Learn how to germinate seeds that require direct light in a few easy steps!
Who hasn’t snuck a peek at the seed display while shopping? Spring is here and it’s time to get your gardening gear together and get those seeds growing!
All seeds need light to germinate, but some seeds require direct light to germinate. This process can be a little tricky until you have a few successes under your belt.
What materials do I need to germinate seeds under direct light?
You will need a few things before you start. The seed starter medium is composed of three components:
Aside from the starer medium you will need a few other supplies, they may differ a little bit from the type of project, or garden you are planting, but the basics are:
- Seed Tray or Containers
- Spray bottle/ mister
- Mixing container
- Optional: Grow light
How do you start seeds that require direct light to germinate?
- Start with clean equipment.
Everything starts with a clean tray/pot. If your tray or container is newly purchased, rinse it with a water-vinegar solution, and then let them dry. If the containers are formerly used, they should be washed (check out this post for tips).
- Prepare Seed Starter
-A good seed starter should crumble easily, hold moisture, provide a good bed for your seeds, and contain no soil. The three core ingredients are peat moss, Coir, and Vermiculite
-You will want to mix your seed starter with water prior to adding the seeds. If you have a container large enough to handle enough starter and water to allow you to mix the two ingredients together prior to filling your tray, this would be easiest. If you do not have such a container, you can fill your tray partially with a starter then add water and allow the starter to absorb as much water as possible. -Form the starter with the palm of your hand or a flat surface of your choice.
- Place the seeds
-Begin placing the seeds lightly on the surface of the starter. Spacing them a little will allow for easier transplanting into cell packs or the final destination. -Once all the seeds are placed on the starter you will need to gently press them into the surface of the starter. I use a top from a peanut butter jar for this task.
- Add Light – Place the tray under your grow light or in a well-lit area.
- Keep the starter moist.
-Keep a spray bottle handy so you can keep the seeds and surface of the starter moist. Avoid pouring water into the tray–This can disrupt the starter and possibly float the starter mix over the seeds, depriving them of the light needed to germinate.
- Feed the seeds.
-Once the seeds have sprouted, you will need to begin adding plant food to the water. Starter mixes do not have any nutrition for the seedlings, so plant food will help provide that. Miracle-Gro All Purpose plant food, Nutri One All Purpose food, Schultz All Purpose Plant Food.
- Move established plants.
-After the plants have established their second leaf, it will be time to move them to a growing medium with a balanced fertilizer built for your particular choice of plants. Organic Plant Magic, Burpee Premium Organic Potting Mix, Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
Tips and Tricks for Germinating under Direct Light:
- It might be tempting to skip the cleaning step, but don’t! Any insect eggs or leftover soil may have a negative effect on your seeds. You don’t want to let intruders get at your plants before they’re strong enough to defend themselves.
- Seeds can be placed close together, but this will make it more difficult to move them when they are well-established. Giving the seeds space will ensure that they have room to grow separately, making it easier for you to transplant later.
- Never pour water onto the seeds–Always spray them. A strong pour can shift the seed starter, making it impossible for your seeds to get the proper light