Starting Seeds for the Garden - 4
When the seeds are up and growing it is time to move them to roomier quarters to grow into bigger transplants..
Five days later there are enough of the plants up in a couple of rows to plant them on so I go to the shop room and mix some planting mix with water. I just put it in a bucket and use a clean paint stir stick. I am using a product called Super Soil ™ from our local supermarket garden center, but any of the peat based mixes seem good.
One of the flats is filled with 9 packs and these are filled with the mix. I tend to fill them roughly and then tamp them down a bit and then fill the partly full packs. There is always one that needs a bit of extra. Before I start I sweep the floor and when I finish for the day I sweep again and the spilled mix goes into the compost bucket. Somethng always spills.
I have tranplanted the seedlings into 9 packs and had a couple left over after the first 2 were filled so I put them in a third. Waste not want not, I guess. I notice a couple of things here.
- I have transplanted before the first true leaves have appeared although all the books say towait. It has not been a problem to me but your mileage may differ.
- the seeedlings are leggy. I should have the trays much closer to the light but I have failed to do so. All it would have taken was putting a block under the tray.
I returned the remaining seeds to their heating pad and humidity dome. The seedlings are given their own heating pad and humidity dome but are still not closer to the lights. Note that the dome is significantly higher and meant for seedlings. The heating pad and dome are likely not necessary but the room is cold. They should be closer to the lights but I shall live and maybe learn.
It is now April 16, a week later, and most of the plants are up. It is time for a major replanting. Again, most of the seedlings have only thier seed leaves and not their first true ones, but this seems to work for me. I think it comes from the days in a former garden where i used to put out around 1200 (yep, one thousand two hundred) transplants plus the vegetable seedlings. There was just too much to do while working a full time job to worry about the leaf stages. Commercial growers have more privelege here.
The first step is simply to move the tray to a work station, in this case my workbench, and get ready to go. The trick is to keep the rools moist while working and never to let them dry out, so everything has to be set.