I love the fun that seed propagation brings. There’s nothing like seeing those new shoots coming through the seed raising mix. Combine your favourite seeds with our range of seed propagation trays and heat pads and you increase your chance of success.
When propagating early, we always use our Super 7 heated Propagator. This neat little until keeps the seed mix temperature about 8 degrees warmer than the ambient temperature. We also have the Big 3 available. This is a bigger unit available that keeps the temperature at a constant 18-19 degrees which is the perfect temperature for germination.
How we raise our seeds.
We fill our seed tray with quality organic seed raising mix and dampen well – usually with a fine sprayer.
Firm down the seed raising mix gently
Sow the seeds using your fingers rather than sprinkling from the packet to give a more consistent spread
Cover the seeds with mix equivalent to the thickness of the seeds
Water well using a fine sprayer. Don’t soak as this can sometimes cause a crust over the seeds that the finer seeds have trouble breaking through.
Position in a warm place (propagator) with plenty of light but not direct sunlight.
When the seeds appear, you need to reduce the humidity – usually by opening the vent on the propagator lid. As the seeds get stronger you can remove the lid altogether.
Once they get a few centimetres high they need to be “pricked” out and put in their own pot. Crowding can cause seedlings to fail as they compete for oxygen and light. When you prick them out choose the strongest seedlings.
We then usually sit them in a tray on a Cocomat so they get enough water without drowning. We now have some smaller gravel trays available with capillary matting that are ideal for sitting these seedlings on to encourage the roots to grow downward.
Preparing the young plants for the outside world
The young plants need to be “hardened” before you can plant them outside.
We usually place them outside in a sheltered area for a few days, returning them indoors at night to gradually harden them to the strong sun and weather. Then leave them overnight for a couple of nights before actually planting them.
Remember – if it's the time of year that still get frosts watch the weather and cover if necessary.