Seed Starting-The First Step to Gardening

Having been both student and teacher, I can guarantee you that being an expert doesn’t automatically make you a particularly good instructor.  Fortunately, Gary Emmett is both expert and teacher.  He communicates the essentials of learning how to grow plants from seeds without overwhelming the reader with technical tidbits or intimidating vocabulary.

Gary provided an interview to several Mosaic Review Team Members and although, I regret not being able to speak with the author directly I was able to listen to a recorded copy of the interview.  He expressed such love for gardening that even I, a seasoned black thumb gardener was suddenly reconsidering planting some tomatoes!  Seriously, I kill everything green. I even murdered a Christmas cactus with love one year.

The book focuses on utilizing seeds to grow your garden, rather than starting from seedlings.  Seed starting can be cost effective depending on the size of your anticipated crop. Greenhouses are often restricted with the variety they offer, whereas seeds of all types can be shipped directly to your door. Plus, it sounds pretty cool to get to nurture a seed into a tiny plant and watch it break it’s way through the soil.

Gary not only teaches and writes about gardening, but he also gardens for his own family.  You can hear the smile in his voice as he describes his wife using his many varieties of tomatoes to make salsa.  As is often the case with experts, he’s had one or two gardening experiments gone awry and that too has provided great entertainment for his wife and kids!

One of my favorite aspects of this book was his willingness to provide specific details of how he creates his garden. Every chapter contains tried and true tips and tidbits on how to create a garden your family can help plant, grow, and my favorite part – eat!


Some of my favorite nuggets are learning that there are actually different types of soil for different seed types.  Who knew?  Apparently, those tiny little broccoli and cauliflower seeds will actually get lost when you go to water them if you don’t use an appropriate fine soil; poor healthy little seeds, eaten by the very dirt they call home. Sad smile

You should also, always pre-wet the soil before planting any seeds, rather than planting them and then pouring water into the container.  As an FYI, I think we may have just solved the ago old mystery of the murdered Christmas Cactus with this one! Smile

If you are looking for a perfectly written, faultlessly edited book filled with panoramic dream gardens distributed by a major publisher this is not the book for you.  There are some typos and odd word choices at various points throughout the book, but none of them are significant enough to distract from the overall purpose of the book.

If you are looking for an easy to read, to the point, beginner manual written by a man with true passion for his craft this is your guide.  At one point in the book, he refers to himself as a man who likes to get his hands dirty when it comes to gardening and I believe him.  If you too really want to get your hands dirty and actually garden, not just read about plants or look at glossy pictures, I would give Gary’s book a try.

A kindle version of Gary’s book, Seed Starting-The First Step to Gardening
is available for $2.00 from and is currently free for Amazon prime members.  Please note this is an affiliate link.  

You can also find Gary and his wife Brenda giving gardening advice and tips over at Successful Gardens.  I keep stalking the site hoping for that salsa recipe!


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  1. says

    Excellent review! I love the humor in your write-up and hugely appreciate your candid thoughts about the book’s shortfalls. I’m hankering to get out and do some gardening…even if it is just a few plants in pots like I usually do. C’mon Spring!

    • says

      Me too Christephi! We have snow on the ground so I like the idea of starting some seeds in the house just for a little glimpse of green this time of year 🙂 Thank you for your comments on my writing – much appreciated as I enjoy it!

  2. says

    This is awesome!! I am going to go get this book immediately. We have really been working on this, trying to get some starter seeds going with the girls for this spring/summer. I am truly a black thumb as well. My husband isn’t, but we have not had luck yet this year. I think watering the soil before planting might be the trick… Thanks! – Amy

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