Growing vegetables from seed – A guide for home gardeners
Growing vegetables from seed – A guide for home gardeners_Main Image


Growing vegetables from seed – A guide for home gardeners

Oct 31, 2023 - Category : How to guide

Kiwi pockets are hurting! We all dread visiting the supermarket and the price of fresh produce just keeps ramping up… $13 kumara anyone? For many, the rising costs are a good reason to develop a green thumb and grow your own!


Growing vegetables from seed is an incredibly rewarding and smarter way to feed your family. A vegetable garden also provides so much more than food. Fresh air, good nutrition, connection with nature and a quiet retreat from busy lives. So we are delighted to bring you a quick guide on growing healthy vegies at home.

A large outdoor space or fancy vegetable patch is not required, even a small patio or deck will be sufficient. Home grown vegies are gentler on the wallet and usually healthier too.

With the right tools and techniques, you can nurture tiny seeds into thriving plants that yield an abundant harvest. The process is particularly fun for young children as they watch germination take effect. It might even help them eat their daily greens!

Just on the ‘garden jargon’ it’s worth noting that propagation trays are also referred to as planting trays or seedling trays. In this guide, we’ll explore the best propagation trays, punnets and other items to help your garden thrive. At the bottom, you’ll find a handy shopping list to get you started.

Sowing seeds is easy. Make sure your Seedling Trays or Open Seed Trays are positioned where they will get plenty of light. Follow the instructions on the seed packet.
Propagation Trays play a crucial role in germination. These trays are designed to hold individual seeds and provide them with a controlled environment for optimal growth. Here’s how to make the most of propagation trays:

  1. Select the Right Tray: Look for trays with adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. This will help the seeds receive the right amount of moisture. Our rigid Open Seed Tray is very popular and has good drainage, or you could go straight to a 4 or 6 cell punnet or the 28 Cell Tray – all options are bestsellers at PrimeHort.
  2. Choose Quality Soil: Use a well-draining, nutrient-rich potting mix to fill the propagation trays. This will give your seeds a healthy start.
  3. Spacing and Sowing: Follow the seed packet instructions for recommended spacing. Gently press each seed into the soil at the appropriate depth.
  4. Maintain Moisture Levels: Water frequently and don’t let the soil dry out. The Gardener 1 Litre Sprayer is handy to mist fragile seedlings (and is also great for misting indoor plants). Do this in the morning before the heat of the sun evaporates the water. You could also cover with a light plastic bag to encourage warmth and germination.

Transplant for Growth.
Once your seedlings have developed their first couple of true leaves and are sturdy enough to handle, it’s time to transplant them into small planting pots. This will provide more space for root development, allowing the seedlings to grow stronger.

  1. Prepping Small Pots: Fill the pots with a high-quality potting mix. Make sure it’s well-aerated and provides good drainage. We recommend our 0.5L Thermoformed Pots or our 0.5L Square Injection Moulded Pots.
  2. Transplanting Seedlings: Gently loosen the soil around each seedling in the propagation tray. Lift them by their leaves (not stems) and carefully place them into the pots.
  3. Watering: After transplanting, water the seedlings gently. Allow excess water to drain out, ensuring they’re evenly moist. A Spruzz Watering Can is handy for this task.
  4. Providing Adequate Light: Place the pots in a spot with indirect sunlight. As the seedlings grow, gradually introduce them to longer periods of direct sunlight.
  5. Hardening Off: About a week before transplanting outdoors, start the hardening off process. Gradually expose the seedlings to outdoor conditions like sun, wind, and cooler temperatures.

Plant Outdoors.

The final step is planting in the great outdoors. If you are unsure, refer to the size you would buy in a garden centre. When your seedlings are roughly this size, you can be confident they are ready for transplanting.

  1. Transplanting to Garden Beds: Once the seedlings have acclimatised, carefully transplant them into your garden beds, or if moving to a patio or deck – plant directly into Big Tubs or if space is limited the Parnell Planter Set is a very smart option.
  2. Adequate Spacing: Be sure to follow the recommended spacing for each type of vegetable. This prevents overcrowding and allows them to grow without competition.
  3. Irrigation: Be careful with hosing, we recommend a Water Gun with adjustable settings.
  4. Nourish: By feeding your plants, they’ll feed you better! Our Smart Grow Fertiliser is an excellent choice.
  5. Label: Position a Plant Label beside your seedlings for handy identification.

We are here to help with any questions you have about growing vegetables at home – reach out at any time.

Before we sign-off, we draw your attention to a couple of must-have products for hungry families across the nation… Potato Planters and Tomato Towers. Both of these innovative products are very easy to use and are great when space is limited. Pop a few on your patio or deck.

For a more rewarding gardening experience, use our handy check list below. Happy shopping!

Growing Vegetables – Shopping List

Item Benefit
Latex Gardening Gloves Machine washable, breathable and comfortable.
Smart Grow Fertiliser Balanced plant feed, enriched with trace elements & high iron
Plant Labels Easily identify veges in your garden, our bigger face labels are handy for recording extra details
Planting Trays We highly recommend the 28 Cell Tray for its drainage, robust, easy to handle. Inside grooves encourages good root develop and prevents roots from spiralling.
0.5L Thermoformed Pots

0.5L Square Injection Moulded Pots

Both small pots are excellent choices for providing an ideal environment for seedlings to grow.
Hand Sprayer Perfect misting tool to keep soil moist.
Spruzz Watering Can Gently waters fragile seedlings. Bright, fun colours to encourage children to get involved.
Water Gun Adjustable settings to gently irrigate seedlings.
Potato Planters Great space saver, designed for trouble-free harvesting of spuds.
Tomato Tower Greater air flow, easy watering system, lightweight to move around.
Parnell Planter Set For speedy growth of herbs and vegetables. Currently on sale!
Big Tubs Injection moulded for drainage. Handy for growing herbs, or vegetables when space is limited.
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