- First mistake – improper storage of seeds
- Second mistake – incorrect preparation of seeds for planting
- The third mistake is bad soil
- Mistake four – too dense sowing
- Mistake five – improper watering
March is the time to start growing vegetable seedlings, a hot season begins for all gardeners. We present a selection of the most common mistakes when growing seedlings, so that you avoid them and get healthy plants, and then a rich harvest..
First mistake – improper storage of seeds
We hope that you have listened to our advice and selected the right seeds in seedling bags. Or they themselves collected seeds from the previous harvest. However, this is often not enough to ensure high germination. It is not enough to buy and collect seeds correctly, you also need to store them correctly.
Important! Hot and too humid air is the main enemy of seeds. They should be stored at a temperature not exceeding + 15 ° C. At the same time, humidity should not be higher than 50%. It is also advisable to restrict air access.
At high humidity, seeds deteriorate very quickly, they may become moldy and seedlings cannot be obtained..
Second mistake – incorrect preparation of seeds for planting
Gardeners can make a large number of mistakes when trying to disinfect, harden, warm up and germinate seeds..
Important! If the seeds you bought in the package are blue or pink in color, then they have already been treated with fungicides and do not need to be disinfected at all!
If the seeds were collected by you personally and have not been treated with fungicides, it will be correct to process them with a solution of potassium permanganate: 5 grams per half liter of water. The seeds should be kept in a solution for 15, maximum 30 minutes, then be sure to rinse and after that proceed to soaking in clean water at room temperature for 8 hours.
For germination, it is convenient to use ready-made cotton pads, although it is possible in the old fashioned way – on a soft cloth moistened with water. For hardening, the soaked seeds can be refrigerated for 12 hours, and then transferred again to a warm place. This is useful if you plan to plant seedlings outdoors in the spring, when there is still a risk of frost..
The third mistake is bad soil
If your garden has fertile black soil, of course, you can take the soil directly from your site. However, it should be disinfected. Experts believe that it is best to warm up the earth for this purpose in the oven at temperatures up to +90 ° C. So the beneficial substances will be preserved, and all pests will die. Alternatively, you can steam the soil over boiling water for 30 minutes, but such soil will lose some of its useful properties. You can also use a double boiler to steam the soil..
You can also buy ready-made potting soil mixes for vegetable seedlings in specialized stores. Or add peat (two parts), fine sand (one part) and humus (also two parts) to the ground from your garden. Such soil, for example, is great for growing pepper seedlings..
Mistake four – too dense sowing
Some gardeners believe that the seeds can be planted thickly, and then simply broken through as needed. This is the wrong approach. For example, it is better to plant cucumbers in separate pots – two or three seeds each. The distance between the seeds of the pepper should be 1.5-2 centimeters, tomatoes – 3-4 centimeters.
Too thick sowing will lead to the fact that the plants will interfere with each other, some of the seedlings will be painful, thin, not adapted for further growth. In addition, the risk of diseases, in particular black leg, will increase..
Mistake five – improper watering
You know that you cannot water the seedlings with water directly from the tap? It should be at room temperature, kept for at least a day, you can use melt water, filtered, but not boiled – all useful substances in it are destroyed.
The soil should be watered with water before planting the seeds. At first, watering simply from a mug or other container is impossible – the seeds will be clogged at too great a depth and will take longer to germinate. Use a spray bottle, spray to wet the soil, but do not flood! When the seedlings have hardened, it will already be possible to carry out regular watering, but carefully – both too dry and too wet soil are equally harmful to plants.
Finally, two tips for properly growing seedlings:
- The best place for boxes and plant pots is a well-lit, warm windowsill. You can cover the boxes with foil while the seeds are hatching, make a mini greenhouse.
- It is advisable to feed the seedlings at least twice – when the first true leaves appear and 10 days before transplanting into open ground or a greenhouse. Complex fertilizers with nitrogen and phosphorus are used for feeding.