Not everyone is knowledgeable when it comes to starting their home garden, but the most important thing you have to consider is starting the seeds for transplant onto your yard or garden. Here are some tips for better seed starting.
Write Down Details.
List down all the seeds that you need to plant, and know which ones are okay for planting in the current season, and whether they are easy to plant or not, and most importantly, if they will work on your current soil. You can get some data of success and failure rates of seedlings from your local gardener’s club or similar agricultural centers nearby. Ask and inform them on what kind of climate, soil and yard space you have and they’ll make recommendations as to which plants will be easier to grow.
Store and Organize Seeds.
Keep seeds in groups in plastic containers and label them (you may also put the year they were purchased or harvested and any details you like) accordingly so that you won’t get confused, especially for seeds that almost look the same. They must be stored in a place that is not very humid, dark and cool. You may also do a seed viability test by letting them soak on water. Those that sink are still okay and the ones that float are no longer alive.
Wide Containers and Proper Spacing.
If you intend to plant a lot of seeds, make sure there is enough room for them to grow. Avoid using small containers – always leave extra soil space because overcrowding is pretty bad and will cause poor quality plants due to lack of nourishment.
You can use any recycled plastic cups, containers, and others, provided that you make drainage holes at the bottom. You also have to clean up the container thoroughly by sanitizing it before using as a bed for your seedlings.
Seed Mixing and Tamping.
If you have a seed starting mix, you can use a kitchen sieve to spread it over the seeds and lightly tamp them using a pestle so that the soil and seeds mix together and in turn, make the seeds receive more nutrients from the soil.
Proper Air Flow, Moisture and Drainage.
Milled sphagnum moss and starter chicken grit can help keep the surface free from pathogens that only grow in damp soil. To provide air circulation, you can put an electric fan nearby or put it near the window or at an open area that is still free from any possible disturbances but can receive clean, fresh air.
Use Plastic Wrap.
Another way to keep the moisture level of the seeds constant is to use plastic wrap and cover the trays. Then, place it on a water basin so that hydration of the seeds is balanced (not too overwatered and not too dry). Take out the plastic wrap once the seeds have germinated.
A Warm Temperature.
Germination of seeds usually happens when the temperature is warm, from about 65 degrees Fahrenheit more or less. You can use a heater, a heating pad or any heating source, just as long as you constantly keep the seeds in check for signs of drought.
You might think this is kind of weird, but if you lightly brush the seedlings with your palm, it actually helps to strengthen them as they grow in the future.
Place in Sunlight, Facing South.
You’ve probably heard it from some gardeners – seedlings and plants are best placed facing south because they will be less prone to pathogens and such. Gently turn the seedlings so that the growth is even.
Get Used to Sunlight.
It’s a harsh world out there, so your young little seedlings must have some training under the sun by acclimating them to direct sunlight over a 3-day period on the morning, before transplanting.
Watering seedlings isn’t really the same as watering a matured plant. They have to get initial nutrients as if you’re taking care of a newborn baby. These fertilizers that are often mixed with the water often come with seed-starting mixes.