7 Common Seed Starting Mistakes That You Should Avoid!

Seed starting tray

The excellent way to have an advanced harvest in the coming picking season is to start your seed grow in your greenhouse. It will gain you strong and healthy seedlings ready to transplant on the ground at the start of the regular growing season.

But some people might not think about the mistakes they’ve made, and yet they do not notice it evenly. If you are an aspiring gardener looking forward to becoming a better gardener, this article is for you. 

Here are some seven most common mistakes in seed starting that you should responsibly avoid.

Other people start their seeds at the wrong time.

Frankly, some articles I read lately tell that it is terrible for the seedlings to grow earlier. Your seedlings might be stuck tending to be overly large. 

And yes, that sounds a fact. There is no wrong with that information. 

But, as the introduction opened, the excellent way to have an advanced harvest in the coming picking season is to start your seed not as too much early as possible. 

In short, you should start growing your seeds at the right time, which is also a little bit near in the regular growing season.

Moreover, you don’t have to grow your seeds too late because they will become weak and not so healthy in planting time. As a result, they will become susceptible to weeds, insects, and disease. 

Professional gardeners recommend getting or having your planting calendar. In this way, you can track your schedule on when you will start seeds, but that depends on your location and the variety of plants you want to grow.

The only thing you’ll do is familiarize yourself with the growing zone, familiarize yourself first with the plants you will grow by reading the descriptions on its seed pack, and know the average of the first and last frost date

Planning is an essential tool in growing seeds, and you should put it in your mind right now.

Some gardeners are using cheap potting soil to start seeds.

Amateur gardeners used cheap or gardened soil to start growing their seedlings. Remember your general science class; seeds take up nutrients to the soil so that they can germinate. 

And when you’re going to use ordinary old soil or just garden soil, there will be a chance that your seedlings will become weak and eventually die because they can be susceptible to some diseases and pests that trigger their senescence.

Some gardeners prefer to invest and spend more money buying a higher quality seed starting mix rather than buying cheap potting soil. 

It ensures that their seedlings take up higher-quality nutrients to boost their germination and make sure that they will grow healthy, fresh, and ready to transplant into their garden.

Some people grow their seedlings in front of their windows.

Other people grow their seedlings on windowsills. Though it is also possible to increase your seedlings on your window ledge, there is a chance that they will become rangy because of insufficient light. 

It happens when the seedlings tend to stretch to find better light.

Remember that other seedlings/plants need 12 to 18 hours of bright and direct light. If you want to avoid your seedlings becoming leggy, all you have to do is provide them with growing lights over them. 

It comes up with different shapes and sizes, and it is placed above the seedlings on the shelf directly below.

There are so many different growing lights in the market. All you need to do is look for lights that fit in your greenhouse. All of your seedlings need to provide under the growing lights for maximum light exposure. 

If you think that it doesn’t fit at all, try to rotate each seedling tray regularly or two so that every seedling gets a chance to expose to light.

If you are the type of person who is very forgetful every time, or accidentally you are not at home at the moment, try to use automatic growing lights. 

It can help you light your seedlings because it’s automatically turned on and off depending on when you set it.

Many people don’t know the conditions need by their plants.

If you commit to growing seeds, you need to know the requirements mainly required by your seedlings to grow healthy and survive in susceptible pests and diseases. 

In short, you need to know the primary factors that you need to keep for your seeds to survive.

Any variation of plant seeds has a preferable soil temperature to germinate. 

If you are in colder climates, heat mats are the supplemental tool that you can use to warm your soil. Always research the variety of seeds you’ll grow and look at the typical soil temperature they need to germinate.

Seeds need to remain constantly humid but not too wet to germinate properly. You can use a humidity dome with an adjustable vent, together with the heat mat, so that you can acquire a humidity environment inside the seed starter tray. 

A mist will do better if you don’t have a humidity dome.

Seeds also need oxygen to grow and produce carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide that they’ll release will move away from the seed. 

That’s why if you have a humidity dome covering your seed starter tray, secure that it has an adjustable vent so that the air can escape quickly, to ensure that the seed will not suffocate.

As we discussed earlier, seeds also needed lights to germinate. Use automatic growing lights in your greenhouse to provide supplemental light for your seeds and position it at the right height above your seedlings.

Moreover, most seeds also germinate best under dark conditions. The best way to do that is to plant the seeds under the soil, not too deep under the soil surface, and provide them with light as they need it in the germination process.

You are skipping the “hardening off” process.

After the germination stage, you think your seedlings are ready to transfer outside your garden. Indeed, they will die after a few days or weeks if you do that. 

The best way to avoid these happenings is to undergo your seedlings in the “hardening off” process before you transplant them outside of your garden.

Other people indeed skip this process. That makes them wrong! 

But if you want to survive your plants outside of the environment, you have to do the hardening off process to help your plants quickly adapt to the environment.

Hardening off is a term used to describe the process of making your plant become acclimated to its environment. It can do in the spring season. 

Gardeners put their small plants in some area that has utterly natural light and environment so that they can spend there at least two days out in full sunlight and two full nights outside. 

Afterward, they are now ready to transplant in the greenhouse to continue their normal growing process.

You are not labeling your trays.

Labeled garden trays

Now, if you are reading this blog up to here, this will be your reminder!

Always label your seed starting kits so that you will never be confused later. Make sure to put labels before you sow any seeds. 

You can use wooden or metal labels that you can also make or buy in any garden store. Use a waterproof pen to write the tags and place them immediately after sowing. 

You can also write the sowing dates on the labels to know when you will expect it to germinate.

You are lack pampering your seedlings.

Always be ready when you are committed to taking care of your seedlings until they grow. Like humans, they are also living organisms that need daily attention and loving care. 

Here’s the checklist of what you can do to take care your seedlings:

  • Monitor them regularly.
  • Check their germination process.
  • Check the moisture of the soil. 
  • Check the temperature of your area and the soil. 
  • Watch how the lights working; and 
  • Don’t forget to follow the information you have read in this article so that you can avoid the mistakes that other gardeners made.

Closing Note

You see, many people will start seeds and then not pay attention to them until they sprout. That is a mistake!

You must be diligent about watering the seeds and keeping them warm, but you also must be sure to avoid other common seed-starting mistakes.

We hope that you learned a lot from this article! As a result of learning these starting techniques, you should have a higher success rate with your seed starting endeavors. 

Seed starting can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a little bit tricky if you don’t have experience.