Page 33 - 2017-greengate-Gardensense-magazine
P. 33

Seed planting steps (outdoors)
1)Plan area to be planted.
2)Work and condition soil.(seeSoilPreparation-pg.29)
3)Sow seeds in individually marked rows or beds at the depth and spacing indicated.
4)Water in well and keep beds moist.
5)Plants can be fertilized with an appropriate fertilizer, such as 15-30-15, when they have two sets of leaves.
Seed planting steps (indoors)
1)Plants seed in flat or other container at depth indicated. Peat pellets are also ideal for starting seedlings.
2)Water well and keep moist but not too wet.
3)Thin plants as necessary.
4)Some may have to be transplanted into slightly larger, separate containers and allowed to continue growing before planting outdoors.
Hardening off
Seedlings grown indoors or in a greenhouse will need to be hardened off. Hardening off is the process of adapting a seedling grown indoors to the outdoors over the course of a couple of weeks. Differences in temperature and light intensity may set back plants and delay flowering if the plants are not gradually acclimated to both.
To start, plants should be kept in a sheltered area away from intense sun and harsh winds. A cold frame is an excellent place to harden off your seedlings but any sheltered spot will work well. Plants should be covered or brought inside at night if temperature or wind conditions dictate. Over the course of two weeks, gradually increase the plants’ exposure to the sun’s intensity and other elements. At this point, seedlings can be planted outside in beds or rows whenever weather will permit.
Planting seedlings
For instant results, or a quick start for plants that need more time to complete their life cycle than Calgary’s climate allows, seedlings are the perfect fit. They can instantly add greenery and colour to your beds.
tip: Plant seeds. Plant something with big impact like sunflowers or sweet peas. They are easy to grow, delightful and will seldom let you down.
In Calgary, spring frosts can last until late May. For that reason many area gardeners wait until at least June 1 to plant their seedlings outdoors.
Note: For best results, do not plant your seedlings during the heat of a sunny day. This may cause undue stress on seedlings. Planting seedlings on overcast days or in the early evening will help greatly to reduce this stress.
Steps for planting seedlings
1)Plan area to be planted.
2) Work and condition soil. (see Soil Preparation - pg. 26)
3) Dig a hole that will accommodate the seedling you wish to plant.
4)Remove seedling from its flat or pot. Massage root ball gently. Separated roots will reach out for moisture or nutrients.
5) Set plant in hole and add soil until the seedling is planted at the same level as it was in its container.
6) Firm down soil around the seedling and water in well.
7)Fertilize the plant with transplant fertilizer (5-15-5) to help prevent transplant shock.
Note: Tomato seedlings should be planted deeper than other seedlings, usually up to their first set of leaves.
Note: Peat pots should always be removed since they do not degrade well in Calgary’s short summer and often dry climate.
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