Education & Outreach

Grow at Home: Caring for your seedling

Ani Jamgyal has created a handy guide for making you successful in growing your plants

Grow Kit Contents: 

10 Peat pots: A compostable combination of peat and wood, peat pots work well for starting seeds, and there’s no packaging to throw away or plastic to recycle. When it comes time to transplant the seedlings, the peat pots themselves can be directly placed in the ground where they break down and become part of the soil. Because the seedlings don’t have to be removed from the pots before transplanting them, their roots aren’t disturbed in the process.

Bag of seed: One envelope of each Sporobolus airoides (alkalai sacaton) and Gaillardia aristata (firewheel).

Black Gold potting soil: soil in a bag. 

Seeding Instructions:

  • Fill peat pots with potting soil and place in tray.
  • Half of the pots will be used for sowing alkali sacaton seeds. The other half of the pots will be used for sowing fire wheel seeds.
  • Place two or three seeds of one species in each pot. Use a pencil eraser to push the seeds gently into the soil to a depth equal to twice their width. Sprinkle additional soil into the hole to cover the seeds.
  • Add 1 inch of water to the tray, and allow the peat pots to absorb the water through their bottom until the soil surface moistens. This usually takes about 30 minutes. Empty the excess water from the tray.
  • To discourage mold from growing on the pots, space them in the tray to provide good air circulation.
  • Cover the tray of pots with a length of loose plastic wrap or slide the entire tray into a clear plastic bag.
  • Place the tray in a warm place in your home, like on top of the refrigerator. Most flower seeds require temperatures between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit to sprout. Until they sprout, the seeds don’t need direct sunlight.
  • Be sure to keep the soil consistently moist. Use the watering can to gently water each pot every morning and evening as needed, though don’t let the pots sit in water.
  • Monitor the pots daily and remove the plastic wrap/bag as soon as the sprouts begin to emerge. Move the tray to an area that receives around six hours of sunlight daily. The ideal spot would be sunny in the morning and shady in the afternoon. Because of the additional drying effect of the wind and direct sun, keep in mind that the pots may dry out more quickly at this stage.
  • As the plant develops more leaves, it will also develop more roots. While roots will give provide the seedling with greater independence, it’s still important to make sure the soil in the pots does not completely dry out. For this reason, put the tray of pots where you’re likely to see them and remember to water them.

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