Seeding in pot-paks and/or flats is most convenient. Sterilize all "used"
pots, flats, and tools with Physan
20 (R3620) before you start. Use only sterilized starting mix to help
prevent damp-off disease. Mix very fine seed with fine sand or milled
sphagnum moss. Scatter over growing medium.
Generally, sow small seed 1/2" apart - larger seeds 1" apart.
Most fine seeds don't need to be covered. Cover other seeds with a sifting
of fine soil. Use a fine mist sprayer to mist thoroughly. Do not let
seeds dry out. Cover your planting with a dome to reduce evaporation
and maintain humidity.
Seeds need darkness, moisture and heat to germinate. Place in a dark,
warm area. Do not let them dry out. Check regularly and water.
They already have enough food stored inside, so they do not need fertilizer
Most seeds germinate best at a constant temperature between 65° F
to 75°F. For accelerated, superior success, use a heat mat or heat
cable under your plantings. Consistent warmth at the root level is the
secret to producing strong, healthy roots quickly.
When the majority of the seeds have sprouted, move them off any bottom
heat source and remove the dome. Place them 8"-10" under a fluorescent
grow light and water them with a diluted all-purpose fertilizer. Take
care to keep them out of any cold draft, which might damage the still
When seeds germinate, the first leaves to appear are called the seed leaves
(cotyledons). These are usually a pair of oval leaves that bear no resemblance
to the mature leaves of the plant.
A general rule of thumb is to transplant only after 2 pair of true leaves
have grown. (For larger seedlings, such as cucumbers or squash, however,
plants are big enough to handle before the true leaves develop.) Prior
to transplanting, fill clean pots with pre-moistened potting soil. Make
a small hole in the center of each pot to accommodate the transplant.
Removing tiny seedlings from the sowing container into larger pots is
a delicate business! As seedlings stems are easily bruised, always handle
seedlings by their seed leaves. To facilitate removal of the seedlings,
a tapered stick or narrow flat-ended screwdriver works. Our Miniature
Rake/Spade (T4551) is an excellent tool for transplanting, as well as
grooming small potted plants. Use care not to damage the delicate roots.
Where several seedlings are growing in a very small space, it is best
to transplant a clump of seedlings and then snip off all but one or two.
After easing a seedling out, move it directly into its new pot and firm
potting soil around the delicate root system while still holding onto
a seed leaf. Water with a gentle spray of lukewarm water. As feeder roots
are invariably torn and more likely to be damaged by fertilizer salts,
avoid using fertilizer at this time. After about 2 weeks, start
fertilizing with an all-purpose, liquid fertilizer diluted to 1/4 strength.
/ Flats / Domes
Cells & Trays