Spring is here sowing season par excellence and the prospect of finally getting down to it is a pleasure that wins over all gardeners. They thought all winter long about the species to sow to take advantage of a productive vegetable garden and offer their family a nice variety of vegetables from the garden. Only, harvests are only guaranteed if you follow certain rules such as sowing at the right time, watering just enough, protecting if there is still a risk of freezing… Not so simple, especially if you are a gardener beginner. Here are the 10 mistakes to absolutely avoid so as not to ruin your spring sowing.
1 – Sow without taking into account the calendar
Every year it’s the same thing: late frosts which occur as spring is in full swing are common in many of our regions. We rush without taking into account the requirements of the species we plan to sow, especially in terms of climate. Seeds need heat to germinate. That’s why you always have to start with consult the sowing calendar so that each variety is not sown too much or too late, but also to cultivate only species adapted to its region.
2 – Sow in an unsuitable substrate
A growing medium with a large grain size is not suitable for seeds. On the contrary, it is necessary to opt for a substrate for seedlings. It is draining but still retains enough moisture. Moreover, its fine grain size is perfect for allowing roots as thin as hair to grow without difficulty.
3 – Sowing too deep
The depth to which the seeds must be inserted into the substrate is always indicated on the seed packets and it must absolutely be respected. Planted too deeply, the seeds will not produce anything since they will rot very quickly.
4 – Tighten your seeds too much
The density seeds should never be too large because the small shoots will be very tight against each other. The thinning step can be tedious
5 – Leave your seedlings in the cold
This is how a few weeks later we find ourselves with empty boards or boxes. Of course, the seeds that have just been sown have need for heat otherwise they will not rise. We take care of sow under heated shelter tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and many other species, taking care to keep them at a temperature of 18°C. Once well emerged, they can be transplanted outside, but provided that the sunshine is sufficient and that the soil of the garden has been able to warm up.
6 – Expose your seedlings to temperature variations
Going from hot to cold does not allow seedlings to resist for long. When the spring days are finally sunnier, it is possible to start taking out the seedlings previously kept in a heated room. We place them sheltered from the wind, because in the spring, it can still be chilly. But at the end of the afternoon, during the first days of exposure, it is absolutely essential to bring them inside. L’acclimatization is done gradually.
The board also stands for sowing under frame. It is necessary to half-open this shelter during the sunniest hours because under the windows it can be extremely hot, but it is thought to close again before the end of the day. It is common that temperatures drop rapidly at this time of the year, which is not to the taste of the seedlings who hate (and cannot tolerate) these brutal changes.
7 – Rushing to transplant in place
In the spring, the risk of frosts being still high, transplanting too early may be fatal to seedlings. Apart from the Mediterranean regions and some areas of the Atlantic coast, it is prudent to patients to perform the transplant. In some regions, it’s risky in April, in others you sometimes even have to let the Ice Saints pass (May 11, 12 and 13). Every gardener has an interest in pinning within sight the regional sowing calendar in his garden shed, so that he can consult him as often as necessary.
8 – Do not protect your seedlings against gastropods
Slugs and snails “rush” (yes, yes!) at the slightest shower on the plants that every gardener is proud to admire. Except that their small tender leaves are the delight of these garden pest molluscs. It doesn’t take long for them to devastate everything. Of the egg shells crumbled at the foot of the seedlings can act as a barrier and you can also invite an effective gastropod predator, which is none other than the hedgehog, into the garden.
9 – Sow in any container
The containers are chosen according to the size of the seeds. Large ones can be installed in plastic cups (this is the case with pumpkin seeds). Seedlings of lettuce or cabbage in honeycomb plates or some cardboard egg boxeseven if this requires transplanting soon into larger containers.
Many packaging made of cardboard, polystyrene, plastic, are ideal for seedlings. We therefore recover them without limit in order to give them a second life and make some small savings. But it is also possible to buy biodegradable cups in the garden centre. Attention, all containers for seedlings without exception must have the pierced bottom several holes for the irrigation water to flow.
Finally, sowing in trays is practical for wasting as little time as possible when the time comes to expose all your seedlings to the sun and put them back in the shelter for the night. This type of container can accommodate many seeds, which limits handling.
10 – Watering against common sense
The watering of the seedlings is done with the vaporizer as long as the seeds have not yet emerged and as soon as no particles stick to the fingers when passing them over the substrate. If it still sticks, it’s damp enough. Seedlings should only be watered not too much, not too little. We must therefore take into account the climatic conditions, knowing that strong sunshine for a few hours even in spring can quickly dry out the seeds.
Spring sowing requires a diligent supervision. But it’s worth spending some of your time on them. And it’s not because you’ve never gardened that you have to deprive yourself of this activity, which can very quickly become a real passion.