Planting seeds can be easy as mixing dirt + water + seeds and waiting patiently for them to sprout. That is how I first started out, and since then I have come up with a few more techniques that work for me that I'd love to share with you all. The benefit of planting year after year - you accumulate pots, seed trays, and other items from farm stands or planters from around the house that can be repurposed right in the garden. I'll break down my planting methods into some easy steps.
Step 1: Gather your materials. You will need some dirt, water, and seeds for sure but if you have old planters or pots from last year, be sure to seek those out too. Another alternative is to use the bag of dirt as a planter itself. Lay the bag of dirt flat, cut a big rectangle out of the top and plant the seeds right in the bag! I decided to use my old window boxes as planters for these pea seedlings. The window boxes are not being used due to a home renovation, and they are the perfect length and size for row planting. I would also recommend some sort of hand trowel/tiller to aerate the soil, and organic feed if you have it. I typically use Tomato Tone or compost and mix a little bit in to revitalize the soil nutrients.
Step 2: Prep the soil. First, aerate any old soil you may be using. I reuse soil from previous years and just give in a little extra nutrients to boost it back up. Aerating the soil helps the roots grow deeper. I also mix in any fertilizer I am using at that time. I prefer organic varieties or I mix in some of my own compost dirt. Next, I dampen the soil prior to planting. Soil can dry up quickly and these little seeds or seedlings need lots of water to grow. If you are transplanting seedlings into bigger pots or planters I recommend dampening those too to prevent the root balls from falling apart too much.
Step 3: Plant your seeds or plants! Every plant has different spacing instructions so be sure to check your seed packet instructions. If you are planting seeds, especially peas or beans, I recommend planting 1 seed per little pot or soil slot to start. Follow instructions related to seed depths, typically 1 knuckle length deep if you poke the holes with your finger. When transplanting plants or seedings, if the rootball is really compacted, break it up just a tiny bit to allow the roots to grow deeper in the soil.
Step 4: Water. It is important to water your new friends on a daily basis depending on how dry the soil gets. If you are planting seeds, a spritz bottle is sometimes a better option versus a watering can. Since these seedlings I planted are more hardy, a watering can does just fine.
If you are planting seasonally, as you grow early spring seeds and transplant them into bigger pots or a garden bed, you can then start different, new seeds that are warmer weather crops in the leftover pots. For example, after I replanted these peas, I planted some bush bean seeds!
Want to see the whole process? Check out my quick video!