Best Tips on Potting on Seedlings to Gain Strong Plants
Potting on when seedlings sprout
There is nothing more pleasurable than growing your own flowers, herbs and vegetables in my book!
Continuing on from my hub grow seeds know how let me show you a simple way of potting on those lovely sprouted seedlings.
Patience and time!
When you check your trays and pots to see whether you have any new arrivals and lo and behold you do, I would suggest starting the potting on method straight away.
The reason for this is because all of a sudden you can become overwhelmed with more than you expected germinating at the same time and for potting on, time and patience is required, something that a lot of us do not have!
You really do need to make time for this job, I thought that when I first started to grow my own that it would not take long. Boy, was I in for a shock. At first it seems bearable you can hear the birds singing in the garden and peace and tranquility is all around you, but all of a sudden you realize that you still have loads of little seedlings to pot on and you have run out of time.
You have to be patient and think of what you will get from the time spent on potting on!
This video will give you an idea of how long it will take you to re pot your seedlings, just watch how long each one takes and then think about it!
Pots, pots and more pots are needed now
So you open your plastic sealable bag and low and behold they have arrived, beautiful and green and looking very healthy!
Firstly spray them with a little water and if you do not have any time to repot them at that moment re seal the bag but ensure that you return to visit your seedlings often to spray them gently so as not to let them dry out, this method works as long as you keep the soil moist they will thrive until you have the time to start potting on.
My suggestion would be to fill at least twenty small pots at a time and water them until the compost is moist.
Take your tray or pots with the seedlings that have sprouted and using a lollipop stick or ball point pen gently loosen the soil around each little sprouted seedling, holding onto the leaves not the stems as these will break easily gently lift them from the soil.
Make four holes in the compost of the new pot you are going to pot them in and gently holding the leaves of the seedling pop them into the wholes and cover the stem over with soil.
Now patience is required here because you may have around fifty to a hundred successful seedlings in the trays and you need to pot all of these on or at least the required amount of plants that you wish to gain from each tray.
Please also take into consideration the space that you have to let these little seedlings develop into healthy young plants, they need to have the time to develop and the more seedlings that you have sown the more space and time is needed.
Once you have potted on the required amount any left in the trays due to lack of space you can take a chance and put them into your borders, I have know an array of seedlings that I have put into the borders too have developed into very strong and healthy plants so this method does work in some instances.
One pot per plant! I don't think so....
It is possible to put three seedlings into one pot and still get great results
When I first started potting on my seedlings I started to put one per pot, reading all of the gardening books that I had this was the suggestion that was given to me.
Years on and I find that I put three per pot and still get the same fantastic rewards. O.k. some of the seeds such as sunflowers I would suggest one per pot but some seedlings need not as much room and you will realize this when you see the actual size of the seedling as it progressively grows.
Remember that once you have potted on your seedling then sometime down the line you have to re pot them into bigger pots to allow them more room to grow. So don't worry to much if you don't have enough pots or enough room to give them each a pot just take a look at the size of the seedling and if it is tiny then two or three to a pot will do the job.
You will tell by the size of the seedling as it grows whether you can re pot more than one to a pot
Watering is the key to healthy young plants
Once I have potted on my seedlings I always become overwhelmed by a sense of real achievement, I have grown them from seed and now I have to nurture them and love them to gain beautiful flowers, plants and herbs.
I have found that watering the young plants and ensuring that the compost is kept moist at all times is the key to successful growing.
Once your plants reach a healthy size and frosts have ceased you can then slowly introduce them to the outside, taking them out during the day and bringing them in at night for at least three to four days is ideal as long as the weather is not too cold and frosts are no longer forecast.
A song to sing with your children whilst watering the plants!
This video shows you how to spot signs of over watering your plants
Word of Warning
Word of warning to all of you who are at the stage of potting on.
After writing this hub and then checking on my lovely potted on seedlings today, it has become obvious to me that I have a small fly in my greenhouse which is chewing away at my lovely green leaves!
Take heed, make sure that your greenhouse is completely free of any insects or low and behold you will be faced with the same problems as I have been faced with!!
Not very nice after spending hours potting them on and now I have to sow a further batch of my cornflowers as the others have all been eaten. Word of warning for all you budding gardeners.
© 2012 Trudy Cooper