For 2016, we are featuring some easy to grow seeds. We had three types available at the Plant Sale and they are all very easy to grow. The seeds are nasturtium 'Alaska', four o'clock 'Limelight', and castor plant. These seeds are relatively large and should look showy quite quickly, which makes them easy to grow into satisfying plants. They can be planted in the soil, in containers, or in small pots to be transplanted when they get bigger. They all prefer sun, but they are pretty flexible as long as they aren't in the shade all day (they will flower more in the sun, but they all have interesting foliage which will look good even if there aren't tons of flowers).
All three seeds will germinate best in room-temperature soil. The soil outside is a bit cooler right now, but it you plant them outside, the soil will soon warm up enough for the seeds to germinate. The nasturtium and four o'clocks should be planted 4"-6" apart. The castor bean plant will grow to be HUGE (about 5' tall and 3' wide by August), so they should be given a lot of room: one plant in an 18" diameter or larger container, or about 2' apart in the ground. The seeds will germinate as soon as the soil warms up (hopefully by Memorial Day or earlier, depends on the weather). During normal springs, we would recommend planting these outside, but this May looks like it's going to remain cold, so you can give the seeds a start indoors. Find suitable containers (this is a great way to reuse small plastic yoghurt containers. Any container will do if you punch some drainage holes in the bottom) and fill them with moist soil (garden soil, seed starting mix, potting mix, or peat moss). Plant the seeds in the container and cover them with soil.
After the seeds germinate, make sure to keep them watered. Seedlings don't need fertilizers and, but they need to be watered regularly. Under-watering is the leading cost of seedling death. Transplant indoor seedlings outside as soon as the evening temperature above 60 degrees.
Have fun with your seeds and please send us a note or post on our Facebook page! We would love to see pictures.