Amateur Gardening

Why seedlings don’t need feeding

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A FREQUENTLY asked question at this time of year is ‘my seedlings are growing well, do I need to feed them?

The answer is no. Seedlings are fragile, especially when they first germinate, which is why we sow them in seed compost that is formulated to have the right amount of nutrients to spark growth, but not so many it could burn embryonic roots and shoots.

Once the seedlings have developed their first few sets of ‘proper’ leaves after their small, more circular ‘germinatio­n’ leaves, they can be moved on to the next stage.

Smaller seedlings should be potted on into pots of John Innes No 1, while more robust plantlets can go into John Innes No 2 or JI2 mixed with peat-free multi-purpose. These will give the growing plants the right amount of goodness to keep them growing healthily without overwhelmi­ng or starving them.

The smallest seedlings may need moving a second time, transplant­ing them from John Innes No 1 to No 2 until they are large enough to be moved to the next stage.

Keep them somewhere light and warm, water regularly from the base using fresh tap water and your juvenile plants will soon be ready to harden off and move outside in warmer weather.

 ??  ?? There is enough nutrients in seed compost to start seedlings without needing extra fertiliser
There is enough nutrients in seed compost to start seedlings without needing extra fertiliser
 ??  ?? Seedlings ready for potting on
Seedlings ready for potting on

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