10 Must know Tips on Germinating seeds:
Author: The ilikeseeds team
Use wide, shallow containers preventing both overcrowding of seedlings and excessive moisture
around fragile, young roots. Seeds that are small are best sown into small, individual containers like
cell packs or plug trays. Make sure their well cleaned.
Use good quality pre-moistened seed raising mix. A general purpose mix with close to neutral ph.
levels is recommended as some seeds tend towards the acid end and others, such as most herbs,
tend towards the alkaline end.
Make sure you label your seeds. Add names and dates on i.d. labels. Nothing worse not knowing
which is what. And trust me, you will forget.
Position your seeds at a depth of around three times the seed diameter, unless otherwise indicated.
Very small seeds and those that require light to germinate should lie directly on the surface.
Whether covered with planting medium or not, each seed must be in firm contact with the moist
planting medium to begin germinating. Use a mist spray bottle not to disturb seeds.
Seeds are very sensitive to the extremes of over watering and under watering. Keep the moisture
level constant. Or try using a mini hot house to retain moisture.
Most seeds require temperatures of 20-24°C to germinate. Placing seed containers near a heat
source can raise the ambient temperature as needed. A heat pad designed for plant use is a great
tool to encourage germination as well. Best stored in the dark.
Most seedlings will not grow without sunlight and will perform best with a full day. Give the container
a quarter turn each day to prevent the seedlings from overreaching toward the light and developing
weak, elongated stems.
When the embryo inside a seed is developing, it relies on food stored in the endosperm to fuel its
growth. As the shoot emerges from the soil and the true leaves develop, the initial nutrients supplied
by the endosperm will be depleted and supplemental fertilization is then required. Most seed-starting
mixes contain a small nutrient charge to help make this transition while not burning the developing
roots. However, once the true leaves emerge, it is time to begin a half-strength liquid fertilizer
regimen on a weekly basis.
Before seedlings can be planted outdoors, they need to be hardened off, or acclimatised to direct
sunlight and fluctuating temperatures. It is best to do this over a three-day period by placing them in
direct sunlight during the morning only of the first day, then increasing their time outside by a few
hours each day until they are vigorous enough to be transplanted. Make sure the soil temperatures