Seedling Care

Tim Sansom gets you started with your spring mini-seedlings

Growing heirloom vegetables and flowers from our mini seedlings is simple and easy. Here are some tips to get your seedlings off to the best start possible.

Soil preparation

Young plants, especially vegetable seedlings, need the best possible soil you can give them to succeed. Your soil should have some well-rotted compost and manure dug into to build fertility. Products like Biochar and Rockdust; are excellent additives to complete the nutrient and trace elements available to your new plants. Your soil should be soft enough so you can poke your finger easily into the ground.

Position

All annual vegetables and flowers need sun to perform at their best so make sure the spot you have picked gets at least 6 hours of direct sunshine in the summer months.

It is also best to rotate your tomato patch each year, to prevent any build up of disease carrying pathogens in the soil.

Handling your mini-seedlings

Handle your seedling plugs by the stem as much as possible to avoid disturbing the delicate root-ball. The roots are primed and ready to establish in you garden bed and they will perform better the less they are disturbed. A quick dunk in a seaweed solution such as Converte Plantfood will help your seedlings settle in and get off to a good start.

Planting

After dunking the plug, make a hole in the soil with your finger or a ‘dibbler’ stick and simply place the root-ball into the hole.

Don’t plant too deep; the soil level should be the same level as the soil level from the plug. Firm the soil around the newly planted plug to ensure good contact with your well-prepared soil. You should create a slight dish-shaped depression about 10cm across by firming the soil down with you hand.

Watering

Use the seaweed solution to water in your seedling. You won’t need more than a cup or two of water for this first watering. Don’t over water. Remember you seedling is only small and has not yet developed many roots.

As it grows and the days warm up you should increase the water supply.

More

Asparagus

The low-down on asparagus by Camilla Lazzar

Avocado

Growing and harvesting avocado by Clive Blazey

Blueberries

The basics on blueberries with Julie Willis

Bulbs

Julie Willis shares the simplicity of planting bulbs

Citrus

Marcus Ryan shares his tips on growing citrus trees

Dahlias

Growing and caring for dahlias with Camilla Lazzar

Dragon Fruit

Jamie Alcock's tips on growing this exotic fruit

Espalier Training

Julie Willis tells us how to espalier fruit trees

Garlic

Camilla Lazzar's hints on growing and harvesting garlic

Melons

Melon varieties and how to grow them with Julie Willis

Microgreens

Tim Sansom's 5 key points on growing microgreens

Oca (New Zealand Yam)

Camilla Lazzar on this 'lost crop of the Incas'

Potatoes

Camilla Lazzar on growing the humble spud!

Seed Sowing (Vegetables)

Easy steps for growing from seed with Evette Jungwirth

Seed Sowing (Wildflowers)

Easy steps for growing from seed with Evette Jungwirth

Strawberries

Julie Willis' hints on growing strawberries

Sweet Potato

Camilla Lazzar's planting, growing and harvesting tips

Tea

Totally tea with Julie Willis

Three Sisters Companion Planting

Our Seed Manager, Evette, explains this ancient companion planting method.

Tomatoes

Growing tomato tips from The Diggers team

Tree Planting

Bill Bampton shows us how to give trees a good start in the garden

Vegie Garden Basics

Creating a vegie garden from scratch with Julie Willis

Related Authors

Tim Sansom

Tim completed a Grad.Dip. in Horticulture, ran a landscape design business and worked at Bendigo's Gravel Hill Community Permaculture Gardens before spending over a decade at Diggers as a gardener and Director of Horticulture.
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