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Learn my Crack & Plant  technique and be amazed at how it simplifies planting!


And you'll find all the planting instructions for the Everything Homemade Heirloom Garden Seeds you have purchased!




Crack & Plant

How to Harden-Off Your Plants

How to
Crack & Plant

Planting Instructions

Herbs and Flowers

Purple and Pink Hyssop

Most herbs and flower seeds need light to germinate. This one detail is over-looked and makes a massive difference in the germination rate of most herb and flower seeds. There are 2 different methods on how to start the herbs and flowers I sell. One is starting the plants 8 weeks before last frost date of your area or direct planting in the fall or spring.


Method 1: Starting plants 8 weeks before last frost date

Cast seeds over moist dirt in a container/flat/pot. Using a spray bottle, mist the seeds and cover the container/flat/pot with plastic wrap. This keeps the seeds and dirt from drying out and raises the humidity. Place the container/flat/pot under a grow light or sunny window. The light and heat will stimulate the seeds to germinate. Within 4-14 days seeds should germinate. Once most seeds have germinated, remove the plastic wrap and continue placing the container/flat/pot under the grow light or sunny window. When the plants have their 3rd set of true leaves, transplant the plants to a larger container/flat/pot. When risk of frost for your area has passed, plant the herbs or flower plants outside.


Method 2: Direct Sowing

In the fall when the daytime temperature drops below 15℃ and the evening temperature is just below freezing or hovering around 1-3℃, it’s a good time to direct sow all the herbs and flower plants I sell. If you have a specific area to grow the herbs and/or flowers this saves a lot of time in the spring. Prepare the dirt, making sure it is as weed free as can be and the dirt is loosened and even. Cast out the seed of the dirt and let nature do the rest. In the spring the seeds will germinate when the daytime and evening temperatures are warm enough. Seeds can also be sown outside in early spring as well just when the soil begins to warm.

Marshmellow Flowers

Sweet Eating Corn & Popcorn

Tom Thumb Popcorn grown in northern Alberta, Canada

Plant corn at the end of May or first week in June if you are in zone 1 to 4. Adjust if you live in a warmer zone. Do not start it earlier because corn hates their roots being messed with and because of this, I prefer the paper towel method to start my corn.


Why, may you ask? Because the corn plants don’t go into any shock or stall their growth after transplanting. When growing corn in zone 2 there is not much time for corn to grow; 60 days if we are lucky before the frost comes again! Therefore, I grow short and early maturing corn that is hardy and even on a bad year still produces!


The paper towel method is simple. Rip off a large sheet of paper towel and saturate it with water. Wring out only the excess water so it won’t be dripping everywhere but wet enough you can feel the weight of the water the paper towel has absorbed. Fold the paper towel in half. Then on one half sprinkled 25-30 corn seeds. Using a spray bottler, spray the seeds. Now fold the top of the paper towel over the seeds and place it in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and set it on the counter at room temperature. Within 3-4 days the seeds will have 1 cm long white thick roots. At this time the corn seeds are ready to be planted. Prepare the soil for planting. Seeds should be sown 1 cm deep with the newly growing roots facing down into the ground. Sprinkle about 1 cm of dirt on top of the seeds and water. Seeds should send out a green sprout within a few days after planting. It’s best to plant corn in rows next to each other to increase pollination. I usually plant 3 rows of corn in a 3-foot-wide row.

Popped Tom Thumb Popcorn grown in northern, Alberta Canada

Squash and Zucchini

Everything Homemade Squash

Squash has touchy roots and don’t like their roots to be disturbed. I like to start my squash seeds using the paper towel method described in the corn section. After you have sown the number of seeds you would like to start and placed the paper towel in a plastic bag, the seeds should germinate anywhere from 3-14 days. Once germinated, prepare pots, such as 500 or 750ml yogurt containers with dirt. Make sure to moisten the dirt.


