When growing plants from seed, water is an essential component. The seeds will rot or drown if you use too much water. Seeds won’t be able to germinate or will perish if there isn’t enough water.
There are two options to consider when planting from seed. You can either straight sow into your garden or start your seeds indoors and transplant the seeds outside a few weeks later.
Starting seeds indoors early has many benefits. First and foremost, you’ll have a head start on the growing season. If your growing season is short, this becomes even more critical.
The optimal growing conditions, such as sunlight, moisture, temperature, etc., may be strictly controlled, which is another benefit.
Want to consider when watering your seeds or seedling:
- Wet the soil down before planting:
Moisten the growing media before planting or soak the tray in water to get things started right. This will produce a moist setting that is perfect for your plants. For small seeds or seedlings, this means just needing to water them sparingly to keep them moist.
- Temperature control:
When you grow something inside, you have (nearly) complete control over the conditions in which it is grown. This is one of the advantages of doing so.
Because temperature has a significant role in how well plants absorb water, you should strive to maintain an optimal temperature for the plants you are cultivating while still keeping them cool enough to prevent excessive water evaporation.
- Put your growing medium in a bowl and fill it with water to start.
Slowly include water until you reach the desired consistency. When squished into a ball, the soil should be moist but not so wet that water may be easily extracted.
Next, add damp dirt to the planters. Use the bottom watering method to saturate the tray with water thoroughly.
- Choose the proper medium for growing:
An excellent seed-starting mix will be able to hold on to water. It is possible to buy pre-mixed seeding mixes or create your own. Vermiculite is essential to every high-quality growing medium for moisture retention and aeration.
Although peat moss is also widely used, commercial growing mediums prefer leaf mold due to its lower environmental impact.
Less soil in a smaller tray means it needs watering more frequently to prevent the plants from drying out. Find out how big the pot is and water it accordingly.
Using organic mulch on indoor trays and planters is like mulching your outdoor raised garden beds. Seedlings can be mulched with a thin layer of shredded wood chip, leaves, grass clippings, or straw. Mulch should be finely cut so it can be easily spread around plants.
- Cover trays:
The moisture-retaining clear plastic lids commonly included with pre-purchased trays are a major benefit.
Cutting the bottom of an empty milk jug or stretching translucent plastic over a tray are common ways to create humidity domes. Keep in mind that this additional heat-trapping can hasten the drying process.
- Make sure the drainage is good
While you do not want the plants to dry out completely, you also do not want them to get soggy, rot, or become diseased. Don’t leave the trays and pots in a water tray; make sure they have drainage holes.
- Rest the Water:
Even if you are using tap water, it is still a good practice to do this before watering your plants.
Chlorine, added to most tap water, is toxic to plant life. Water the plants the next day after letting the water sit overnight to allow the chlorine to be naturally filtered away.
- Monitor the edges
The sides of large trays will dry out before the center. If you want an accurate moisture level reading, test it across the entire tray, not just in the center.
- Early-morning water:
Watering your seeds in the morning is ideal. If you water the plant first thing in the morning, the seeds or seedlings will have plenty of moisture to make it through the day.
Since the soil is cooler in the morning, less water is lost to evaporation. The soil won’t become too wet overnight when pests like snails and slugs thrive.
How do I know when to water my seeds and seedlings?
If the top inch of soil is completely dry, the seeds need water. However, you should prevent the soil from completely drying out.
At the very least, you should touch it with your finger to check the moisture level twice a day and water it at least once a day.
How often do you water seeds and seedlings?
Most people are curious about how often they should water seeds.
In order to prevent the soil from drying out, seeds need to be watered at least once a day. But in hot regions, depending on how you’ve set up the garden, you may need to water the seeds more than once a day.
The reason is that the amount of water required varies depending on conditions, including relative humidity, temperature, and light.
Make sure the seeds are getting enough water by checking on them often. The best way to water your seeds is with bottled water or rainwater.
Salty or sugary water should be avoided since they will kill the seeds. While tap water won’t kill your plant, it will stunt its growth.
The best time to water seedlings is during the day. This is because they drink more during the day than at night.
How long should I water seeds?
The seedbed should always stay moist until the seeds have sprouted. Use a misting watering can or a hose nozzle with a tiny spray to avoid washing away the soil as you water.
Regular watering (once a day is ideal) will ensure that the top layer of soil is never allowed to dry out.
Bottom water or top water my seeds – Which is better?
Bottom watering involves filling the pot with water and setting it on the plant’s soil, whereas top watering entails pouring water onto the soil from above.
You are less likely to overwater the plant if you water it from the bottom. In addition, you may prevent extra salts and mineral deposits from accumulating in the soil by watering from the top.
In most cases, it doesn’t matter if you water your plants from the bottom or the top. Houseplants have simple needs, the most important of which is regular, even moisture around the roots.
Additionally, a tiny amount of water can be “held” in the surrounding growing medium for later use.
The outcome of each type of watering is identical if done properly. You’ve given your plant a good soaking and there’s enough water at its roots to last until you can do it again.
How to keep seeds from washing away when watering
Even a trickle of water can be too much for the seeds, pushing seeds too deeply into the ground or leaving them to suffer on the surface.
These issues are more prevalent with seeds grown in pots. This is due to the use of less densely compacted compost.
Surface sown seeds, like lettuce, are more vulnerable than deeper-planted seeds like beans or nasturtiums. This is because they require more force to dislodge.
The seeds can be protected from rain and birds by covering them with cheesecloth or burlap or erecting a scarecrow.
Both are permeable to water and light and will deteriorate over time. If you’re going to use a mesh material, it should feature grass seed or natural fibers.
Ensure proper growth of your seeds and seedlings
The success or failure of your efforts to grow plants from seed or seedlings depends on whether or not you water them adequately throughout the sprouting stage.
Knowing when and how often to water the plants can help the seeds you’ve nurtured become robust adults. You’ll be rewarded with stunning blossoms and juicy harvests.
Avoid shocking your seeds by watering them at extreme temperatures by using room temperature water whenever possible.
Though not all plants have the same watering requirements, you can still give your seeds the best possible start by following this advice.