8 Mistakes you should avoid with cell tray seeding
Luckily, most of the problems that hinder healthy germination are well known. Avoid these eight mistakes to create the right conditions for your seeds.
#1 Sow at the wrong time
The proper temperatures for that type of plant will likely trigger that seed to sprout and the plant to start growing.
Sowing too early, in a cold climate, or outside where you want to get a head start, they are probably not starting because their clock is not right.
They might sit in the soil and survive for a little while. But you will have failures because the seeds will either get damaged, get damp, and rot or might get dug up by rodents or other pests.
If you have no idea about your climate and are new to growing food crops, a seed growing chart(online or book), finding your area when is the best time in general to sow certain seeds really works! You will start to understand and get to know your own microclimate might be slightly different once you plant for a few seasons.
#2 Not Reading Seed Packages
There is a lot of valuable information on a seed package! The ideal time to start or plant this particular variety, how deep to sow seeds, the recommended plant spacing, and more.
Some types of seeds don't start indoors such as carrots and radish. They are best sown directly outdoors. Root vegetables do not like to be transplanted.
The germination rate provided on the seed package also gives you an idea of the number of seeds that should germinate. It can help you determine how much to put in a container. If that number is below 75%, sow some seeds as extra insurance. If it is nice and high, only a few per hole or container will suffice.
#3 Don’t sow seeds too deep
A good rule is to sprinkle soil on top of those seeds twice the seed size. For some seeds which tiny and hardly see, you hardly bother to sprinkle anything at all.
For some quite large like pumpkin seeds, push them down about an inch. When a seed is germinating in maturity, while dropped off a plant, it will not get buried by a heap of soil. They might sprout and get to the top and out. It will take a fair bit of energy to do that and they might get too stressed to survive.
#4 Do Not use a good seed-raising mix
The best way to get a good seed-raising mix is to buy one because it could save the guesswork when meeting problems with germination. It's sterile and without any diseases.
You will not waste the valuable seed purchased and save time. As we all know time is valuable, you could put that time into doing other things around the garden.
#5 Not Providing Warmth to Seeds
Seeds germinate easily and move to the next growth stage more quickly at the right temperature. Without enough warmth, they will be sluggish, or may not germinate at all.
When you start seeds indoors, place your seed trays in a warm place in your house. Include the top of your refrigerator or next to a sunny window.
The better way to help keep seeds warm during germination is to cover the seed container. A moisture barrier placed over a seedling tray will trap heat and moisture and help germinate quickly. However, once they grow up, leave these baby hoods open as they need light.
#6 Don’t protect the seeds and seedlings
Seeds receive pests as well as hot and cold elements during the germination process. Some seeds and seedlings may encounter rodents or any animal that appears during the growth process and nibbles off a few leaves.
Putting a cover over the top of them can work. This lid here and this base, and you can put one of these rows of punnets inside this and put the lid over the top. And then it turns into a safe, mini hot house.
You can get onto it before the damage gets too bad before they destroy all your seedings. You might find too much of a danger sowing outside, stay in a cold climate, where there might be a risk, even though coming into spring, there must be a risk of late frost affecting all your seeds. That is why people do protect their crops with these mini greenhouses or hothouses inside.
#7 Wrong humidity control
Too much water can cause seedlings to rot and die. If you keep them too wet for too long, you will have the risk of drowning them. The roots will rot without getting enough oxygen. They may get certain fungal diseases which can let the roots and the stems rot and die.
But you need to keep them hydrated because seedings can dry out fast in warm weather with a bit of sun. They can quickly dry out dress, and die in a day.
So watering is based on looking at how the plants are doing and how moist the medium looks. In most weather, unless drizzling or cold or rainy, on a sunny day, watering every morning could let it withstands the heat and the sun throughout the day. By the end of the day, they should be starting to dry, the plants don’t need as much water so they can get oxygen.
#8 Don’t let your seedlings grow too long in the cell tray
They’re only small trays and small pots where you sow your seedlings. Sewing more than one or two seedings in a small punnet, those nutrients in these small areas of medium get taken up quickly, then the plants start to suffer because of lack of nutrients.
They may get enough water, but the roots bind and run out of nutrients because of competition. When the germination reaches about three to six inches tall, it is time to start transplanting.
If the weather is too cold at the time, or if you haven't prepared your garden beds for transplanting. Pick them out into a new medium, a new fresh medium suitable for the plants, with fresh nutrients and their own space.
Transplant them when they are young. The older they are, the harder it is for you to be able to transplant them.