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how to grow seeds in a pot

Plant is not at its best in March

Place a couple of crocks in the base of your pot to aid drainage. Fill the pot with a good quality, peat-free multipurpose compost, topping off with a 3cm layer of seed compost. Water the compost thoroughly and allow to drain.

You Will Need

Do not To do in December

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in December

At the end of the year we evaluate the timing of our production schedule, noting what went right and what went wrong. These observations help us make adjustments for next year to ensure that we are growing our plants under optimum conditions. We also keep track of where we purchase seeds, as their quality and reliability may vary by source.

Most seeds germinate readily, but others may require a few extra steps to achieve good results. To see how I use the techniques of warm soaking, scarification, and stratification for seed starting, watch my video Seed-Starting Pre-Treatments.

1. Keep records to allow for better planning

Proper nutrition at a consistent rate will keep your seedlings growing strong. When the embryo inside a seed is developing, it relies on food stored in the endosperm to fuel its growth. As the shoot emerges from the soil and the true leaves develop, the initial nutrients supplied by the endosperm will be depleted and supplemental fertilization is then required. Most seed-starting mixes contain a small nutrient charge to help make this transition while not burning the developing roots. However, once the true leaves emerge, it is time to begin a half-strength liquid fertilizer regimen on a weekly basis.

An often overlooked aspect of plant propagation is the art of record keeping. Whether you are producing a few plants for your home flower and vegetable gardens or working at a larger-scale nursery, developing a propagation journal will prove indispensable. Here at the Center for Historic Plants, we record when seeds are sown, the germination date and success rate, and when seedlings are ready for transplanting each year.

Use a kitchen sieve to spread soilless seed-starting mix evenly over the top of the seeds to the depth of two times the seed diameter. Very small seeds and those that require light to germinate should lie directly on the surface. Whether covered with planting medium or not, each seed must be in firm contact with the moist surface to begin germinating. Use a pestle or even the bottom of a glass to gently tamp down the surface.