Friday, March 22, 2013
Not saying this is the only way to germinate and care for seeds but it is one that has proven to be very successful for me....
1) Just in case you did not know this....seeds do not need light to germinate. As a matter of fact, after I sow my seeds in a small tray..I place the tray in a ziploc bag and cover with a newspaper. I then place the whole shebang on top of the shop lights to provide bottom heat.
2) Several days prior to the expected germination time...I start checking to see if the seeds have started to come up.... because as soon as the seeds break through the soil ..they need to be placed under the lights... as close as possible to the light source without touching. Not placing your seedlings under a light source ASAP can result in spindly and weak seedlings. Mine are on a timer ... 16 hrs on .. 8 off.
3) Do not over water...this is the kiss of death. Instead allow the soil to dry in between waterings.
4) Always water from the bottom.
5) Since I start seeds in small trays I have to repot them after the first set of true leaves appear. I try not to pot up but 2x. I use cell packs, small dixie cups at first....ending with a red solo cup.
6) After each pot up they go back under the lights until they are ready to be hardened off...at which time they are moved outside for short periods ... eventually spending the entire day out.
7) I try to plant them in the ground as close to the recommended transplant times as possible.
Happy Seed Sowing!