Do you love flowers? With spring here in addition to summer approaching, do you wish you had more flowers in your life, in your yard, in your landscape? In which can be expensive to outfit your entire yard with the blooms of your dreams each spring. Although in which takes more time in addition to attention, in which’s less expensive to buy flower seeds in addition to give them an early start in late winter.
Grow them under your grow lights, in addition to you’ll be ready to transplant them into your flower boxes or yard for beautiful blooms in spring. Sound easy enough?
The thing will be, there are some tips in addition to tricks to make this particular process easier in addition to more successful. We’ll take you step-by-step through the important stages in this particular article to help you give your starts maximum chance for thriving.
Transplanting Seedlings to Larger Potting Containers
We walked you through planting your flower seeds in our article on installing your grow lights in addition to getting began on planting. You might find in which helpful to review in which article. Assuming you’ve planted your seeds, have been watering in addition to lighting them daily, you’ve likely seen some growth. Maybe too much growth? in which can seem in which way.
in which’s not too much growth, though. in which’s perfect! When the leaves of your plants start to extend past the edges of their individual potting containers, in which’s a not bad indication in which’s time to size up.
Prepare a flat of the next size of seed germination containers. If you’re moving up via the tiniest seed start size, you’ll be working having a flat of twelve (12) four-pack containers. Fill the brand-new, larger containers with potting soil or potting mix.
Create holes inside center of each container in which are roughly the size of the old, tiny containers. In this particular case, the holes are just the size of the seed start plugs.
Tip: If the hole stays in your soil, you’re not bad to go. If the soil caves in around the hole as you remove your fingers, you’ll want to dampen the soil so in which keeps its shape.
Dampen the soil around the plant starts to be transplanted. You want the soil just moist enough in which in which holds its shape, yet not so wet in which in which’s heavy in addition to falls apart.
Carefully use your finger or a pencil to push up one of the plugs to be transplanted.
(This particular will be easiest having a partner, yet doable on your own if necessary.) Gently grasp the soil plug in addition to remove in which via the tray.
Drop the plug into one of the holes you’ve created in your next-size-up seed germination containers.
Taking care to keep the dirt via covering the early start leaves, fill in soil around the plug so the plant will be at home in its brand-new, larger space.
Repeat for additional plugs of the same type/colour of flower.
If you run into a double-start, or a plug in which contains two starts, you’ll need to choose the healthiest looking one to keep in addition to cut the additional.
Take some sharp garden scissors, in addition to snip off the weaker start at its base. Don’t try to pull in which out. The roots will die off on their own.
While this particular may be hard to do, emotionally (in which can be surprising how much people can get attached to these little plantlings!), in which’s critical. If you let both keep growing, they will choke each additional out, in addition to they’ll both die.
If you try to pull one of the plants out instead of snip in which, the roots might be intertwined with the healthier start’s roots, so both root systems could be compromised. in which’s best – in addition to necessary – to simply snip one.
Carefully label the type in addition to colour of flower, in addition to where they’re planted, before moving on to the next type or colour. I promise, you’ll be glad you didn’t try to remember as you go. Just take a minute in addition to label each group so you’re not surprised come blooming time in which a random blue ended up amidst the yellows. (Unless you don’t care, then by all means forgo the labeling.)
Mix, according to directions, a bucketful of liquid fertilizer into water.
After your flat will be filled, fill a squeezy bottle with fertilizer water.
Give each start a not bad soak. This particular will help the transplanted soil integrate better into its brand-new home soil, as well as give the shocked roots a little extra boost.
The next size up via a four-pack size of seed germination containers will be probably the 4” square container. These petunias, with their large in addition to growing leaves, were beginning to grow into each additional’s spaces in their four-packs; they are much better proportioned in 4” pots.
Even with the best soil, water, in addition to light system, a plant’s growth will be thwarted (or stop altogether) if in which lacks the space to grow.
Although transplanting into the next-size-up for just a few weeks before outside planting might seem like a lot of extra work, in which’s actually what will keep your little seed starts alive in addition to well. Tip: in which’s important not to go too big too soon, however, for several reasons: (1) in which’s easier to store in addition to manage smaller trays for as long as possible, (2) some seeds or starts will struggle or die, so in which saves square footage to start tiny in addition to identify in addition to weed out the duds before upsizing, in addition to (3) in which saves water in addition to soil to only fill a smaller appropriately-sized planting container, rather than having to water a huge pot every day for a tiny start.
