While each seed packet is going to be a little bit different, there are some things that will always be present. Generally speaking, the front of the package will have a picture of the flower or veggie, the name, weight of seeds, and the name of the company. The back will feature zone information, planting instructions, and estimated weeks to maturity. We’ll go over each in detail below:
The first thing you probably noticed when you flipped over the packet was a little map of the country with rainbow colors across it. This represents the different planting months depending on location. Find your state, look at the color, and consult the chart to see when is the best time to plant the seed based on your region’s climate.
This section can be shown any number of ways, including a chart, bullet points, or a bolded paragraph. Usually the following information will be shown:
- Annual vs Perennial – Annual means that the plant will only live for one year; you’ll have to replant it next year. Perennial means it will come back year after year and you won’t have to buy more seeds.
- Planting Depth – How deep you should place the seeds when you’re planting
- Plant Spacing – How far apart the plants need to be. Some people plant the seeds this far apart while others will thin them out after they start to grow and only keep the healthiest plants.
- Days to Maturity/Harvest – This timeline will help you know when the plant is ready to harvest or when it’s fully mature. The front of the package will also show what the mature plant should look like.
- Sun/Shade – How much sunshine can the plant handle? Options include Full sun (6 hours), Partial sun (morning or afternoon), Full shade (no sun)
Of course there is often plenty of other information on the seed packets including the height of the plant, any disease resistances, etc. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find out that they are all pretty similar.