Potting on and keeping the production line going

Another sunny and productive day, staying at home and keeping gainfully occupied! Today I have transplanted the seedlings in six of the seven trays in my ‘Super Seven’ propagator into individual pots. I say six, because I ran out of trays and potting on compost, much to my annoyance given that I couldn’t just go out and get more. Moral of the story; be prepared!

I blogged about sowing these seeds in late February, they’ve all been completely trouble free and now have at least one set of true leaves and so are ready to move on. I have waited for good weather before potting on as I don’t yet have an electricity supply to my fabulous greenhouse. Last year, I didn’t have much success with the propane heater I was given for Christmas (Chris is still reminding me about the gas cost against the gains last year!), but I do have half a cylinder left and am reckoning that it might just look after my young seedlings for the first couple of nights.

So today, five varieties of chilli, antirrhinum ‘Royal Bride’ and cosmos ‘Apricot Lemonade’ took their next step towards maturity. I used a potting on compost with John Innes no. 2 in modular trays and some biodegradable pots.

It’s really important to limit the chance of any damage to the stems and roots when transplanting. I always make sure I’ve pre-watered and dibbed a hole in the compost in the receiving pots, trays or cells before lifting the seedlings – the quicker they’re moved the better! Gently lever the young plants out of their seed tray whilst holding a seedling leaf, not the stem or true leaves. If you can conserve some surrounding compost for minimal disturbance it’s a bonus. I use a small specialist tool for this job, it has a dibber at one end and a fork for leverage at the other and is very effective.

Apart from one tray of chilli, all seedlings have been transplanted and are now (hopefully) snuggly ensconced in their own modules and will remain warm overnight.

I’ve now moved onto the next phase of production in the Super Seven (ok, so it’s only six today!) with a combination of tomatoes and flowers. I’ve sown two tomatoes, ‘Sungold’, a cherry that has been recommended in several magazines recently and ‘Buffalosteak’, for grilling in slices with salt and garlic (yum!). The flowers include a rudbeckia mix, a purple penstemon and a verbascum mix.

One of my favourites grown from seed last year was the 5ft tall Mexican sunflower, tithonia ‘Torchlight’ and so another tray full has been sown – with high expectations!

All plugged in and ready to germinate – well almost. I’ve already emphasised the need for preparation and unfortunately I’ve failed again, having left the lids to my Super Seven trays in Wales! I’m now racking my brain for an alternative as I can’t see us going to the cottage for at least 3 months and replacements are about Ā£15 with postage. All suggestions welcome please!

Happy gardening and keep safe and well at home.

9 thoughts on “Potting on and keeping the production line going

  1. prue batten says:

    I’m impressed with the work. You have a neat tray on which you sat the last punnets of seedlings. Is it you something you seconded from the kitchen or a legitimate propagation tool?
    And also your specialist fork/dibber? That’s impressive. I’m envious of all these things! šŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Phao Hewitson says:

      Hi Prue, this is a great propagator, designed for small seed trays. It’s heated and usually has fitted lids for each tray – I have now improvised having left the lids in Wales – with clear tomato punnets!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann Mackay says:

    This is a good year for sowing seeds – no problems with being away and unable to water them. I’m hoping to get lots sown. šŸ™‚

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  3. BeckyB says:

    How exciting . . . I have also been sowing seeds like crazy these past few weeks and more still to sow.

    I’ve done something bonkers though there are 4 pots in greenhouse, with no labels but fresh soil. Now have I sown seeds in them or not?! Been 10 days and no germination yet, but guess I have at least another week to go before I will know!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Phao Hewitson says:

      You’re not the only one! I sowed sweet pea seeds in a root trainer a few weeks ago – 2 of the rows have no sign of growth unlike the rest of the tray. Did I actually sow seeds in these pods? I’m waiting to see!

      Liked by 1 person

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