Sometimes gardening novices are reluctant to sow seeds themselves and prefer to acquire plants ready to plant directly. Indeed, there are many assumptions and the fear of failure is often a brake. However, sowing is the most economical method to obtain plants in quantity and by following a few simple rules, sowing becomes child’s play!
Tip 1: Get organized and plan your sowing
Planning is an art: You have to think, anticipate, and write everything down. This is the assurance of not wasting seeds, of not missing the right sowing period and of making the best use of space and managing your time well. It also avoids having to start over. So take a notebook and a pencil then draw up an inventory of your grain library, your needs and make a small calendar. Indicate which species, which variety should be sown, where, when and how.
Tip 2: To harvest early, no need to sow early:
When sowing indoors, it happens that the young seedlings develop a long thin stem, which lacks rigidity and collapses, it is because they lack light and are too hot. Indeed, the temperature is generally favorable for growth but paradoxically these will grow in the absence of light. And as the stems thin out, the young shoots become smaller, paler, and weaken…sometimes to the point of death. This is what is called the etiolation of seedlings or more commonly it is said that “seedlings spin”! To avoid this phenomenon of withering seedlings, it is advisable not to sow too early in the year, wait until the days get longer. It is also important to avoid too dense sowing,
Tip 3: Acclimatize your seedlings gradually:
If you move the plants too quickly from the protected atmosphere of the house, greenhouse or frame, to the cold outside, they will experience real stress. The walls of their cells are too soft to withstand even moderate drying from the wind, the heat of direct sunlight, the too rapid rise and fall of temperatures and the coolness of the nights. Ideally, this transition takes place over two weeks. We start by leaving the plants outside for an hour or two in the shade, during the day, then we bring them in later and later, to finally leave them outside, in moderate sun, when there is no longer any risk of frost. .
Tip 4: Transplant seedlings at the right time:
After emergence, the two “leaves” that you see are in fact cotyledons, that is to say reserve organs from the seed and intended to nourish the seedling so that it develops its root. The two true leaves then appear. You can transplant up to about the six-leaf stage. The important thing is that the seedlings do not wither if they are kept too close together. Transplanting is the movement of the seedling from the box where it grows to an individual pot or directly outside in the ground. The seedling should be traumatized as little as possible during this operation. Ideally, proceed on a cool, sunless day, or work early in the morning.