How to Choose Seed Starting Equipment


Sowing individual seeds can sometimes be very difficult, but you can make this task much easier by choosing good seed starting equipment that can be used for starting your seeds indoors, but can also be used outdoors as well. If you do a lot of potting and starting your seeds yourself, you might want to consider purchasing a potting bench. Additional information on starting seeds indoors may also give you helpful information.

"Seed Starting Equipment"

Start Your Seeds Indoors

The size of seeds, the way seeds clump together, and the fine texture of some seeds, can be a little difficult to work with. You can purchase a device that is designed to pick up individual seeds. It has a rubber bulb connected to a tube. Squeeze the bulb, place the end of the tube in a group of seeds, and release the bulb. The vacuum produced in the tube picks up a seed on the end of the tube. Place the tube where seed is to be sown, then squeeze the bulb to release the seed from the end of the tube. Various-size ends are available so that the tube can accommodate different seed sizes.

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One type of specialized seeder is battery operated and has a handle attached to a shallow, vibrating trough. First, you place the seeds in the trough. The vibration causes the seeds to line up down the center of the trough. Tipping the trough at a steeper angle results in higher seeding rates, while holding the device almost horizontal results in lower rates. You may be interested in a metered seeder that lets out the right amount of seeds.

Some companies make biodegradable tape with seeds placed evenly along the tape. Place the tape in the row and cover with soil. When the seeds germinate, they will produce evenly spaced seedlings in the row.

A thermometer is a valuable tool when germinating seeds indoors. Water evaporating from the germination soil mix causes cooling. Placing the germinating close to a window in late winter or early spring will cool the soil mix. Even though the room temperature feels comfortable, the temperature of the seed germination area may be much cooler. A thermometer will indicate the true temperature.

Specialized watering devices are available for watering the seeds. A stream of water poured on the germination soil mix disturbs the seed location. A gentle, fine spray or shower of water is important. A plastic bottle with a squeeze trigger-operated pump gives a fine spray or mist of water. A rubber bulb attached to a small shower head full of holes provides a gentle syringing. Place the head in a source of water; squeeze the bulb, then release it. The bulb will fill with water. Gently squeeze the bulb, then release it. The bulb will fill with water. Gently squeeze the bulb above the seeds, and water will shower down.

Properly label the seeds when you sow them, as many seedlings look similar. A good label with lettering that will not wash off or fade in the sun is ideal for distinquishing seedlings. Plastic labels marked with indelible ink, wooden labels marked with a dark pencil, or aluminum labels will help prevent confusion.

Plastic cell packs are perfect for growing individual plants. Cell packs contain multiple small plastic growing pots, or cells, connected together as a unit. These are available in six, eight, twelve, or other numbers of cells. Cell construction allows water to flow from one cell to the next, so applying water to the pack waters all of the cells without having to water each one individually.

Peat pots are available in two basic types: a pot-shaped container that looks like a regular flowerpot but is made from compressed eat, and a compressed peat pellet covered with nylon netting. The peat popt I s designed to be filled with growing mix. As the plant grows, the roots grow through the wall of the peat pot. You can plant the peat pot and seedling in the garden without disturbing the roots of the plant. Place the compressed peat pellet in water. As it absorbs water, it expands to approximately seven times its compressed height. Plant seeds or seedlings directly in the peat without adding any other growing mix. Roots grow through the nylon mesh surrounding the peat. Plant the undisturbed peat and roots directly in the garden.

When sowing seeds directly outdoors, use good-quality garden soil for starting seeds directly outdoors, use good-quality garden soil for starting seeds and covering rows of seeds. To eliminate small sticks or dirt clods that can interfere with seed germination, use a soil sieve, a small wire mesh held tightly across the bottom of a metal or plastic ring. Gently shake or rub the soil across the screen to separate the large particles from the smaller ones.

A garden trowel is one of the most important tools in the garden. Trowels are used for many garden activities, from planting to transplanting, so comfort is important. Make sure the trowel fits the grip of your hand and is comfortable.

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Soil scoops are handy because they are larger than a trowel and have a shorter handle than a shovel. Soil scoops make filling pots or flats fast and easy, especially if you have a potting bench available.

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A handy tool with a strange name is the dibble stick, known in North America as a dibble and in England as a dibber. It is simply a sharpened stick used to make a hole in the ground to plant seeds or seedlings.

There have been many devices invented to mark straight rows in a garden. A row-marking string still works best. You simply place a dibble stick at each of the row and place string that is pulled taut so that the wind does not blow it around.

Here is a list of some of the helpful tools mentioned: Mister, metering seeder, soil sieve, dibble stick, rolling seeder/sower, vacuum seeder, seeding counter, indoor thermometer, trowel, soil scoop, peat pots, assorted cell packs, plant marker labels, and row markers with string.

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