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Growing plants from seed

Some seed can go straight into the ground and some is best first sown in seedling trays or any other container as long as it has a drainage hole at its base. Here’s a step by step guide to growing a plant successfully from seed. • You will need a growing medium that your seeds are going to germinate and grow in. You can use a mixture of 80% vermiculite and 20% earthworm castings. The castings provide food for the seedlings and the vermiculite contains useful minerals, ensures air circulation and retains moisture. For very fine seed you may find that Culterra germination mix works best. • Fill each cavity of the seedling tray or container up with the growing medium to a depth of about 6cm. • Gently water the growing medium • Sprinkle 5 seeds evenly into each cavity or container being careful to remember which seed you are growing where as you go. In nature, seed is not buried in the soil, but sprouts on its surface, so never cover seed with more growing medium than actual seed size • Water the container again with a fine spray to settle the seed, taking care not to wash it away and place in dappled shade. • Water gently once a day making sure that the top layer of growing medium does not dry out. • As the seedlings grow, expose them to more and more sun • The seeds are ready to transplant into the veggie patch once they have 4 leaves • A week before planting them out, place them in their trays in situ to get them used to their new position. • Put a teaspoon of earthworm castings into each hole as you transplant the seedlings and plant them level or slightly deeper than they were growing in the container. • Water • Place a layer of mulch around the seedling • Water daily for the first 3 weeks
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