Watering

Watering.jpg

Watering

OK. So far we have a container (punnet, seedling tray, marmite jar or toilet paper roll...), we have filled it with a seedraising mix, sown our seed, and covered it with vermiculite. 

Next we need to label it! Use something that won't be affected by water or sunlight, eaten by mice etc. Pencil on white plastic labels (or icecream container lids cut up!) works fine. We write on the label the name of the variety (eg. Brandywine, Russian, etc) and the date we sow the seed.

Now you will need to water everything. It is important to keep the seedraising mix moist, but not too moist! How to keep it just right? Well you have already enlisted two great assistants to help you out with this - well draining seedraising mix, and that vermiculite covering on top.

So, using a soft shower of water out of a watering can or similar (careful of using too much pressure!), gently water the vermiculite. Don't be afraid to give your punnets/trays a good water at this point, as your seedraising mix may have been dryish, and any excess water will drain out the bottom. 

How much/often you water will depend on environmental conditions. Most of the year I will water my seedlings once each day, first job of the morning. In summer I will water again around noon. A good soaking twice a day works better for me than many smaller waterings. You will soon get the hang of it.

BUT - if you can avoid it, don't water in the afternoon or evening. I have noticed that I get MUCH less damping off (death of young seedlings caused by pathogens), or none,  if I avoid watering later in the day.  

More next week!

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