Steps To Propagating Indoors

Step One:

Start with a clean multi-celled propagator.  I have two sizes and usually end up using the smaller one for successive plantings and flowers.

Step Two:

I cover my dining table with a sheet and use a big bowl to fill with the sterile seed starter.

Step Three:

Fill the cells half-full with the starter.  I have numbered each cell as you can see here.  This propagator is over ten years old.  When the numbers fade I just write over them.  On the larger one, I tape on a piece of masking tape and write numbers on it with a waterproof black marker. I use a plastic funnel to the seed starter into the cells.  If the funnel is too small, just cut the bottom tip off to make it larger.  Only fill the cell half-way.

Step Four:

Water the seed starter and as you go check to see if the soil mix is actually  thoroughly wet.  Often is isn’t and you will have to water it more than once.  The funnel can also be used to water.

Step Five:

Organize your seeds for planting in your propagators by family.  I determine how many plants I need before I plant the seeds, but I always have more than I can use.  The seedlings make welcome gifts to fellow gardeners!  Have your garden journal ready.  I record the name of the seed, the name of the seed company, the year it says the seed is viable and the #of the cell.  Maintaining records from year to year will be one of your greatest sources of reference for what grew well and what didn’t!

Step Six:

When you have all your seeds planted (I always sow 2-5 seeds per cell and thin later) you can fill the rest of the cell with soil mix.  Water and again, make sure it is thoroughly moist.

Step Seven:

Place your propagator with the dome on in front of a bright window.  I live in a temperate climate and don’t need heating pads.  It will be about 3-5 days before your first sprout.   Check it daily and if the dome has droplets of water on the walls, air it out to dry and put back on.  If it’s too wet your sprouts may develop fungus or rot.

More to come…

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