Starting Your Seeds Indoors #3 – Waiting and More Waiting

Whether you are using my cardboard box method Light Hut or using a grow light or maybe you just have rack of shelves in front of a sunny window – we are all achieving the same goal.

We are growing our own food.  Yipee!

If you new at this, here’s what’s happened and what’s coming:

  1.  Build light hut to start seeds (go here to see how to do that)
  2. Sow seeds & wait for them to sprout (go here for more on that)
  3. Water, watch and wait – do a happy dance when the sprouts appear
  4. Wait some more (this is where I am now)
  5. Transplant seedlings (that are in egg cartons)  into bigger homes
  6. Harden off
  7. Transplant into the garden

If you sowed your seeds in the past couple weeks you are probably staring at tiny green sprouts and anxiously awaiting the day you can move them into their big-boy-beds.

In order to remain healthy and strong until they hit the garden they will eventually need to be relocated into vessels that provide more space.  The day is coming (very soon) when you will have to rip your egg cartons apart and replant all your tiny plants into bigger homes.  The egg carton cells just aren’t big enough to provide enough nutrition for the long haul.  They’re gonna need more space and more  food soil.

I wanted to encourage you and let you know it can take a couple more weeks before it is time to transplant your little seedlings into larger homes.

seedling 2

If you are gazing into your light hut wondering when you should relocate your tiny plants into their bigger homes, the answer probably is:  not yet.

The best time to move plants is after they develop 2-4 sets of true leaves (the cotyledons, first leaves, don’t count).  

Once you move them into roomier pots, they will be good-to-go.  The next time you move them it will be to the garden.  Yay!

Hang in there and keep looking for some “true” leaves.

In the meantime, watch for yellowing leaves or dry soil.  If your leaves are turning yellow it can mean 2 things:

  1. They don’t have enough nutrition or
  2. Your true leaves are growing and the cotyledons are going away

If you suspect a lack of nutrition you can do a couple of things:

  • Fertilize – if you are down with fertilizing, simply add some to the water next time you water your plants.  I know not everyone likes to use fertilizers.  I personally would rather add more healthy soil.
  • Add more soil – top your cells off with a little more (pre-moistened) seed-starting-soil to give your baby plants a boost.  Be sure not to bury the top leaves.

Transplanting day will be here soon!

XO,

Candi

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