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Which Seeds?

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 10 May 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Choosing Seeds For Garden Things To

It is very easy to visit somebody else’s garden or to go and visit a garden centre and see a beautiful array of flowers plants and vegetables and fruits and think, “Yes, that would all look great in my garden.” However, the reality might be very different and it’s crucial that you take several things into account when it comes to choosing seeds to plant in your garden. Even when you’ve done your homework and you’ve decided what to plant, you should choose a seed company with a good reputation as the quality of seeds can differ from company to company.

Selecting Suitable Seeds

When selecting seeds, many of us will consider things like colours and scent as key determining factors when it comes to flowers and plants and the kinds of things we like to eat when choosing which fruit and vegetables we wish to grow. However, whilst these things should play a part in our choices, they simply constitute just a small part of the overall picture in how we should make our choices and there are so many other things to consider too.

Small Seeds Becoming Giant Blooms
One of the most common mistakes people make in choosing seeds is failing to understand how they develop as they grow. This often means that the tiny little flower bed they wanted turns into a 10 foot ‘jungle’. It’s important you understand the characteristics of what you intend to grow first or you could end up with huge flowers and plants encroaching on your home, blocking your sunlight and even cracking the foundations of your property. So, it’s important to plant seeds where they have room to grow to maturity without them encroaching on areas you don’t want them to and far enough apart from other seeds which need to grow too.

Choosing what’s Right for the Climate
Plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables all have very individual preferred growing conditions and you need to consider the conditions that they do best in as they are all affected in both a positive or negative way by things such as exposure to sunlight, heat and wind resistance etc. frost and extreme cold conditions.

Choosing what’s Right for the Location

You don’t see coconut trees in UK gardens and, similarly, many seeds won’t flourish as you want them to without a tropical climate so get to understand the nature of our climate. We are, after all, geographically based at the upper end of the Northern Hemisphere and surrounded by an ocean and seas so make sure you choose seeds that are suitable to the UK’s geographical location and climate.

At a ‘local level, i.e. in the garden itself, check which do better in the sunlight and which prefer the shade and plant accordingly. Some have longer growing seasons than others so make sure you choose what’s best for your garden.

Be careful with planting in areas which are susceptible to erosion and don’t forget that soils come in different types – acidic, alkaline and neutral and that some plants prefer one type over another. Therefore, you should test your soil and only plant seeds which prefer that type of soil. Alternatively, if you’ve set your heart on a particular species and you have the wrong type of soil, you can take action to change the properties of the soil to suit but this can often take some time.

Choosing the Timing
Many people want a garden that looks lovely all year round. Therefore, as plants can often begin to bloom at different times of the year, you might wish to choose your seeds based around having something coming into bloom as another plant’s growing season comes to an end.

Colours and Scents
Last but not least, as mentioned above, people want their gardens to look and smell nice. With plenty of colours and scents around, it’s useful to take a look at some photographs contained within landscaping books to give you an idea of which colours and scents work well together and which clash, just like you’d consider colour when it comes to decorating your home. Ultimately, what you choose will be about personal taste to a lesser or greater extent but it’s important to gain an understanding of the variables that can affect seed growth and there are plenty of books and websites to help in addition to seeking advice from your local garden centre.

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