10 Tips for Starting Healthy Seedlings

Sprouting Seedlings. Photo Courtesy Tiny Farm Blog.

Photo Courtesy Tiny Farm Blog. Sprouting Seedlings.

    1. Use a seed soilless starting mix (made with worm castings, vermiculite and coco coir.)
    2. Plant two seeds and thin out the one that growths less vigorously with scissors;
    3. Start seeds in a warm area to encourage germination (most seeds germinate most reliably at temperatures above 60 degrees);
    4. Make sure seedlings get ample amounts of light (12-16 hours a day) once sprouted and that they’re rotated the regularly so they do not lean too much to one side;
    5. Start them in sub-irrigated planters (SIP) to ensure seeds receive constant moisture;
    6. Always water seedlings from the bottom; “top watering” promotes dampening off, a fungal disease that will cause them to droop over and die;
    7. Pet your seedlings daily or use a fan to promote air circulation and encourage strong stems;
    8. Create a miniature greenhouse environment for your seedlings by cover with plastic wrap, or use a deli container;
    9. Fertilize seedlings with an organic fertilizer (kelp meal, fish emulsion, compost tea) once first true leaves form;
    10. After the first true leaves emerge, harden the seedlings off by incrementally placing them into normal outdoor conditions.

 
If you’re wondering where to find some of the supplies listed in the steps above, here’s a few places around the city where you can find them.

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