Auckland Horticultural Council Incorporated


Gardening hints    

 Hints for sowing seeds 

(Not necessarily in order of importance)

Use good potting mix and seed mix.

After filling punnets and before sowing seed water punnets from bottom so thoroughly moist not waterlogged.

If mix is really dry mix up by hand with water in a bucket as watering dry mix in pots and punnets is extremely difficult.

Pour seeds into saucer, seed sower or palm of one’s hand.  Do not sow direct from packet.  Can all come out in one lump.

Don’t sow seed too deeply, may germinate but die before emerging from soil.

Try and read about seeds before sowing.  Lots are easy and aren’t fussy about conditions but some are very specific.

Sow thinly.  Too many seeds, then they grow thin and leggy and can be more prone to disease.

If sown too thickly seedlings may be thinned out quite carefully with a pair of tweezers.

Do not sow all seeds at once.  If seeds do not germinate one can try again at a different temperature or with a different method.

Almost fill punnet with ordinary potting mix then top off with seed raising mix.

Do not water seeds with fertiliser.  Wait until you have seedlings.

Prick out as soon as large enough to handle and before roots become entangled.

Do not hold seedlings by stems or roots.

When pricking out if root is too long it can be snipped with a pair of clean, sharp scissors.  It is not good for roots to be squashed into a shallow hole.

Do not put more than 8 seedlings into a punnet.  Preferably six.

Make sure seedlings have plenty of light but do not put in direct sunlight.

Do not automatically cover all your seeds and keep them in the dark.  Some need light, some need dark.  Some don’t mind.

Do not let seed mix dry out.  Keep moist but not waterlogged.

Do not water from the bottom once you have sown the seeds.

Use a very fine spray to water seedlings.

When collecting seeds pick them when dry.

Put them in paper bags which can be written on.  Polythene bags make them sweat and rot.

Store seeds in cool, very dry place.

Take seeds from strong, healthy plants (same as with cuttings).

Make sure that your punnets and pots are clean and sterile to reduce risk of pest and disease problems after germination.

Once sealed seed packets are opened seeds return to normal.

Always label immediately.               

  Julie Lloyd.

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