One of the great pleasures at this time of the season is sitting in the sun surrounded by trays of seedlings.
It’s like taking a classroom full of kids on a daytrip – except a lot quieter!
Their First Outing
When seedlings and young plants first go outdoors, they have the experience of increased light and air movement.
This is ideal because plants that are able to release moisture through their leaves at an increased rate, grow quicker than those stuck in a conservatory or greenhouse with no air movement.
Because increased light levels and air movement increases moisture loss (transpiration) from the leaves, the take up of moisture and nutrients through the roots is greater too. This means that plants should grow at their optimum rate – we just need to make sure they don’t wilt.
This can happen because their roots, at this stage of growth, may not be capable of taking up moisture fast enough.
To revive a wilting plant, put it in the shade and mist it with water. If caught in time, the plant will be perfectly OK. If left for a while,
it may not be possible to revive or rehydrate it.
When spraying, mist the underside of leaves because that is where there are the greatest number of holes, known as stomata, that will absorb moisture back into the plant.
Spraying leaves in direct sunlight can damage the leaf surface.
Potting On Options
Thermal coffee cups make a good option when transplanting. They are deeper than the average pot of the same diameter, very inexpensive and white reflects light!
Plastic Beer Glasses
Another option for larger seedlings (young plants) is the pint plastic tumbler. Although It is important to make them light-proof to prevent algae, there is the advantage of being able to see the roots grow!
You will need to make a hole or two in the bottom – be careful with the knife or skewer, the plastic is tough stuff!
Here’s one below without a home made plastic sleeve/cover…
The plastic tumblers can be used for beer too – or tumblers for tumblers!
Their disadvantage is they lack stability but that can be sorted with a shoe box lid with round holes in – or something similar.
Of course you could use conventional pots. I just wish they were a bit deeper for planting lower and white for reflecting light.
Have a great and sunny weekend!
PS If you have any tips or suggestions you would like to share, please leave them in the comments below.