plants 2As many of my students have learned, there are many different ways of digging in and starting your own plants.  Some of these methods include; seeding, cutting, grafting, and separation, and division.  Starting new plants from seed is often the method most are familiar with.  However, some varieties can just as easily be started form one of the many other methods.

Tips for starting plants from seed:

1) Know what to look for on a label.  Many seed companies are required to print important information such as germination %, weed content, noxious weeds, and date.  Some seed packets may look like a deal but are actually old seeds with germination rates of less than 60%.  That’s not a good deal at all as it turns out.

2) make sure you allow enough time for germination.  Some seeds will sprout in less than a week if the conditions are right, and others take much longer.  For example in our greenhouse at OCHS this year we had students sow seeds on March 15 and they are ready to sell by April 15.  However, some bell peppers sewn the same day still had some catching up to do.plants 1

3) do your research.  Some seeds can simply be sewn with little to no medium cover, while others must be fully covered and have good seed to soil contact before they will sprout.  Some seeds require warmer soil temperatures and heat mats or lamps may be necessary to start seeds during colder patches of weather.

Seeds can often be transplanted later for resale or into their permanent location for growing.  There are many great ways you can start seeds indoors and plant them outdoors later when the risk of frost has passed.

plants 3Tips for cuttings:

1) Again do your research.  Some plants, especially flower have patents on them and cannot be sold without permission from that particular business.

2) Choose good healthy plants and feel free to experiment with different varieties.

4) rooting hormone is not required, but is often used commercially to ensure good root development.

Tips for grafting:

Apples are especially difficult to start from seeds because they so easily cross-pollinate with other varieties.

1) Select a good scion wood from healthy growth of desired apple trees

2) do this early enough in the season to ensure that growth will take place

3) purchase root-stock from a reputable place to ensure its viability.grafting