Is there any greater joy than the growth of a plant under your own care and observation? Contrary to the belief that gardening and growing plants is a hectic and difficult job, you can become a plant parent quite easily.
Follow our simple steps, and you will save time and money researching, reading, and buying gardening and forestry tools for your hobby. To grow a plant, you need seeds, soil, and some basic supplies to start.
Whether you have an extensive garden or just a cluster of planters and pots on your patio, growing a plant starts the same way for all arrangements. Germinating the seeds inside your home in seedling trays Australia is the best way to begin the process. You will also have more control if you go about this way.
Growing the seeds inside your home in seedling trays is a great way to start, especially if the weather outside is harsh.
What is a Seedling Tray?
A seedling tray or seed tray is a container used to plant multiple seeds simultaneously. A seedling tray is also known as a starting tray as well. Using a seed tray will give you more control over the germination process, and you can plant multiple seeds at once. It also makes it easier to water them and transport the grown plant into pots at a later stage.
There are different sizes and types of seed trays available in the market, including:
- Mesh Seed Tray
- Seed Tray with Drainage Holes
- Leakproof Seed Trays
Step-By-Step Guide on Using the Seed Trays to Grow Plants
Gather All Your Supplies Together
The first step is to gather all your supplies together in one place: You will need the following items to grow plants in your home.
- Seedling trays
- Homemade or store-bought seed starting mix
- Plastic wrap
- Spray bottle for watering
Make sure your seedling trays are clean before starting to plant the seeds.
Fill the Seedling Tray with the Starting Mix
Pour the seed starting mix into a large bucket and mix it with a generous amount of water. You can use your trowel or your hands to mix them up well so that the seed starting mix starts absorbing the moisture. It might take some minutes for the soil to take in the water but ensure that the soil is evenly and properly like wet sand.
Once the starting mix has absorbed the water, put it evenly in the seedling trays.
Time to Sow the Seeds
Put a couple of seeds on the surface of the mix and press them down inside the starting mix. Ensure that the roots are not sown too deep from the surface and are nestled nicely.
If the seeds are small, like mustard or coriander, it is better not to cover them with soil. However, cover large-sized seeds like peas and beans with a thick layer of starting mix, as these seeds need moisture and darkness to germinate.
Keep the Trays in a Moist and Warm Environment
Now comes the caring and monitoring part. Use the spray bottle to water the seedlings and cover the tray with plastic wrap. You can also use an aluminium roasting pan, a baking pan, or any plastic cover to create a warm and humid surrounding for the seeds to germinate.
Regardless of what kind of cover you use on the seed tray, create vents and openings for proper air circulation. Now you will need to keep the seeds warm. Direct sunlight at this stage will harm the seed more than good. So, find a warm corner of your home, like a bathroom or attic and place the tray there.
Do not water the seeds too much. If they feel dry to the touch, only then spritz some more water on them. With optimum conditions, the seeds will germinate in a couple of days.
Let There Be Light
Once the seeds have sprouted, your plants need direct sunlight to grow big and strong. Remove the plastic cling wrap and move them to the sunniest part of the house. Keep the soil moist but refrain from adding too much water to it. Depending on the amount of sunlight and heat the saplings get, water every other day or once a day.
Once the sapling grows out of the first leaves, get ready to transfer them into bigger planters and pots. If more than one seed has germinated successfully, choose the strongest of the lot and replant it in a larger pot. However, be careful while separating the roots of the saplings.
Give the seedling plenty of sunlight and adequate water to help it grow big and strong.
Now that you know how to grow plants using a seedling tray, choose one that you like and become a plant parent in no time.
Author bio: Mike Sharp is an Australian horticulturalist living in Northern NSW with a keen interest in bush regeneration and native plants. He has worked with Forestry Tools on multiple bush regeneration projects in recent years.