Is it better to use seeds or seedlings? If you haven’t planned in advance the decision is easy to make, get some seedlings. But if you have planned your calendar for raising seedlings and planting out, there are still times when it is better and more cost effective to purchase a punnet of seedlings than a packet of seeds.
Onion Seeds or Seedlings?
When it comes to finicky seeds like onions it is worth considering buying a punnet for about three dollars. In the punnet I just purchased there were about twenty five seedlings in each of the six compartments. So approximately one hundred and fifty seedlings.
Compare that with buying a packet of seeds, which will cost you about the same and you will probably get about five hundred to a thousand seeds. No comparison at first glance.
But you are not going to plant a thousand seeds and you will need to keep the seeds until next season and if you can find them you will have seeds that will have a lower germination rate than last year.
Not to mention how awkward it is to plant small seeds at the right depth. And if you mix them with sand so they spread better you will still have to thin them out and in places plant some more seeds or transplant the thinnings.
A much easier way to plant these type of seeds is to buy a punnet and separate them for transplanting.
Separate The Seedlings
It is quite easy to separate the seedlings. Just squeeze the base of a section of the punnet and then pull out all of the seedlings together.
Soak the mass of seedlings in some water and then tease them apart gently.
Some parts of the roots may come off, but this won’t hurt them as long as they still have some roots. They will recover when replanted.
Planting the Seedlings
Planting out is simple. Just push a stick into the soil and make a fairly big opening. If the soil falls in on itself, wet it down thoroughly before starting. Make about a dozen holes at a time and drop your seedlings in.
When you are trying to guide the roots into the hole widening the top of the hole will help. If you have to, just guide the roots down with your finger.
Use the hose to water in each seedling. The sides of the hole will collapse in securing your seedling and making sure that soil is in contact with the roots and there are no air pockets. It will also help push the roots down the hole.
So that didn’t take long. About two hours from go to whoa and that included bed preparation and watering it thoroughly before making the holes.
I guess another alternative is seed tape. Which is probably a discussion for another time after I have had a go at making my own seed tape for carrots. I have never had real succes with carrots. I have got some in at the moment that were planted from seed but they are a bit patchy.
Feel free to add a comment or share a novel idea.
All the best Olman