Step by step techniques in preparing your seedlings
If you live in tropical countries like my country Nigeria, at the end of raining season; October is a good time to prepare the seedlings, but if you live in a cold climate, then before the winter is the your time to prepare seedlings. Seedlings is best prepared inside. Most of the plants that starts with seedling do evenly grow very well. Another beautiful thing about seedling is that those tender plants are secured and cared for in a safer place free of insects and caterpillars until they co reach to a certain level of growth, now when they’re transplanted, they can easily compete with the grass and eventually outgrow the grasses. Then another thing is that if you transplant them in a bed covered with straw, they will grow fast because they’re taller than the straw already, which also will save you time and energy of weeding.
There’re also some plants that doesn’t need to go seedlings process at all, I’m going to tell you some here in this article. Something like dill plant etc.
Such plants is best to plant directly in the soil where they’ll remain permanent without need for replanting. Another type of plant that doesn’t need seedlings and replanting is beans; beans of all types. Melons also does not need replanting, they need permanent place.
The above mentioned seeds grow very fast especially when you honor them by not transplanting them.
Preparing your seedlings
There’re many ways to prepare your seedlings, most farmer use trays to sample their seedlings because it looks nicer and easier to carry around and care for. But seedling in trays will first require that you use good soil or compost to fill up the tray or the cups. My advice to my readers is that they use compost comparably to rich soil, but if you don’t have access to compost manure, you can mix chicken dung to your humus soil before filling the tray, and make sure that the chicken manure is not in excess; you can make them 70/30% mixture.
Now, after you have filled up the trays, you’ll need to make little holes 🕳 at the center of your trays and cups as the case may be. There’re many ways to drop the seeds inside the trays and cups; some people prefer to make holes and the drop the seeds and then cover them up with sand, while others may just fill the cups halfway, then put the seed and fill up the cup. In some cases, some people fills the cups, drop the seed on the cup and use stick to push the seeds down a bit. Which ever method that you apply isn’t bad as long as the seeds are covered with soil that the sun will not heat directly on them.
Your target should be 1 to 2 centimeter deep; the idea is that you must get those seeds inside to avoid being dried from direct contact to the sun. Most of the vegetable seeds may not respond to nature calling for germination if they on the surface and are dried. But when they’re buried properly inside the soil, they become moisturized and start to sprout immediately. But if they’re exposed to the sun and the water evaporates, the seeds will dry and die. Some people doesn’t consider how these things work; and they go ahead to plant directly to the ground, sometimes they only water the seeds in the morning, and the waters get evaporated by the heat of the day and seeds and their tender roots may dry up and die. When such things happen, people begin to blame them on luck, but it’s all about understanding of the behavior of plants and nature.
Like I said earlier, you don’t need to dig very deep to drop the seeds, only make sure that they’re properly buried otherwise they may be flushed out by water🚿 outside the tray.
It’s important to remember that watering doesn’t require strong rushing showers, you can apply watering with good watering mug. You can use clothes to cover the cups before watering just to reduce the speed of the water, and by so doing you may stop the water from digging out the seeds. Some seeds like broccoli 🥦 plant do sprout in few days after planting, they starts from bringing these hairy things as you can see from the picture, and within 5 to 6 days, their stems has formed and leafs becomes visible.
Once they pass this stage, they’ll grow very fast. When the seed sprout and the leafs open like in the picture, that’s the right time to expose them the the sun. From the time of planting to the sprouting period, they can be shaded, but as soon as they start to bring out leafs, please take them out to the sun because they need sunlight. If you deprive them sunlights by that time, they’ll stretch themselves too tall and tiny on their might trying to reach out to the sun.
When there’s no sunlight coming, they’ll utilize their energy and try to grow tiny and tall in search of sunlight; and this is bad! After that, they will become very weak, rotten and die. Now you can really appreciate natural process of life in this milky way galaxy 🌌 lol 😆
At this stage of weakness, even if you transplant them, they’ll not do well any longer because they are already weak and unhealthy. So try to give them enough sunlight to keep them healthy and strong 💪. It’s the sunlight that helps them in their own way of metabolism and also supplies energy through their leafs.
How to know when to transplant your seedlings
Watch out to observe when your plants have up to four leafs and height of the plant if up to three inches; such time is the appropriate time to transplant them to the their permanent ridges or bed, if you wait for two long and they outgrown and have many leafs, they may struggle to pickup if you transplant them afterwards.
When transplanting, lookout for those healthy seedlings, you must not transplant all, yes, it’s not a must to transplant all the seedlings, if some are not healthy and greenish enough, leave them because they might not do well if transplanted.
Be careful not to break the stems, the roots and taproot as you’re transplanting your seedlings. After the transplant, it’s good to cover the beds with straws for weed management. But if you don’t have access to straws, you can use other leafs, only make sure that they’re dried. Some people may prefer green leafs over dried leafs but I’ll go for dried leafs.
Another beautiful way to prepare your seedlings is to dedicate one or two beds depending on the size of gardening your targeting. I use 1 bed most times. So you can divide the bed into many segments and spread your seedlings in the segment according to their type. And when they grow up, you then transplant them to bigger beds made for them.
Challenges that you may experience.
Some seasons comes with more pests, more bugs 🐛 and snails that may attack your seedlings. In such cases, you may apply some special techniques in protecting your seedlings just like in the picture below.
If you’re concerned about the security of your seedlings, it’s then more secure to prepare your seedlings on a tray than on a bed because then you can easily relocate them and cover them with nets against pests and bugs 🐛
Seedlings may look very weak within one week after the transplant because during such times, they’re trying to master the new environment and also reinforcing their roots to their permanent place.
Because of this, you should consider the weather before transplanting your seedlings. If the weather is cloudy for days, it’s a good sign that your seedlings will pickup easily, the cloudy weather also suggests that rain is around the corner. But if the weather is hot and the sun heavy and strong, please if you must transplant, make sure that you have your straws ready to cover the base of the beds, and your irrigation pump ready to support the transplanted seedlings at least for 3 to 5 days.
I hope this article is helpful. Please subscribe to my channel for helpful articles as this, comment your advice, suggestions and recommendations below, I’m ready and willing to attend to your questions, and as well to have an overview on your recommendations. Thanks.