Raising seedlings for dummies

16 Feb

Baby Broccoli

So far I’ve been a seed raising failure. I can plant stuff in the ground and it seems to grow, but when it comes to planting seeds in trays, I seem to always kill them before they reach the transplanting stage. I have a mini greenhouse that I bought at Bunnings for the purpose, and the first time I tried it – fail. Everything germinated fine, was looking brilliant, then they died on the first really hot summer day. I figured that as long as I kept it wet, it wouldn’t get too hot. Wrong. Everything died.

So since then I’ve been experimenting with the location of the greenhouse. I’ve learned that direct sunlight is bad. I’ve learned that a dingy laundry isn’t much better. I’m now trying my front porch, and I’m having better luck, but I’ll be convinced once I have something that vaguely resembles something at the nursery. Not sure if it makes a difference or not, but I’ve mostly been using egg cartons as seed raising trays. My thought was that I could just tear off the cell and plant it in the ground as is. The roots would just break through the cardboard as it rots down. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

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3 Responses to “Raising seedlings for dummies”

  1. Asydfoodie February 21, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    I don’t think you need a greenhouse
    until winter. Wait till cooler weather (this week looks good) plant in seedling tray, and water once in the morning. I have baby buk choy and rocket growing on a seedling tray on a window ledge. I tried planting the egg cartons which sort of works – you need to make sure you bury the edge of the egg carton in the soil. I find they are a bit too shallow to yield a good seedling.

    • L February 21, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

      That’s really helpful. I was using the greenhouse to keep the humidity up so I didn’t need to water as often, but I can’t claim a great success rate so far 🙂 I think you’re right about the depth of the egg cartons – will avoid them for things that need to stay in the trays for a while, like leeks.

  2. Jodi March 3, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Hi L,

    I hope this helps. I bought a camo net from the army disposals store to put over my hot house in summer. It worked a treat. The important thing with the hot house in summer is air flow. You need to let the heat out. So, be sure to leave the door up and if you have side vents open them too. Another little trick that worked for us was a little thermometer that told us just how hot (or cold) it was getting in the hothouse. We started out hit and miss but, now we’ve got it down pat.

    Cheers,

    Jo

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