From the end of winter, the period for sowing in the shelter begins. Choosing the right material and knowing the ideal conditions are essential for successful transplanting young plants in the garden or in containers.
The main advantages of sowing under cover are that they allow germination and protect the seedlings from the cold when temperatures are not yet optimal. With this method you will save time on flowering and harvesting!
What material for a sheltered seedling?
The most classic method remains that of sowing in a terrine or in a box, with the "mini heated greenhouse" variant for plants that require constant background heat.
Honeycomb plates are very practical and economical because they allow you to sow a single seed per cell and transplant the seedlings quickly.
Peat cups have the advantage of being able to be planted directly in the ground when planting.
The substrate must be light and drained for the sowing. There are specific soils, but you can also compose your mixture based on horticultural soil and river sand. Tip: add a little charcoal powder to the mixture to control various fungal diseases like damping-off.
Also think about the drainage bed made up of clay, gravel or perlite beads to drain the bottom of your containers.
Important final step, do not forget to note on labels the varieties sown and the date of sowing so that you can find your way around.
The essential conditions
Indoors, whether it is a seedling in a veranda, a winter garden, a greenhouse or even a home, the temperature must remain constant during the time of germination.
Depending on the plants, a simple frost shelter may suffice, for others such as tomatoes, melons or tropical plants, a heat between 18 and 24 ° C is necessary.
- Good light is essential for seedlings to emerge well and grow without wilting.
- Provide a very bright location but without direct sun for your seedlings, otherwise you will see burns on the young leaves.
- Watering is essential to ensure a good start to the seedlings.
The substrate must remain slightly humid at all times but never soggy, otherwise your seedlings will rot!
The right period
Indoor sowing is generally carried out from the end of winter to the very beginning of spring, on vegetable plants (tomatoes, cucurbits, peppers, or eggplants) and chilly ornamental annuals (zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, etc. .).
Perennials such as yarrow, gauras, coreopsis or heucheras are sown under cover from February for installation in the garden in autumn.
Biennial plants such as pansies, wallflowers and many others are sown in late summer or early fall to be stored in a shelter and planted the following spring.
Here are some keys to successful sheltered seedlings. First, provide a layer of drainage at the bottom of the container. Then, pack the substrate well before placing the seeds spaced so as not to obtain a too tight sowing.
Cover only with a thin film of substrate (about twice the size of the seed) so as not to smother the seeds.
Finally, moisten the young seedlings by misting, using a sprayer, so as not to displace the seeds.
In partnership with Hydrozone.fr
Copyright: F. Marre - Rustica
Photo caption: In a greenhouse, sow seedlings in winter to transplant them into the garden in spring.