How to Read Our Seed Packets: Tips for Beginners

Helpful tips

Getting a garden started with Sow Right Seeds is fun and easy. We’ve done the groundwork and research to set you up for success and help you get started. Knowing how to read a seed packet is the first step to successful gardening. We'll decipher the common gardening terms you need to start growing from seed. 

front and back views of a Sow Right seed packet

How to Read a Seed Packet

On the back of our seed packets, you'll find the important information you need to start growing. You can read helpful growing guides for specific flowers, herbs, and vegetables in our Planter's Library. These guides will provide more detailed information, such as fertilizing and harvesting tips.

We'll cover the common gardening terms used on the back of the seed packets so you'll know what to expect in planning and planting your garden.

Plant Photo

On the front of our seed packages, you'll find a colorful photo that shows what the mature plant will look like. This photo can help you choose which variety you want to grow.  

Plant Description

Here, you’ll find out a little bit about the seeds in the packet, like distinguishing features, history, awards, or what to expect.


How to get the best start growing your seeds, plus any important tips we thought you should know.

Days to Germination

The average amount of time you can expect it to take your seeds to sprout if you follow the instructions on your package.

Planting Depth

This is the depth for planting your seeds in soil or a planting medium. Pay attention to any special instructions about light requirements for germination. Soil-to-seed contact is important for plants to germinate.

Plant Spacing

Our packets don’t have row spacing on them. This is because planting in blocks is typically more efficient than in rows. If you do choose to plant in rows, space rows at least a plant’s width apart. When you’re planting, don’t forget to add in extra room if you need to move between your plants to tend and harvest them.

seed packet back with growing instructions
The back of our seed packets includes growing instructions.

Soil Temperature

This is your reference for the best germination temperature. It is not a typical growing temperature, which can vary much more with the season and conditions in your garden. Once sprouts appear, you can often lower the temperature a bit and continue growing safely. Pay attention to any notes on your instructions.

Light Requirements

This is the minimum light needed for your plants to do well. If your packet calls for full sun, that means your plant needs at least 6 hours of unfiltered light a day. Partial sun/partial shade means 4-6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Full shade is two hours or less of sunlight a day.



Now that you know what these gardening terms mean, it's time to pick out your seeds and start growing! Our seed packets are filled with open-pollinated, heirloom seeds with high germination rates.


Find your favorite varieties of herbs, flowers, and vegetables!


For more helpful seed-starting tips, check out our Planter's Library.  If you need any more support or information on growing your Sow Right Seeds, feel free to search our articles or ask us questions!

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