If you truly want to know more about the vegetables you eat, then growing them yourself from seed will provide you with such an opportunity. Using vegetable seeds gives home growers a truly hands-on experience in cultivating a variety of veggies--from carrots and beans to potatoes and leafy greens. When planted and attended to properly, vegetable seeds can yield a substantial and worthwhile crop of veggies.
Vegetable seeds that will be used within one year can be stored at room temperature on a shelf. To keep seeds viable for a longer period of time, they must be dried and then packaged in the proper container. Dry vegetable seeds by placing them on a flat surface and allowing them to dry outdoors in a shady area for six hours in 100-degree temperature. After drying, vegetable seeds should be placed in a moisture-proof container and stored in a deep freezer until ready for use.The same results can be achieved by drying seeds in a conventional oven on its lowest setting. The door should be left open while the seeds are drying. Once dry, they are ready to be stored in a container.
When planting vegetable seeds directly into the ground, the planting depth will vary from one type to another. This range will be anywhere from 1/4 inch up to 6 inches. The depth will be specified on the seed packaging, but a few common planting depths are 1/2 inch for carrots, peppers and tomatoes, and 1 inch for cucumbers.
Vegetable seeds must be planted at a specific time set for growth. In early March, seeds for peas, cabbage, turnips and kale can be sown. Late March is the appropriate time to sow seeds for shallots, bok choy and spinach. Seeds for lettuce, carrots and radishes can also be planted from late March through mid-May. Assorted melons and squash should be planted in early May, and late May is the time to plant tomato seeds.
Traditional Versus Organic
The majority of vegetable seeds available in garden centers or other outlets are traditional seeds for the same vegetables that can be purchased in a grocery store or at a farmer's market. But with the increased popularity of organic foods, organic vegetable seeds are also available to consumers. Organic vegetable seeds require longer growing seasons over their traditional counterparts.
From Seed to Seedling
Vegetable seeds can be grown indoors in the winter months. Once they grow into the seedling stage, they can be sown into the ground at their designated planting time. Take precaution not to transfer any seedling until after the last frost in your area.