Los
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:28 pm
Location: Colorado

What to do with plants that have not yet sprouted?

Hi all, I'm brand new here and brand new to gardening. I have many questions but I'll try to limit them to the proper forum sections and only ask this one here (for now :P ) :
I've bought a very large terracotta pot to grow tomatillos in (because I was told they're large plants that need large pots), and I planted the seeds a little over a week ago (using FoxFarm brand organic potting soil, if that's relevant). Right now I have them inside, in indirect sunlight, because the lady at the nursery told me to leave them inside until it gets warmer. I moistened the soil by mixing it with some water before putting it in the pot and planting the seeds, as I was told to do. As far as watering, I was instructed to water only when the soil looks and feels dry for about an inch down, once the plant has sprouted. I can handle that, but what do I do while I'm waiting for it to sprout? This may be a stupid question, but should I put the plant out in the sunlight for a few hours a day (it is warm out now), while I'm waiting for it to sprout? Should I water it as I would a sprouted plant? Right now the soil looks a little dried out, but there is no visible plant. Should I wait until it sprouts before I do anything at all?
Any tips, tricks or corrections would be greatly appreciated! :)

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

You can cover the container(s) with plastic or glass, to create a "Mini-greenhouse" effect, keeping the soil moist. In most cases, people start the seeds in small containers, which they keep in a single tray. They add water periodically to the tray of covered containers, which is soaked up by the soil in the little containers, to keep the soil moist.

Since, if I understand you correctly, you have started multiple seeds in a single large container, you could mist the surface of the soil with water. Just use an ordinary spray bottle, but buy a new empty one, so you don't accidentally contaminate the water with residue from whatever was originally in the bottle. Just mist the soil lightly until it's damp on the surface. :)

Welcome to the forum. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

Los
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:28 pm
Location: Colorado

Oh, wonderful, thank you so much for the reply! I will do that, I have a new, clean bottle just for plants. :)

As far as the sun, is it okay to keep it inside in indirect sunlight before it sprouts? Should I put it in sunlight as soon as it does? I was told tomatillos do well with a lot of sun and heat.

Edit: And thank you for the welcome. :)

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Yes, they should be kept inside until it warms up a little more outdoors.

Seeds have everything they need to produce the new little plant that is inside. They actually don't need any light at all to sprout, so indirect light is fine. Once they get their first set of true leaves, then they will need a bit of help.

You might find it interesting and useful to read through our [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=48]Seed Starting forum[/url]. Starting one kind of seed is not much different from starting another, although a few need specialized care. You can talk about any kind of seeds on the Seed Starting Forum, even if you're gardening in containers. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

Los
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:28 pm
Location: Colorado

Great, thanks for the help! I'll take a look at the Seed Starting section as well. :D

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Most seeds do not need light to germinate (there are some exceptions to that, mostly very tiny seeds like petunias and impatiens, but your seed packet would tell you). So you can keep your container anywhere convenient, until they are sprouted.

But the seeds need to never dry out. That thing about waiting until the top inch of soil is dry is for PLANTS not seeds or baby seedlings, which need to stay consistently damp (not wet) all the time.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Los
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:28 pm
Location: Colorado

Thanks for the help.:D

This forum has helped me a great deal already, I've put some tomatillo seeds in a damp paper towel in a plastic baggie and put them in the bathroom with the heat lamp on, as well as the giant terracotta pot, which I've covered with a plastic bag to keep in warmth. Hopefully one or both will sprout soon. :)
(If I had known what I was doing eariler, I wouldn't have put the seeds in the giant pot already, but ah well, you learn these things as you go.)

Return to “Container Gardening Forum”