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Sowing and Growing Seeds

Ergonomic 'Wiser' Telescopic Transplanter
Ergonomic 'Wiser' Telescopic Transplanter

$19.97

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In order to grow seeds, you will need containers with drainage. It is recommended that you use a soil-less peat planting mix to grow seeds, because of its sterility and ease. Plants that require a constant temperature for germination may require a waterproof soil heating cable or mat (follow the manufacturer's directions).

Preparing the Planter and Sowing the Seeds

Fill your garden planters with planting medium until it has reached 1/4" of the rim. Moisten the soil by wetting the soil in a pan of room temperature water. You may want to consider drenching the soil with Benomyl Fungicide to prevent damping off disease. Allow the excess water to drain, and tamp the containers lightly to pack the planting medium.

Some seeds may need special treatment (E..g soaking) before they should be sowed. Please consult your seed packet for treatment directions. Once you are ready to sow, punch small holes in rows into the growing medium with a small stick. The rows should be at least one inch apart. Sow the seeds at a depth that is one or two times the diameter of the seed; very fine seeds and seeds that require light for germination should not be covered at all. Distribute your seeds into the holes, but ensure that they are not crowded. Create a greenhouse environment for your planters by placing them inside a sealed bag. This will eliminate the need to water the seeds before they germinate; however, keep an eye on the seeds to ensure that they do not dry out.

After Germination

Once the seedlings have germinated, remove the bag and gradually move the container into brighter light. Germination can take several days to months, depending on the type of plant. At this stage, watering is critical because the seedlings have not fully developed their root systems. Keep the planting medium moist, but not soggy. Bottom water is recommended at this point because spraying can unroot the plants. Keep the temperature stable at around 70 to 75 degrees Farenheit.

Feeding Your Plants

Green Tip:

Prevent Erosion by using plants that cover the entire ground surface. Erosion removes the top soil and can clog waterways with it.

Once the first true leaves (the second set to emerge) develop, you can begin to feed your plants. Up until this time the seedlings have been being nourished from the seed itself. Fertilizing should be still done from the bottom at this point, using a very dilute 1/4 strength mix of soluble all purpose plant food once a week. When the plants have reached about 3 inches you can begin to water and feed the plants from above. When the plants have deveoped 4 true leaves, it it time to thin and transplant them into pots.

Transplanting

Prepare a pot with a pencil-sized hole. To transplant a seedlings to a pot, use the handle of a spoon as a shovel to remove the seedling. Be careful to do as little damage to the roots as possible – handle the seedling by the leaves and not by the stem. Move the seedling to the new pot, and gently drop its roots into the pencil-sized hole. To help the plant recover, keep the pot in good light for several days, but not in full sun. Feeding can now be conducted weekly at half the recommended strength.

Moving it Outdoors

The final step of this process is to acclimatize the plant to the outdoor world. Make sure that the pot is kept well-watered. Move your pot to a shaded, sheltered area for the days, and bring them back indoors for the nights. The idea is to harden your plant so that they are ready to be planted in their permanent position in your garden.