Water is an essential element for the growth of a seedling. Notably, if you are a beginner, it might not be easy to figure out how to go about the watering process. Since too much water may result in the rotting or drowning of a seed, while with little water, the seed may not even germinate or die immediately, the germination process begins.
Seedling Watering Tips for Beginners
Plants have different watering needs, but some basic rules should be followed for planting seedlings indoors. These include wetting the entire soil and ensuring the water is drained out of the port’s bottom part.
How Often to Water Seedlings?
Many people often wonder how they should determine the intervals of watering their seedlings. In the beginners stage of a seeds life it requires little water, and the bigger it gets the more water it needs. After germination, you can begin watering your plant Well, the number of times a seedling should be watered entirely depends on what type of plant it is.
Hence it is advisable that you get to know more about the seedling first, and if you are stuck on some of the issues concerning watering of the seedling, you can ask the salesperson, and they will be able to help you out and explain more. You can also research on the internet.
Can You Over-Water Seeds?
If you are a beginner, there is a high chance of over-watering the seeds by using too much water than what is required. This can result in the seeds being washed away from their planted area. Also, in some instances, mold, algae, and fungi can grow.
You need to read the instructions before planting the seeds. This is to ensure that you plant them as per the required depth. You must also ensure that the seeds planted in the shade get less water than those planted in sunny areas.
Some people are prone to over-watering plants. If you are one of the people who experience this issue, you can use a mister or capillary mat. However, you must ensure that the soil dries out before watering it again.
You might be probably wondering how to find out whether the soil is wet or not. Well, it is quite simple; you only need to put your finger inside the soil, and if it comes out without any soil clinging on it, then it’s dry and safe for watering again, but if it sticks, then the soil is still wet.
Do Seeds Drown or Not
There is a high possibility of seeds drowning when being soaked before planting, but they cannot germinate. Seeds can be soaked 12-24 hours; however, they cannot exceed 48hours, or else they will drown.
How Much Water to Give to Seedlings
To determine the amount of water to give a seedling, you must consider the root tip, which is in charge of absorbing water. The water cycle of a seedling is also crucial since some use 50% of the water. This is a considerable amount, and hence more water is required so that your seedling may grow well. If your seedling is in a medium container with drainage holes, you do not have to use much water since it will be retained for a long while.
How Often Do You Need to Water Seedlings?
The majority of people wonder about how often to water seedlings so that they can germinate.
Seedlings usually require watering at least once on a daily basis so that the soil remains moist, and there is no room for drying out. However, in warm climates, the seedlings must be watered more than once a day, depending on your garden setup. This is because environmental factors such as light, temperature, and relative humidity affect the amount of water needed.
It is important to check on your seedlings often to ensure that they have enough water. The rain and bottled water are the most appropriate for watering your seedlings. You must avoid any water containing sugar or salt since they can damage the seedling.
Tap water does not inflict any damage to the plant but will prevent them from growing tall. Watering during day time is most preferable because seedlings use more water during the day and less at night.
The question on how often to water seedlings is answered by the above guidelines, so if you are a beginner, you can follow the above guidelines. so that your seedlings may grow.
Watch this video for some amazing tips about watering seedlings.
How to Germinate Seedlings
The initial step is to ensure that the containers are ready and half an inch filled with the rim. Then you sprinkle water on top of the growing medium so that you can moisten it to the bottom. However, you should ensure that it’s slightly wet to enable the growth of seedlings.
Some seeds must be soaked before planting them, but this does not apply to all seeds. This is because others can be directly planted. You can look at the instructions on the seed packet or search online.
Then you proceed to sow the seeds by scattering them evenly above the growing medium, after which you press them using your fingers. The seeds should then be covered using a layer of the growing medium of approximately three times the seed in terms of thickness.
You must not sow too many seeds at the same place since it will result in overcrowding. The seed packet will help you know the spacing needed for the seeds.
Placing the containers containing the seedlings in the environment. Notably, some seedlings do not need elements such as sunlight to germinate, so it is important to ensure that you are providing the seedlings with the appropriate conditions.
Room temperature is suitable in the germination of some seedlings, while others require special conditions such as extremely cold or hot conditions for them to mature.
Ensuring that the growing medium is moist. You can cover the trays slightly using a sheet of plastic wrap to maintain the moisture and the required temperature. It is important for the medium not to dry out because it will prevent germination from occurring.
The Difference Between Paper Towel and Soil Trays
Germination with soil trays requires using the soil that has suitable components for your seeds. It also needs to be sterilized, loamy, and light. Watering the seeds is from underneath. They must be holes on the bottom part so that seedlings are not over soaked, and it does not rot. Also, the seedlings should not be planted deeply.
A paper towel procedure is different because it comprises of the following procedures;
Cutting a standard piece of paper towel into half. Then you place four or five seeds on the half part of your paper towel. The other half will be folded on top of the seeds so that they do not fall out.
Placing the paper towel containing the seeds on the Ziploc bag. Ensure that it is completely sealed, and it has no holes.
The bag should be kept away from constant sunlight and at room temperature. The Ziploc bag will then act as a small greenhouse and ensure that heat and moisture are retained. This will enable the seeds to germinate.
Though the seeds will sprout after five to seven days, their roots will be delicate and can only be touched by tweezers.
Tweezers will be used in transplanting the seed into the soil after enough space has been dugout. You can hold it gently and push the soil around and above it. They will now be ready for the outside weather.
Take a look at this great video for watering seed starts.
Watering Seeds During Germination
Before germination, seeds ought to be kept wet, which means watering once every day. However, a seed starting tray maintains the soil moisture and does not need to be watered daily. It is important to ensure that the soil does not dry up completely before and during germination.
How to Make Seeds Germinate Faster
If you want your seeds to mature faster here are some steps that you can take, and it includes;
- Soaking the seeds for approximately 24hours in warm distilled water before sowing so that you can soften the seed coat and make the seed germinate faster.
- 2. A heat mat can also increase the germination speed by keeping the seeds in its suitable temperature range.
- Covering your seed container using a plastic wrap will increase the germination process by maintaining moisture.
The Difference Between Bottom Watering and Top Watering
Top watering is the most suitable way to water plants. It involves;
Watering plants from the top and powering the water to the bottom of the container. However, plants can run dry if the water runs from the top part of the soil towards the drainage holes located at the bottom.
However, you can deal with this issue that can be dealt with by poking holes both in the soil and root mass with a wooden skewer or even an ice pick
Bottom watering involves a plant absorbing water from either a saucer or a container filled with water. However, these plants must also be watered from the top so that it can remove excess salts found in the soil.
What Causes the Death of a Seedling?
They are many factors that can cause a seedling death, such as:
Damping-off is a common disease that affects a new plant stem while it is at the soil level. It results in the stem becoming brown, rotting, and dying. This issue mainly affects cold soils that have poor drainage and also over-watering.
A dry potting mix leads to poor germination and uneven growth that stresses the plant, while too much moisture may result in diseases.
Light is a critical element to the germination of a seedling, and if it lacks enough light, they become prone to diseases while extreme light may kill the plant.
As much as seedling planting may sound challenging for a beginner, by reading this blog, you are assured of great results in your gardening journey. Every question that a beginner may have has been answered. If you have not yet tried planting seedlings, then this is the best time to try it out. It may turn into your hobby!
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.