1 Label the pots before filling them up. It’s faster and more efficient than sticking tags onto pots filled with soil. Use masking tape and a Sharpie instead of plastic tags that can easily fall off. You will be very glad that you labelled the pots when you discover that a lot of the baby trees look alike!
2 Wear gardening shoes. You are more likely to go outside if you’re not worried about tracking dirt inside the house. I like easy to wash shoes that you can slip in and out off and leave by the door.
3 The first part to grow is the RADICLE. It is the embryonic root. It grows downwards. Don’t be like me, panicking when seeds arrived already sprouted!
4 Tamp down the soil in the pots firmly when you fill them up. Or else the seedlings will topple over! I like to overfill the pots, then tap the bottom on something firm so the soil settles into the pot nicely. I like to fill all the pots first, then make all the planting holes in the soil, place each seed into the hole, then cover each hole. That way you’re not wondering whether or not a pot already has a seed.
5 Use a nice watering can with a fine rose! You want a fine spray of water so the seeds don’t get washed away. It does take longer though for the water to come out of those tiny holes. Patience!
6 Use rainwater for watering the plants. This is especially important if the water in your area is highly chlorinated. Now is a good time to start a rainwater collection system!
7 Make as much compost as you can. There’s no such thing as too much compost.
8 Keep notes. I wanted to have an app where I could put pictures of the trees, their gps locations, and the date when the tree was planted. But I haven’t found that app yet! In the meantime I’m using a notebook for all my tree notes. Each species has a one page spread and there’s an index with all the names and the page numbers. Everything that goes on with a particular species is listed in its page.
9 Join a group like Philippine Native Trees Enthusiasts on Facebook to get planting tips and lots of encouragement!
Just do it! You don’t need to have a green thumb. The sooner you start planting seeds, the better! You will learn a lot and have fun. Start small and remember that everything is a learning experience. No matter what happens, you will learn something!