flowers are even bug repellent, like the Marigold. Mosquitos really don’t like the smell of these flowers, and other pests don’t either. You know, the ones that make holes in your plants’ leaves. You don’t need lots of space for flowers and they’re also very visually appealing. Someone driving by will notice a flower garden more than they would a vegetable one. 

Anyway, a lot of plants and trees are hard to start from seed and they take a while to grow big, sometimes even years. If you don’t have that type of patience, it’s better to go to the store and buy a plant. The bigger the better, so it’s harder for you to kill it because it’s more mature. Mint is great because it kind of takes off on its own, but be careful with putting it close to other plants because it’s very invasive. If you want to start from seed, that’s great! There are a lot of choices, anything from agricultural plants, like cucumbers, to decorative, like peonies. 

Now that you’ve figured out what you want to grow, let’s figure out when to grow it. Plants are seasonal, but most need to be planted in the springtime when all danger of frost is gone. Unless it’s lavender or another cold germinating plant, which needs a germination period when it’s still a bit cold, then wait until the weather during the day is warm and there’s plenty of sunlight.

Lavender, a cold germinating flower, planted by my mom

 That’s pretty much it, and then you’re on your own! Read the back of the seed packet because it tells you how deep in the ground the plant needs to be planted. Use common sense, if it tells you the plant requires full sunlight, don’t put it in a shady area. 

In my next column series, I’ll talk about bugs, snakes, spiders, and other weird things that crawl and slither in the soil.