By Lisa Ray, The Garden Advisor, Grow Something Today For Tomorrow
What To Do With Those Seedlings
Last week we talked about sowing seeds, so now here’s a few tips for caring for your seedlings.
When too many seeds germinate in the container, snip off unwanted seedlings at soil level with small clean scissors. Too many seedlings in single container will compete for space and nutrients.
If the seedling becomes too large for its container, the seedling will have to be transplanted to a larger container. Handle young seedlings only by their seed leaves and avoid touching the true leaves, stem and roots.
By the time seedlings show their first true leaves they are ready for a little fertilizer. Water-soluble, all-purpose fertilizer or fish emulsion works fine when mixed at half the recommended strength and applied once a week.
One or two weeks before transplanting seedlings outdoors, harden them off by setting the containers outside in a lightly shaded area sheltered from strong wind. Set plants out for a few hours at first, gradually increasing the amount of time they spend outdoors and the amount of sun they receive. Transplant seedlings to the garden on a cloudy, still day, if possible. Water well and provide temporary shade if the weather becomes very warm and sunny until the plants are established.
The seedlings can be planted outdoors at the end of March. Or you can sow your spring crop seeds at the same time. For your area, check the old farmers’ almanac for planting times.
For those of us that have abundance of stones, they can be put to good use. Use them to make garden beds, flower beds, garden pools, walk ways, or simply add a large stone as a focal point. Above is my rock pool and walk that my sons help me to create years ago.
Plant Of The Week
One of the first shrubs to bloom in the spring is azaleas. Azaleas are found growing around old homestead and historical homes throughout the south. They are a hardy plant of the Rhododendron family, and prefer moist, acidic soil with light shade. They are available in colors from pink, red, purple, to white, singles and ruffles. Their size varies from 1-20 feet, so you’re sure to find a place in your landscape for a few. Azaleas grow well under taller shade trees, especially pine because they drop their acidic needles and provide excellent mulch.