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Smaller seeds are harder to handle and are often best germinated directly in the pot or flat they will be grown in. Choose a sterile container. If the flat or container you choose has had plants grown in it before, wash it out and rinse it with hydrogen peroxide to sterilize it. Bleach can be used in place of hydrogen peroxide, however if you miss any bleach when you rinse the container out your plants may die. Hydrogen peroxide is safer for plants and will not kill them if any is left behind. Once the container is clean, fill it about halfway with a seed starting mixture. Add a small layer of vermiculite to the top of the seed starting mix, then sprinkle the seeds on top. If the seeds require darkness to germinate, cover them with a light layer of vermiculite. If they need light, do nothing else. Place a clear plastic cover over the seed tray to help keep humidity in. Saran Wrap can be used for this if you do not have a regular seed tray cover. Be sure to check the containers because once germination occurs the clear plastic cover can be removed. At this point the seeds will not need as much humidity and should begin adjusting to regular environmental conditions. A diluted fertilizer should be given to help the seedlings grow. Once the seedlings are large enough to easily handle, carefully loosen the dirt around their roots, making sure not to damage the root system, pick the plant up and transplant it into a larger pot. Grabbing the plant by the stem could damage it so be sure to hold it by the leaves only.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|