Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Hopefully you planted your seeds into a very loose medium that will make it easy to tease out the new roots on your seedlings. The longer you wait, the more roots and the harder it is to separate everything. I use straight pearlite for its ability to hold water and that it is easy to shake from new roots with minimal damage. Use something to scoop beneath the roots and lift the seedlings out.
Once you have shaken free the medium, you should have a little bit of green and some nice white roots. Try to break as few as possible. It helps to let the medium dry out a little bit before you try to tease them apart from one another.
Fill your pots level to the top. I like to use plant trays from last years purchases. For a purchased plant medium , I like Miracle Grow potting mix. It seems to be the best suited to start new seedlings. Make a hole in the soil with your finger. If the hole fills in before you put in your seedling, you are starting with a medium that is too dry. Gently nudge all of the roots into the hole and fill in. For peppers and tomatoes you can plant deep. Most everything else needs to be planted at the same depth it was originally growing. For the most part if you get roots down and green up, you will do fine.
Label everything! Each pot or six pack will require its own label if you intend to accurately know what you have later! Gently water in with a can. You will need to make sure that everything stays evenly moist but not too wet until a good root system is established. One dry day will kill these tiny plants!
With care, you should have something like this in two to three weeks! Happy Gardening!