Strawberries from the Garden

Strawberries from the Garden

Mar 13, 2011

Keeping Seedlings Happy and Healthy

Some of the seeds that are started inside are started a good 6-8 weeks before they can go outside. The initial nutrients in your seed starting mix is starting to be depleted and needs feeding at about 4 weeks. Depending on how crazy my schedule is at the time, I usually fertilize my seedlings at 4-5 weeks.

My favorite fertilizer to use at all stages of growth is Neptune's Harvest Organic Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer. I use about 1 capful per gallon of water. When I water my seedlings, I carefully water each plant, careful not to get any on the plants. It doesn't seem to be a problem if you get a little on the leaves, I just prefer not to get any on the leaves. Normally I water from the bottom, but the fish emulsion and seaweed can stink and I prefer to avoid it. The odor seems to fade pretty quickly when watering each individual plant.

I also do my best to 'simulate rain' and spritz my seedlings with a spray bottle of plain water periodically. The goal is to keep the soil from drying out because the seedlings are very fragile. You do have to be careful not to water too much or you'll start to see signs of mold, not exactly what you want!

I try to make sure that I do not fertilize right before I set my seedlings out in the garden. I find it is better to wait until they have been transplanted and then fertilize to give them a little boost while they are establishing their roots in the garden.

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