It’s like being a new parent. We plant the seeds and watch with baited breath for days and weeks waiting for the first sprout. When the first sprout emerges there is great celebration! When every planter has at least one sprout there is great satisfaction that we have a chance to grow our own fresh produce. Well…satisfaction and a great deal of relief too.
Then…the sprouts begin to outgrow their planter. Now what?! Back to The YouTube!
Four mistakes that can make your seedlings die:
- Not fertilizing. They need to be treated with a half strength fertilizer.
- Do no let the plants get too big prior to transplanting. Waiting too long stunts root growth. When my seedlings grew to the top of the dome I transferred them to a bigger planter.
- Not hardening them off. What is hardening off?! It means to ease them into the great outdoors before planting them in the garden. Begin to introduce your indoor plants to the outdoors 7 to 10 days before final transfer. Start with one or two hours and slowly increase the time as your planting day nears.
- Wait until after the traditional last frost day to plant outside. Newbies like us tend to want to jump the gun on final transfer. We just get so darned excited and impatient to for ‘real’ gardening. For us Mother’s Day is the traditional time frame for safe outdoor planting.
This flat of planters represents our peppers: tobasco (thanks Chuck Swain!), pepperoncini, jalapeno, sweet bell. Plus cabbage and cauliflower. Yet to sprout: tomatoes and rosemary herb.
Next gardening subject? Our raised garden beds are almost ready. Soon we will talk setting up, irrigating and soil for the beds. I can barely wait!