Gardening · Nature · tips

Why are my “Baby Plants” Dying so Quickly?

When I say “baby plants” I obviously mean seedlings. When I first had the idea of creating my own garden I did what any person would do. I got a bag of vegetable and/or flower seeds. Without any knowledge of how to grow plants, people tend to blindly stick their seeds into a pot of soil, and expect them to flourish. I hate to break it to you, but there’s more to it.

I have had my garden for a solid few months and have failed many times at attempting to grow from a seed. My solution, as always, was to watch a few youtube videos on growing plants from the seed. With my new and growing knowledge, I started growing my first dwarf sunflower seeds along with some other vegetables that failed later on. Sadly, I didn’t do enough research to realize why my wonderful seedlings kept on dying! Personally, I am starting to think that starting your seeds is the hardest part about gardening in general. Besides pests of course.

In my opinion, the most fatal thing you can do to your beautiful baby plants is to bake them in the harsh sun. My usual routine was to plant my seeds according to its package and then put them in the middle of my garden. DO NOT do this. If your garden is being hit by direct sunlight you are walking your baby seeds into a literal oven. As said on the package, I waited about a week and expected little plants to pop out of the dirt. Surprisingly they did not do this. Nor did they a week after that. Or a week after that. After about a month of waiting for my dead, dried-up, baked seeds to sprout, I reluctantly decided to try a new batch. The same thing happened. After repeating this pattern for the first two months of my gardening life, I finally decided to try putting my seedlings in different locations. One in the sun, one in partial sun, and one in the shade-ish part of my garden. To my surprise, the one in the shade decided to sprout and thrive. Today I have a dedicated shelf under my shaded roof that is my dedicated plant nursery where I keep all my baby seedlings.

 

 

Now, change of subject. Imagine this.

Your seeds are like different animals. Let’s say, your sunflower seed is a bear. Yes, I know it sounds silly, but just play along with me. Now, if you were to shove that bear deep into the soil it would probably be able to climb its way out, right? Now picture your chamomile seeds. The microscopic, delicate seeds are more moth-like than a bear-like. If you were to stuff that moth down next to the bear you just stuck in the soil, the moth would probably not make it out.

Yes, I know it’s a weird analogy but it’s kinda true. While your sunflower seeds are right at home deep in the soil, that tiny moth would quickly suffocate under the heavy dirt. Rather than instantly killing your chamomile moth/seed, they would rather be dispersed lightly on the surface of the soil where they don’t have to make any effort to push through it. Moral of the story, read the directions on your seed packet so you plant your seeds at the proper depth.


-Raven

 

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