24 Hours after germinating seeds
Now that 24 hours has passed since we began germinating our seeds, it’s time to see if we have any tap roots.
The tap root should be at least a ¼” in length before transplanting into the growing medium of your choice. If the tap root is not long enough or the seed has yet to show signs of germination, give it another 24 hours in a dark, damp and warm environment.
If the tap root is showing and is at least a ¼” in length, it is time to transplant into a growing medium.
The first thing to do is to prepare the medium. Please read my previous blog and watch the video on preparing your grow medium.
Once the growing medium is ready, you can start planting your seeds. Be gentle with the seeds while handling them and be cautious of the tap root. I highly recommend using tweezers or anything that makes it easier to handle the seeds without having to touch them.
Make sure that whatever you decide to use has been sterilized. You can do this by using rubbing alcohol or using a flame to heat the area of the utensil that will be making contact with the seeds. If you decide to use a flame to sterilize, make sure the sterilized area has cooled down before handling any seeds.
Start by placing each seed into the chosen grow medium with its tap root downwards about a ¼” below the surface. Gently, cover the top of the seed with a thin layer of medium; in this case soil. Do not cover with too much soil as this can make it difficult for the seedling to sprout upwards but use enough so that the seed is not visible.
Now that the seeds have been transplanted into a grow medium it’s time to put them into an environment that will promote healthy, vigorous growth. To accomplish this you will need a light source, a propagation tray with humidity dome and a heat mat with a thermostat.
Place your newly transplanted seedlings into the propagation tray and place the humidity dome on top of the tray. Try using a low profile humidity dome; I recommend using nothing larger than a 4” dome for seedlings. This will allow for a closer light source and reduce the risk of stretching. Stretching is caused when a plant is forced to reach for light because the light source is either too far away from the plant or it lacks intensity.
Now that your seedlings are in their newly found home, it’s time to place that home on top of a heat mat to create a warm environment for the root zone. But before we can do this we need to place a cloth or towel on top of the heat mat. This needs to be done because there is a wire that weaves through the heat mat that will create hotspots when operating. The cloth or towel will help evenly distribute the heat throughout the propagation tray and eliminate any hotspots. The dome and tray can be moved into place once this is done.
The thermostat attached to the heat mat will help you control how much heat the seedlings receive. Adjust the thermostat between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius. Feed the probe attached to the thermostat through one of the vents in the dome. Have the probe rest on the tray near the seedlings. This will provide you with the best root zone temperature reading.
The last thing you need to create an ideal environment for growth is a light source over the tray and dome. Sunblaster Lighting has a stand that makes it easy to place any T5 fixture and light over any size dome and tray. Just make sure to adjust the light so that it is a ½” above the dome.
One last thing I do before I let my seedlings grow in peace is increase the humidity in the dome. I do this by spraying water with B vitamins onto the inside of the dome. I mist until water bubbles form. I then put the dome back in place and make sure the vents on the dome are closed.
I also like using a thermostat with a probe to measure the temperature and humidity within the dome. I feed the probe through one of the vents on top of the dome and let it hang near the surface of the grow medium. This will give you the most accurate temperature and humidity readings of the environment surrounding the seedlings.
You can now leave your seedlings alone and check up on them every 24 hours. You should start seeing the first signs of growth within the first 48 hours. In the meantime, continue keeping the humidity high by spraying the inside of the dome with a B vitamin solution when needed.
The plants will stay in this environment until you start seeing roots growing out of the medium. At this point we will be ready to transplant into pots.