Forget 5 HOUR ENERGY–I have seedlings!  After a long day and facing a long night–I  pulled back the plastic on my  newly sown seeds and there was GREEN–the perfect shot of renewal,  as old as Spring itself.   So here’s a follow-up to my recent post on seed starting–

What to do when your seedlings come up: 

1) At the first sight of growth, remove the  pot from the plastic cover and place very close to your light source.  This makes stocky, healthy seedlings with thick stems. 

2) I put a fan on the seed table.  It doesn’t blow directly on the seedlings but it keeps the air moving.  That makes the seedlings even tougher and prevents excess dampness which can wipe out a whole pot. 

3) Don’t let the surface of the pot dry out.  (You’ll notice the soil become lighter)  I check at least once a day–gently top water if I am in  a hurry and bottom water deeply at least every third or fourth time. 

4) Begin to feed your seedlings.  Note the pale blue water.  I use a little Peters or Miracle grow…but just a tiny bit every time I water. 

5) If your seedlings are too close together–easy to do with small seeds–thin.  Yea, I hate to do this , too.  It means killing baby plants.  But healthy seedlings need three critical things:  air, water and light.  You have to give them space and I use an old pair of tweezers to thin. 

6) Get ready to transplant.  Seedlings grow quickly.  Before too long, you’ll need to move them into four packs and gradually harden them off.  (Hardening off means making seedlings tough enough for outside.  More about that next time.)  So sterilize some of last year’s four packs, make sure you have enough growers mix and keep a close check on you plants. If you have to go out-of-town for more than a weekend, get a gardening friend to come by and check on your seedlings.  You can always pay them in plants.

Any other seeds sprouting out there?  Maybe we can make a deal.  I’ll soon be rich with Hollyhocks and Flowering Tobacco–tomatoes after that.