These sweet peas grown from seed are sprouting in recycled cartons.
The catalogues have been thumbed through and the seed racks are sprouting like weeds at nurseries and garden centres.
There is now enough daylight across the country to start garden seeds without the aid of artificial lights. Some seeds can be planted directly outdoors. Others will have to be started inside.
Either way, where I come from you are not a real gardener unless you start at least one thing you grow from seed. Sure, you can always buy already started plants, but seeds give you bragging rights.
The fact of the matter is that starting seeds is easy. Everything the plant needs to germinate is in the seed. All you have to do is put it into damp soil and not let it dry out while it does its thing. If there are any special requirements, they will be noted in the simple instructions on the back of every seed packet.
The one thing you might not find in those instructions is the suggestion to roll larger seeds in mycorrhizal fungi, or to sprinkle some on smaller seeds. You should be able to find these special fungi where you buy seed.
Mycorrhizal fungi form a symbiotic relationship with plants, and deliver water and nutrients to them. Good nurseries now carry two types, endo and ecto.
Annuals and row crops associate with endo-mycorrhizal fungi, with the exception of members of the cole family (cabbages, kolhrabi, kale, etc.). In addition to rolling all other seeds, spread some of the mix throughout the soil so new roots will grow into it.
Do not soak your seeds