- Use a good quality potting soil and fill peat pots or shallow containers. Apply NO-Damp fungicide on the soil before sowing in order to prevent the seedlings from damping off—suddenly the plants flop over and die off.
- Cover the pots or flats with clear plastic; this will help to improve the soil temperature and hold the dampness. Use warm water to avoid lowering the soil temperature. As soon as the seedlings emerge remove the plastic.
- Move the containers to a sunny well ventilated area where the temperature is 20-22 degrees Celsius. 12-14 hours of artificial light is ideal if using Grow Lites.
- Do not over water the soil, just keep the soil damp. This will help avoid plants stretching.
- Turn your containers if in direct sunlight to insure the plants do not stretch toward the light source.
- When ready to plant, acclimatize the plants to the outdoor conditions by setting the seedling flats outside for several hours and then bringing them inside. Repeat this for several days before planting into the flower or vegetable beds outside. Lengthen the amount of time the plants are outside each day until planting – 4 or 5 days is good.
- If possible, transplant on cool cloudy days.
Fluorescent tubes that are ideal for adding artificial light to the seed trays are Cool Light of Grolux bulbs. The cool white bulbs are standard tubes for indoor lighting, not expensive and available in 2’ and 4’ lengths. The Grolux bulbs are more expensive but their special light spectrum produces dark green compact plants. Stems lengthen more slowly but foliage becomes very dense.