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Starting Seeds In Flats
And Trays Slideshow


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Starting Seeds in Flats

Starting seeds in flats and trays is a little extra work than sowing directly into seed cells or individual pots. The main reason for the extra step in this process and starting seeds in this fashion is to limit the amount of space initially required for germinating seeds.

A lot of seedling can be started in a very small space using this method. It also gives the gardener the opportunity early on in the seedlings life to select the strongest and most vigorous seedling to carry through to transplanting.

The size of flat or tray used will depend on the number of seedling required. For the average home gardener it is more sensible to sow small amounts of seed on a regular basis throughout the season. This can be done by either sowing seed in several small trays,[image] each of a different vegetable, or by sowing several different vegetables in a larger flat with multiple rows. [image]

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What You Will Need

Before starting, have everything you will need ready, the list below will help.




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Slideshow


Starting Seeds in Flats


Start Over



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A purpose built table or bench is great to make the job easy but really any place where you can relax and do the job in comfort is ok to start with.

If you don’t have an area suitable for filling flats, or wish to reduce the clean up, fill the flat or trays in a large bin. When using this method to fill the flats and trays, ensure they are clean and sterile to avoid contaminating your potting mix.

A simple seed starting mix is all that is required when sowing seeds indoors. It is important to be sure the seed raising mix is moist before you sow seeds. If it is too dry the mix will float when watered, dislodging the seeds. For details on soilless seed starting mix click this link.

Either of these can be used as an alternative to seed raising mix to cover the seeds to the correct depth.

Use a garden sieve to remove any lumps in the soilless potting mix before you start. Using a sieve can also help in spreading potting mix evenly over the newly sown seeds.

The methods and care of sowing seeds in flats and trays is the same regardless of the shape or size. A depth of around 2-3 inches (5-7.5cm) is ideal and it must have good drainage.

Anything that will do the job is acceptable.

Identifying seed containers by using plant tags with the plant type, seed variety and sowing date is important because different seedlings types often look very similar.

There are three main methods of watering newly sown seeds; water bath, watering can or hose with a gentle shower attachments.



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