Lyndon Penner's top 5 tips for sowing seeds at home

When it comes to sowing your own seeds at home, gardening expert and CBC Saskatchewan columnist Lyndon Penner says you don't need fancy equipment — just be ready to have some fun.

Penner has plans for his own garden. This year he is seeding angel's trumpet (datura), fringed lily, cleome, stocks, vervain and even some cactus seeds. 

He has already started some Mexican cosmos and some "Striped Marvel" marigolds. 

If you're thinking about getting started, here's Lyndon's seed-sowing advice:

1. Love it!

Start by planting something that appeals to you so you have a vested interest in keeping it alive. Look at the pretty picture on the seed packet and make sure that not only do you want to have it in your garden, but that you have adequate space for it and conditions it will like. There's no sense in growing something your garden is going to say "no" to.  

2. Think big

If you're new to starting plants from seed, start with large seeds such as nasturtiums, marigolds, zinnias, beans and sunflowers. They are much easier to plant than seeds that are tiny and dust-like, such as lobelias or petunias.

3. Just do it

You don't need a fancy greenhouse to grow seedlings at home. All you need is a sunny window.

Buy some seed-starting mix and put it all in some little pots. If you're feeling fancy, you can also pick up a decent grow light for a good price. 

4. Let the seeds do their thing

Remember that seeds have been growing for a millennia. They know how to do it. Tell yourself that the plant wants to grow. Don't overcomplicate the process. 

5. Let the seed packet be your guide 

Look for tips on planting depth and plan your time to start based on the germination and flowering times. The middle of March is a good time to get started for many things, but mid-April is fine too. 

You can hear Lyndon Penner's garden advice column on CBC Radio's The Morning Edition this spring and summer.