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Old 09-30-2014, 10:59 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Burlington, VT
Default Potting up seedlings

I've done quite a bit of cold stratification in my fridge this summer. Some species were more successful than others, and I've had some issues keeping things thriving once I pot them up.

Here's my method:
Moist sand in a ziplock bag in the fridge for the proper time frame. Then bags are placed, closed, on a window sill until after germination. When I get a decent germination I open the bags and let things grow a bit, spraying frequently but not dousing in water. When I'm satisfied I won't be getting any new plants coming up I delicately remove the seedlings from the bag (often taking the little ball of sand with the roots) and potting in a topsoil, sand, peat, perlite mix. I can't tell you proportions because I usually just wing it while mixing. I water from the bottom and keep them in the shade outside.

This is when things usually start dying. Even the ones that have made it a couple months haven't thrived at all and are barely hanging on. I've got to be doing something wrong. Am I missing a step? Am I adding something I shouldn't? Leaving something out? How do you transition your bagged seedlings to pots?

I thought the hard part would be getting them to germinate, but as this bag of Lobelia siphilitica shows, Potting up seedlings-image.jpg I've got germination down pretty good on most stuff. Which brings me to my second question, how do you separate such TINY seedlings?! I was afraid to pull apart my joe pyes, and I waited so long they died in the bag I can't think of anything precise yet delicate enough to tease them apart. In the future I will try to put fewer seeds in the bag, but they're just so tiny.

I've got a lot of seedlings almost ready to pot up, and now I'm scared I'll kill them all. What should I do?!

FYI on my most recent potting attempt I did use some time release fertilizer pellets and plan to keep that as part of my routine, unless someone has a better idea.
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