How to look after your seedlings
Seeds, like all growing things, need warmth, oxygen and moisture to survive. When we sow seeds indoors all the warmth and moisture a seed gets is down to us to provide, so keeping the right temperature and watering wisely is key.
Follow these watering tips for the best results.
Keep compost moist but not wet. Some gardeners water the compost in seed trays and modules before they sow and others water afterwards, there are pros and cons to both methods but however you do it the important thing is to keep soil just moist.
Don’t overwater. Over watering can rot seeds before they have a chance to germinate and it can also contribute to a fungal disease that causes seedlings to collapse (called damping off).
If you notice a tray of seedlings collapsing you may still be able to save some of them by acting fast. Prick out the seedlings that are still standing; prick them out into fresh compost in clean seed trays or modules. Keep a careful watch on them and discard any that look diseased, with luck the ones you've rescued will survive!
Water seedlings with clean water. Good hygiene also helps prevent damping off so never be tempted to water seedlings with water from a water butt, even if it looks clean it is likely to contain unwanted bacteria. Use it instead for watering larger plants.
Water in the morning if possible, not in the evening; Night time temperatures drop and seeds like humans don’t like spending the night in a cold wet bed!
Water the soil not the leaves, drops of water on foliage can act like mini magnifying glasses causing leaves to scorch.