Let the nurturing begin… Yep, nurturing indoor seedlings everyday. Seedlings are infant plants. They are tender, easily damaged and need loving care with just 3 simple elements…
1. Gentle watering. Seedlings should not be left to dry out. They need to be constantly checked for drying and watered consistently. A dry seedling will not survive and an overly wet seedling will drown. A down pour watering can beat the seedling into the soil and most likely it will not recover. Water the soil around the seedling with just a sprinkling on the plant.
2. Seedlings also require light. A sunny windowsill is awesome, but take care not to burn them up. Remember, they are tender. You can also use a grow light or just a plain ole lamp placed over the seedlings will provide light and warmth, which by the way is #3.
3. Usually warmth comes with light which is ever so convenient. Also the grow light or lamp adds some extra warmth especially on those cold snowy icy days. When growing seedlings indoors, you have to simulate the ideal conditions for survival outdoors. Notice how these seedlings are leaning toward toward the sunlight? Doesn’t that say it all? I make a habit of turning them to encourage growth.
As soon as the weather warms up, place your seedlings on a cover porch or on your patio table under an umbrella. The same 3 requirements apply. Light, warmth and water. When outside you have to be extra diligent to watch for drying and too much direct sun will burn the plants. I also like to give them a drink of rain water.
Proper and careful care of seedlings placed outdoors will “harden” them and prepare them for planting in the garden and reducing the shock of the transplant.
Also, peat pots are awesome because you can plant them directly into the garden while not disturbing their little root systems. They are made of biodegradable material. However, watch out for mold. These little paper pots along with moisture and warmth provide the perfect environment for mold which may be harmful to some seedlings. An alternative is a simple Styrofoam cup. While the peat pots are very green and photogenic I have had found that my seedlings really thrive in Styrofoam cups.
It’s almost time to plant our little seedlings in the garden!