Reading a seed packet

Seed packets have important information you need to know before seeding and growing vegetables and flowers.

The front of the seed packet lists the seed name (botanic name and common name) and a photo or drawing of the plant. It may say if the plant is an annual, a perennial or a biennial.

The back of the seed packet has lots of good information about growing your plants.  Depending on the seed company, it may include some or all of the following:

Seed count/weight

Approximate number of seeds or the weight of the seeds in the packet

When to plant

Either direct seed or grow indoors before last expected frost in your area


Number of days it takes for the seed to sprout. Sometimes a packet will say if the seeds have special germination requirements like dark, light or temperature


The period when the plant produces flowers, mostly for flowering plants

Days to harvest/maturity


The number of days (after germination) it takes for a plant to grow to full size and to produce vegetables


Type of soil needed to grow this plant


Amount of sun needed to grow this plant

Plant size

How tall and wide the plant will be when it is mature

Seed depth

How deeply to set the seed in the soil

Seed spacing

How far apart a seed should be in a row in the garden

Plant spacing

How far apart transplants or seedlings should be spaced in the garden so there is enough room for the plant to grow to mature size without crowding


How much to water the plant

Growing tips

Information about how to fertilize, pollination needs, cooking tips, how to harvest and other information to help you grow healthy plants


Share this story