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MARCH 2016 WNY GARDENING MATTERS ARTICLE 3

Successful 12. Dont rush to

Seed Starting transplant into


larger containers,
for especially with
warm-season

Superior Seedlings crops.

by Peggy Koppmann
13. Harden them off
properly before
you bring them
to the Plant Sale.
At this years Plant Sale, we hope to 7. Use a heat mat or cables and a
feature a wide variety of seedlings dome lid or plastic wrap to create If youve never
grown by our Master Gardeners. This a germination chamber. Keep the grown from seed
adaptation of an article from A Way seedling mix evenly moist. Take before, its time to
to Garden.com should prove helpful. the cover off once seeds have give it a try. We
sprouted. need and welcome
1. READ the seed packet. It contains the contributions
the following information: 8. DONT let seedlings dry out. of everyone for the
planting depth, germination Water with a mister or set Plant Sale and you
temperature ranges and days to containers in an inch of water for get the satisfaction
germination, whether or not light no more than an hour. of growing your
is necessary for germination. own plants from
scratch.
9. Thin to one plant/container once
2. Dont start too early. Download two true leaves have appeared.
the Seed Starting Chart from
organicgardening.com and do
10. Seedlings need 12-16 hours/
the math.
day of light. Keep them 2-3
away from lights or give them
3. Buy fresh seed and sterile a combination of natural and
medium labeled for germination artificial light to avoid spindly
or seed starting; dont use potting seedlings. See gardening.cornell.
soil. edu/vegetables for instructions
on a simple supplemental light
4. Sterilize used flats, trays, cells and fixture.
pots with a 10% bleach solution.
11. Take the seedling trays outside
5. Pre-moisten the mix so its barely on fair weather days, but protect
moist before putting in cells or them from direct sunlight. A
pots. gentle breeze will help toughen
them up. Cornell Cooperative Extension

6. Plant at the proper depth and use


a few more seeds than needed/
container. LABEL now.
Cornell Cooperative Extension

21 South Grove Street


Visit our website at: erie.cce.cornell.edu East Aurora, NY 14052

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