When I say I was SO excited when I saw little sprouts coming up where I planted seeds, that is an understatement. For my first time starting seeds to plant in the garden, I would say that so far it has been a success! These lil guys sprouted up after about a week and a half. My boyfriend and I keep them watered every day and have them under a basic fluorescent light, (No need for a fancy expensive grow light) in a temperature-controlled area (Garage). It is approximately 55/60 degrees out there. These broccoli and cabbage seedlings have been pretty happy so far! We are hoping to plant them in a few weeks when it is a bit warmer and they have matured a bit.
So far the #1 mistake that I have made is planting too many seeds too close to one another. The mint and cauliflower seeds didn’t work out because of this issue. Thankfully, the broccoli and cabbage seeds sprouted up just fine. My boyfriend let me know that I should go ahead and separate and transplant the lil guys. I went ahead and did that, and now we have about 100 individual plants, WHAT!? So, we are definitely going to share some cabbage plants with friends who also garden.
What I did wrong:
- I planted a whole packet of seeds in one 18-egg carton. This was way too many! They got choked out and died.
- I left too much height on the seedlings when I transplanted them.
- Leaving the grow light on 24/7.
What I will do differently next year:
- Plant seeds sparingly/lightly so that they have room to thrive. Next time I’d probably do about a quarter of a packet in an 18-egg carton. I may even try planting one or two seeds in each well, that way I don’t have to separate and transplant. I know that some people thin out their seedlings by trimming them down. This is another very viable option.
- When transplanting, bury the seedlings up to the leaves. This will encourage more of a root system to grow.
- Let the soil dry out a bit before watering again. It is a balance!
- Turning the grow light off at night will give the little seedlings a chance to rest as well as keep them from growing too vertically. They need to be growing a root system as well, so they need a chance to grow downwards. I believe the total hours of light they should be getting is approximately 12 hours or so.
I hope you learned something from this, I sure did! Gardening and canning this year will definitely be a crash course. I am a beginner, but at least I have knowledgeable people in my life who can guide me a bit. Join me on this journey! If you would like, you can receive notifications of a new post by joining my email list, the link is in the sidebar.
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