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Growing plants from seed isn't just for grown ups. Anyone can collect their own seeds or grow their own plants. It isn't difficult. Seeds will grow into plants and plants will produce seeds without your help. Gardening is just persuading them to do it where you can watch it happening, so you can enjoy the flowers or eat the fruit or vegetables you grow.

Before you sow any seeds, it's a good idea to know what you want to end up with. Do you want flowers to look nice in your garden this year, do you want flowers to pick and put in a vase indoors, or do you want to grow plants that will last for years in the garden? Do you want to grow things you can eat? Do you want to grow plants to give to other people as presents? Click on the turquoise splodge for ideas on what to grow to get the results you want.

Once you've decided what you want to grow, you need to collect all the things you need. You'll need some pots or trays to sow the seeds in, and some sort of compost to put in them. You'll need something to label the pots. If you're sowing the seeds in the garden, the old-fashioned way of poking a stick through the seed packet and 'planting' that at the end of the row has always worked. Click on the yellow splodge for hints on sowing different sorts of seeds.

The day after you've sown your seeds, you'll be looking to see if they've grown yet. It's not very likely. You have to be patient. Some seeds germinate faster than others. If you want to see green shoots in just a few days, choose something that germinates and grows quickly. Click on the green splodge for pictures of what your seedlings will look like, so you can recognise them when they peep through.

When your flowers have died, you can collect their seeds. You can keep them to sow yourself, so you can have the same plants in your garden next year. You can give them to other people as presents. You can exchange them with other people for seeds of plants you want to grow next time. Click on the orange splodge for pictures of what the seedpods on your plants look like, and information on how to collect and save the seeds.

Click on the blue splodge for a table with all the information you need together, with photos of the flowers, descriptions, and pictures of the seeds and seedlings for 60 easy plants you might want to grow.

You might not know some of the words used on these pages. Click on the pink splodge for explanations of these words and other words often used in gardening. There are links to pictures on The Seed Site to help you understand what the words mean.

Watching your seeds grow into plants with flowers everyone can admire, or growing fruit and vegetables you can eat, is great fun. Whatever time of year it is, you can get started NOW!

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