Carefully plant 2 germinated seeds with their roots down in each pot. Only plant the seeds that have germinated 1-cm deep. This eliminates the guessing game of how many seeds will germinate! Planting two seeds per pot is important as the squash plants like to have ‘friends’ in the pot with them. I find over the years the plants that have ‘friends’ in their container grow better and produce more! Cover the seeds with just an amount of dirt to cover the seeds. Water and using a plastic bag or plastic wrap place it over the top of the pot and place the pots in a warm location. Check everyday for a green sprout. When a sprout appears, transfer the pots to a sunny window or under a grow light.

Cocozella Zucchini



Cucumber don’t like their roots to be disturbed. I like to start my cucumber seeds planted in egg shell pots. You can use any kind of bio-biodegradable pots, but I prefer using egg shell pots. Check out my videos below in the next section (Crack and Plant) on how on start my seeds in egg shell pots.

I start my cucumbers May 1st. They germinate fast, within 3-7 days, and grow quickly given adequate warmth, light, and water. I plant my cucumbers in the garden under a make shift greenhouse 3rd week of May. My make shift greenhouse consists of hops and draping plastic over the plants. This keeps them warm during the cooler nights so they don't freeze.

I plant my cucumbers in hills of 2 to 3 plants. Each hill is about 2 feet apart.

Carefully plant 2 seeds each pot. Plant about 1/4 inch in depth. Cover the seeds with soil. Water and place the pots in a warm area for them to germinate. Once Germinated make sure they have adequate sun and water. Transplant cucumbers out when they have there first or second set of leaves.


One of the most important things to remember when starting seeds is that the seeds will germinate best in cooler soil. It is one of the first seeds I sow in the spring about 2 weeks before the last frost date. It can be still freezing at night and when germinated, can handle light frost! Make a row 1-inch in depth and drop the seeds in one by one about 2 to 4 cm apart depending on how think you like your pea row. Cover the seeds and water well. Pea seeds need to stay moist to germinate. Germination will occur 5-10 days after sowing.


Too speed up the germination process you can soak the pea seeds in water the day before planting. Then sow the seeds as stated above.

Sutton's Harbinger Peas


Broad beans also known as Fava Beans, Thick Beans, and Broad Beans


Broad beans, just like peas, love cooler soil to germinate well. This make broad beans ideal for cooler or short growing seasons. Since these seeds are large, make a hole about 4-cm deep. Drop the seed in and cover. Make sure to space the seeds 1-foot apart and it’s best to grow 2 rows side by side a foot distance apart for optimum pollination. These plants need bees to cross-pollinate the flowers for the plant to set. After sowing the seeds, water and wait about 10-20 days to germinate. Never let the seeds dry out. These seeds can be very slow to germinate, but they make it up on how fast they grow after!

Windsor Broad Beans also called Fava beans



Bean seeds like the soil warm to germinate. I plant my beans closer to the end of May when the risk of frost is low and the soil is normally warmer. Bean seeds rot very easily. Never leave them in standing water. Sow seeds about 1/2 inch in depth and about 3 inches apart and cover with soil. Keep moist until germination. Germination will happen in about 7-14 days. Once up, keep them evenly watered.


Red Robin Tomatoes

Tomato seeds should be started 8 weeks before your last frost date. I start my tomatoes April 1st because our last frost day in my area is June 3rd. Cast seeds over moist dirt in a container/flat/pot. Sprinkle the seeds with about ¼-inch of dirt. Using a spray bottle, spray until the dirt is moist but not soggy. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the container and place the container/flat/pot in a warm area to germinate. It’s best that the temperature is around 20℃ or warmer. If you don’t have a warm room, place a heating pad under the container/flat/pot to warm the soil. Make sure to place a blanket or a towel in-between the heating pad and container/flat/pot so the soil does not become too hot. Germination will occur anywhere from 4 to 14 days.

Martino's Roma Tomatoes
Pendulina Orange Cherry Tomato

Explore Our Heirloom Garden Seeds

Heirloom Garden Seeds

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