WE DID IT! WE HAVE ACHIEVED SPROUTYNESS!!!!
If you have made it this far, you might be wondering what to do next to keep your basil babies alive. Here’s a short list of things to do to keep them going.
- Remove your seedlings from the top of the fridge once they begin to sprout
- Reduce the number of times you spritz your seedlings to once a day, and gradually taper down to every other day, and then just start watering them with a watering can as the soil starts to dry on the surface. Why?Seeds need to be kept moist constantly until they sprout, then you want to gradually reduce the amount of water you give them to avoid causing them to rot or suffocate. This could be another separate article!
- Take the set up to a warm, sunny room, away from heat vents(at least 5 feet away) I have mine sitting on the top shelf of a bakers rack that sits in my sunny foyer.
- Begin removing the clear lid from the seedlings. Why?
- To prevent your seedlings from getting to long and spindly (leggy)
- To prevent mold from growing that can cause a disease called (dampening off) that causes your seedlings to die off right at the base of the stem.
- To begin getting your seedlings acclimated to air movement. (air movement will ultimately help your seedlings get stronger, sturdier stems.
If you ordered seeds this winter, this poem is for you!
Marie’s Favorite Kinds of Basil
Day 8 Seedlings are growing. Now what?
- Rotate your seedlings once a day to prevent them from bending too much in one direction towards the sunlight.
- You can now leave the clear dome off permanently
- Reduce watering to once every 2 or 3 days. Just make sure that you water deeply so the soil gets wet all the way to the bottom of the container to stimulate deep rooting down into the soil.
- At this point you can still water with a mister, but you can adjust the nozzle from mist to more of a heavy spray and eventually a small stream.
- Avoid blasting the delicate seedlings with hard streams of water.
- Teach little ones to wet the soil surface rather than aiming directly at the seedlings.
- Teach little ones that the seedlings will get their water from their roots which are buried in the soil. This is why we aim at the soil instead of the leaves.
- You could even gently pull one seedling out and show your kids the little white root! Tell them that the root is kind of like a paper straw! It can suck up water through the tip and can absorb through the sides kind of like a wick.
- If you use a magnifying glass, you will also see root hairs which also help your plants get a drink.
- Make sure your container is not standing in a saucer full of water. Standing water causes the roots to be deprived of air and will cause suffocation and rot which ultimately results in death of your seedling.