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mike weed seed fuz for clothing

Lesson Two: Watering is part of the process. If you’ve used sterilized seedling mix to start your seeds indoors (a sensible choice, in my opinion), you can rely on it to provide two key essentials to your seedlings. The first is even moisture, and the second is drainage of excess moisture. You want the soil to feel just moist. After some practice, you will be able to look at the soil surface and judge by its colour whether more water is needed. If not enough water is present, the soil will be a lighter colour, it will feel dry to the touch, and your seedlings will shortly begin to show signs of stress by wilting. If too much water is present, the roots of the seedlings will not have access to the oxygen that normally fills spaces between soil particles, and the plants will drown. Too much moisture can also encourage the growth of mould and even the fungus that causes “damping off,” which is something to avoid.

Lesson Seven: Stay rational. It’s easy to become emotionally attached to seedlings, and that can interfere with both judgment and actual success with seeds. One gardener asked me in early March at what point should she be potting on her sunflowers, because they seemed to be getting big. Well the brutal truth is that she planted them too early: By the time it’s warm enough outside to transplant them, they will be huge plants already, with such confined roots that they will not be able to develop the sturdy anchor they need to remain upright. My advice was to toss the plants away and plant new seeds at an appropriate time. You wouldn’t sow them indoors before the middle of March, and that’s the very earliest date. But simply discarding plants that you have grown from seed can be too much to bear for many people.

Lesson One: Take it easy. Remember that seeds are just like any other embryo, and that their parents have bestowed upon them a supply of food to get them started. As seeds germinate, they use this food to unfurl their first leaf/leaves, and to pop out a tiny, rudimentary root with which to take in water and nutrients. As those first leaves unfurl, the plants will begin taking energy from the sun through photosynthesis. My approach is to lay off all fertilizers until it’s time to transplant them into their permanent growing spots. Seedlings just don’t need a lot of food. They need bright light and a steady, but moderate supply of water.

Lesson Three: You can’t over-apply light. The grow lights & reflectors that are on the market now are much better than they used to be. Some credit is owed to the ingenuity of marijuana growers in developing these products, it must be said. Keep your grow lights close to your plants (10cm / 4″ above the top leaves), and expose your plants to 12-18 hours of this bright light every day. This will make all the difference by keeping the plants compact and strong.

Lesson nine: Label everything . The greater the variety of seeds you are planting, the easier it is to lose track of which is which. I did this last year by carelessly mixing up some peppers at my home garden. I had three seedlings each of four types of pepper, and thought would just keep the three pots of each together, with only one label identifying them. This was pure laziness on my part. Of course, once they started getting potted on into larger containers, and getting moved around to make room for new seed trays of other plants, they got mixed up. Pepper seedlings look, for the most part, interchangeable, so I had to wait until they actually set fruit to tell them apart. So err on the side of caution, and label as you go.

6- by 6-inch (15 cm) spacing = 7 rows per bed. This ultra-tight spacing is great for single-stemmed crops like lisianthus, flowering kale, and ‘Bombay’ celosia.

It’s important that the holes in the landscape fabric are burned, not cut. We highly recommend using a handheld Bernzomatic TS4000 Trigger Start Torch attachment, which screws onto a 14-ounce disposable propane canister, available at your local hardware store. One canister will last a long time, and the automatic trigger switch, while more expensive than the flint-lit version, will pay for itself in no time.

For perfect spacing and increased efficiency, you will need to use some type of template. In the early years I made them out of cardboard and lined the holes with tin foil. It worked pretty well for a short while, but they didn’t hold up over the long haul.

18- by 18-inch (46 cm) spacing = 3 rows per bed. This spacing works for really large plants like branching sunflowers and eucalyptus.

A lot has changed since then. Both the kids and the garden have grown rapidly, but that initial batch of landscape fabric is still in use and has been added to each season.

During the earliest months of spring, we get a lot of intense wind storms (gusts of up to 40 to 60 mph) that roll through our valley. To keep newly laid fabric in place during really breezy weather, we place cinder blocks along the pathways. Once the weather has calmed we take them up and store them. Seedlings are then tucked into the holes with our favorite planting tool, a butter knife. Nothing does the job better! Newly planted babies are given a light overhead watering and a long drip irrigation soaking, then are left to do their thing.

Here on the farm we use six main spacing regimes. You can learn more about our approach to intensive growing, including more about spacing, in my post How to Grow More Flowers than You Ever Thought Possible.