Few gardening pursuits are as rewarding as growing your own plants from seed. As the nursery manager at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Monticello, I have started thousands of ornamental and vegetable plants from seed. Growing plants from seed is not always an easy task, and over the years I have developed and adopted the following techniques to ensure that seeds get a healthy start. In this blog, you will learn five tips and tricks for starting seeds. Tricks for Starting Seeds-
- Keep Recording to Plan Better
The Neglect of plant propagation is kept recording. No matter what you plant home flowers and garden vegetables, or a large-scale nursery field, keeping records is indispensable. We should have a good habit, documenting the date of starting seeds, germination, the success rate of generation, and transplanting seeds.
At the end of the year, we appraise our time arrangement of planting, which is right and which is wrong. This arrangement can help us make an adjustment to next year’s plan, growing plants in optimum conditioning. We will also document where we bought seeds as their quality may differentiate sources.
- Keep Activation by Store Seeds Perfectly
Seeds are fragile, need to pay attention when storing them. Although some kinds of seeds can be alive for thousands of years, while others will lose their activation fastly even with good storage. In order to keep dormancy, please place seeds in a shady, dark, and low humidity place, like a refrigerator. It is suggested to place tags(seeds, source, and a particular year) and reserve them in a small bag which can be hermetic again.
You can soak seeds in water for several hours to test many (not all) seeds’ activation. Aliven seeds will sink and the dead will be afloat. This test is usually feasible for larger seeds, but not absolutely.
- Using Wider and Flat Containers to Avoid Squeeze
Start Sowing, seed trays are better than clay pots as the former can keep moisture better. Wide and shallow containers can avoid congestion and over-watering. It is suggested to sow seeds in small and single containers, like cell seed trays or plug trays. Recycled plastic containers, like empty yogurt cups or butter buckets, are also suitable for planting, but make sure to open several holes to drain water out. No matter what kind of containers you are using, you need to make sure they are clean and bactericidal.
- Tamp Soil and Then Sow Seeds
Use a kitchen sieve to spatter soil on the top of seeds, the depth should be twice of seed’s diameter. Small seeds and those germinate only by illumination should be placed on the top of the soil. Whether covered with growing medium or not, per seed must be in firm contact with the moist surface to begin germinating. Use a pestle or even the bottom of a glass to gently tamp down the surface.
- Provide Airflow and Drainage Preventing Disease
The fungal infection often referred to as damping-off is usually caused by excessive moisture and poor air circulation. However, some cultural techniques help inhibit fungal pathogens. After covering the seeds with soil mixture and tamping them down, spread a thin layer of 50% milled sphagnum and 50% starter chicken grit (finely ground stone) over the surface to keep the soil around the emerging shoots dry and provide an inhospitable environment for pathogens.