To water small pots like this easily, place them in a plastic box or metal brownie pan. Fill the pan with an inch of warm water and let it wick through the drain holes to saturate the soil from the bottom up. This places the most moisture at the bottom of the pot to draw roots as deeply as you can for more drought resistant and vigorous plants. This method also eliminates the need to top water, which can result in mildew, stem rot or dislodging the seedling. Let the pots sit in the water until moisture shows on the drier surface (20 minutes) to tell you it’s well saturated. Then remove from the water, allow to drain thoroughly, and return to the growing area.
The reason so many seed starting efforts fail is because it’s promoted as a once step process from seed to six packs like they do under growers’ controlled conditions. For great germination success of your own use this two step process. Find your salad boxes and get started today, then gather up all your old plastic seedling pots and wash well to destroy disease. Water from the bottom up after transplantation, then bring them out when the time is right to flourish, flower and fruit as early as possible.
Maureen Gilmer is an author, horticulturist and landscape designer. Learn more at www.MoPlants.com