Starting Seedlings, Part Three: Go!

I like to start my seeds in a larger container and then transplant them to smaller, individual four or six packs.  Fill the container to within an inch of the top with damp potting mix (I like Promix, but there are lots of them out there to choose from).  Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the surface and then cover with a little more potting mix.  Press it down, set it in the starting tray and wait.  The seeds should appear in about a week.  Some things sprout more quickly, but that’s an average.  Water the pots from below to avoid disrupting the seedlings.



Squeeze GENTLY to loosen soil.

When the baby plants are an inch or so tall, it is time to transplant them into individual cells.  This is not difficult to do, but it takes a careful hand.


Block of seedlings

Squeeze the sides of the pot gently and slide the contents out.

Nine pack with soil mix

Place a bit of soil mix into the bottom of each of the cells.

Always lift by the leaves, never the stem.

Now this is the tricky part.  Pick up the seedlings by their leaves, not by the stem (they are very fragile and the stem could be crushed), and place them one by one into the cells.

Place seedlings one by one into cells.

Tuck your babies in.

Fill the rest of the cell with damp potting mix.

Purple bok choi all ready to go back under the lights.

Place your babies back under the lights.  Don’t forget to mark the pack so you know what it is.  I like to use craft sticks for this.  Write the name on the stick with a laundry market (those are REALLY permanent), and after the plants are in the garden, the sticks can go into the compost pile.


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