I am a huge believer of growing plants from seed. To me it is so much more rewarding to plant my plants from seed. It truly is so easy! You just need a little patience and a few tips! If you haven't seen it already, check out Part 1 of this guide on how to grow seeds, cos that will help you with the basics! This part of the guide will give you a little bit more detail and tips that aren't essential, but really help out! So lets get into it!
My first trick or tip when growing seeds is to use a propagator, or an equivalent. This creates a micro-climate for the seeds in which to thrive. This micro-climate helps to keep the plant warm, and retain soil moisture. My Dad bought me an electric propagator, so I use this! It makes such a huge difference! I just put it in a sunny place, adjust the vents and turn it off an on when appropriate. If you wanna get super technical (which I don't bother with) you can use a propagator thermometer so as to get the ideal temperature for the plants to grow. But I just turn it on for a few hours in the cold parts of the day!
If you don't have an electric propagator, don't even worry! You can use things like plastic bags, plastic containers, or even plastic soda bottles with the bottoms cut off. These things all help to create essentially mini glass houses. The plastic soda bottles with no bottoms can also be used to help protect the plants when they go out into the big garden. The bottle lid makes it easy when it is out in the garden for you to water the plant too, as you simply unscrew the lid and water the plant! Talk about repurposing (;
Now I'm going to teach you about a little problem you may have encountered if you grow your seedlings inside. Mold. It is not nice. It starts out like little white fluffy spots on the top of the soil, and can spread across the whole top of you soil. It won't really affect your plants, but its preferable to not have this! This mold is caused from either over-watering or from your plants not having enough air circulation around them.
The great news is that it is super easy to get rid of the mold. You have a few options for treating the mold:
- Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top of the soil (it actually does work)
- Place a fan near your plants to increase circulation
- Or, simply remove the layer of mold and make sure you aren't over-watering your seeds
|Mold starting to grow on the soil of a seedling|
Now that your plants are starting to grow and you know how to get rid of any mold that may start to sprout, here is an ingenious tip that when I got told about this I thought it was brilliant. Its so simple, but makes so much sense!
When you plant your seeds, no doubt you plant a couple of seeds in each little pot, and if you don't, then start doing it!! What will happen when you start growing these seeds, and the plants germinate and start sprouting, you will have a couple of shoots. Once these shoots have sprouted their true leaves (when your seeds sprout, they will start out with two leaves right opposite each other, as the plant starts to grow and develop, other leaves will start to grow which look more like the leaves that the plants end up with - hence the name, true leaves) you are ready to use this trick!
Grab your scissors, and cut at the base of the stem of any "extra" plants that you have grown. Choose to keep the ones that look like they are doing really well! I know what you're thinking, because I thought this too "what a waste, I will just plant all the shoots". Well by all means, go for it! However, what changed my mind was the justification behind doing this. When you try to separate the shoots, you can actually damage the roots of both plants, as they will no doubt be connected. Its actually better to sacrifice one plant then lose two! Then once the plant is a little more established you can move your plant out to the garden! It is super important to make sure that once the true leaves have started to grow that your plants are being fed and getting enough nutrients! But I'm sure you already could guess that!
How great were these extra tips?! I know that these tips totally changed my seed growing experience! I hope they help you out! Let me know if you have any sneaky tips that I could use when growing seeds! Sharing is caring :D