Planting Petunia Cuttings
Some varieties of petunias are lovely plants with gorgeous blooms, yet even the seeds can be expensive (easy wave in addition to tidal wave petunias are examples). One way to cut your costs will be to purchase fewer seeds then, when the plants are beginning to exceed their container boundaries, take cuttings in addition to plant those.
Begin by cleaning a sharp scissors blade. The sharper your scissors are, the better in which will be for the plant.
You can even go so far as to sterilize the scissors having a match or lighter. This particular decreases the chance of killing the plant with some odd germ or whatever on the scissors themselves.
These petunias have “graduated” via the four-pack into 4” pots, in addition to they have right now exceeded their boundaries in addition to are hindering nearby plants’ growth. So in which’s time to trim them back…in addition to benefit via replanting the cuttings.
This particular purple wave petunia will be meant to be a large plant (tidal wave petunias are actually the largest inside petunia family in addition to will reach nearly two feet tall in addition to three to several feet wide!). So in which makes sense in which these will be fast-growing via their beginnings.
Gently pull a long vine straight outward via the plant. Cut in which directly (about ¼”) after a leaf anywhere along the vine; we recommend clipping at about the edge of the planting container. (The scissors make in which hard to see, yet there will be a leaf coming out of the vine directly behind the scissors, creating This particular an excellent cutting point.)
Continue all around the petunia plant with any long vines. You can even clip the main stem if in which’s starting to get too tall, following the same cut-after-the-leaf rule.
Here will be in which same petunia plant, just having a brand-new in addition to increased “haircut.” in which will fit better inside tray without infringing on (or thwarting) additional plants.
When you’ve trimmed your petunias in addition to have a pile of clippings, in which’s time to root in addition to plant them. Fill some four-pack planting containers with potting soil.
Pick a cutting via your pile in which looks healthy. Pull off lower leaves up to about 1-1/2” via the cut point.
To make This particular transplant successful, you’ll want to utilize some rooting powder. This particular expedites the stem’s ability to develop roots – their quick development will be key to the cuttings’ survival. Without roots, your cutting won’t be able to take in sufficient water to survive.
Dip the lower 1” to 1-1/2” of your cutting into the rooting powder.
Slide the cutting into one of the four-pack soil spots.
Repeat this particular process for each of your cuttings until your four-packs are filled to your satisfaction.
As with any transplant, you’ll want to give the newly planted cuttings a healthy drink of water.
Continue caring for the cuttings as you could your additional plants – plenty of light under your grow lights (if in which’s still too early to be planted outside) in addition to daily water for moist, yet not soggy, soil.
Don’t be discouraged if the leaves look somewhat limp for a couple of days. This particular isn’t an indication in which the cuttings didn’t “take,” in which simply will be a natural consequence of having no (or limited) roots. They’ll come around.
Hardening Your Plants Before Planting Outside
Continue watering in addition to lighting your starts daily. When weather starts warming up, in which’s time to begin the hardening process. This particular will be critical, if you’re planning on planting your flowers outside. If you take a thriving greenhouse-grown plant in addition to plant in which outside without hardening, the chances of its survival are slim, even in glorious weather conditions. Plants should be acclimated to the outdoors, just as climbers need to acclimate as they ascend high-elevation peaks.
On a warm spring day, set your early starts outside for about 15-30 minutes inside shady sunlight. Then tote them back into your greenhouse. As long as the weather stays warm, you’ll want to try to do this particular every day, increasing their outside stints by 10-15 minute intervals each day. If they seem particularly shocked after a day of their outside time, take in which easy on them the next day.
The point will be to go slow in addition to steady, gradually (in which’s the key – gradually) getting them used to the great outdoors.
When weather will be warmer in addition to the plants seem to handle their outside time well, you can leave them outside all day, sunrise to sunset, in addition to see how in which goes. When they’ve handled in which well for a while, in addition to the weather stays nice, you can try leaving them outside overnight.
Be sure to check the temperatures, though, to make sure they don’t dip too low. Just one night of freezing temps could kill your months of hard work.
Several weeks, or even a couple of months, of this particular hardening process will prepare your early starts beautifully for life outside the greenhouse. Sooner than you know, they’ll be ready for putting outside for the summer. Possibilities are limitless.
You can plant them into a hanging basket (or two or three).
You can move them to a window or flower box to make your yard look gorgeous.
(Also, if you missed the tutorial, learn how to easily make your own window boxes.)
No matter how humble your home itself will be or how tiny your acreage might be, flowers contain the ability to transform in which into a little slice of heaven.
A million-dollar yard for very little cost – in which’s a tradeoff most of us could be willing to make!