How to Water Plant Seedlings (Without Killing Them)

Gardening is a relaxing hobby that allows me to beautify my yard. If you need to figure out how frequently to water seedlings or when to transplant them, you’re at the right place. You can grow plants in various ways, from directly sowing seeds in your garden to purchasing a mature plant.

The most common method is to start your seeds indoors. The beginning is simple, but what would happen when they begin to sprout? Whether you’re just trying to start your garden or attempting a new method of gardening, I’ve written everything you need to know about watering seedlings.

How To Water Seedlings 

Water is one of the essential supplies when starting plants from seed. Water too much, and you will drown your seeds, or they’d rot. If you give them too little water, they will either not germinate or die once they do. You have two options when starting a garden from seed. One option is to plant your seeds indoors and then transplant them as seedlings into your garden a few weeks later. Alternatively, you can directly plant seeds in your garden.

There are several good reasons for starting seeds indoors early. Above all, you get ahead of the growing season. Another benefit is that you can precisely control the ideal growing conditions, such as temperature, moisture, and sunlight. A third advantage is that it alleviates the early spring itch to get outside and plant something. To water your seedlings, you must select between two options: top or bottom watering. See a description of both below:

Top Watering 

Top watering

Top watering is spraying seedlings from the top with a weak mister or spray bottle. It is preferable to get ones that convey a straight heavy stream of water rather than ones that scatter a shroud of mist.

Bottom Watering

self watering pot
Self Watering Pots

Bottom watering is what a self-watering pot entails. You can either buy one or make one.

Ideally, submerge a portion of the soil’s bottom in water. With time, the soil will absorb the water below it and convey it to the seedlings.

How Much To Water Your Seedlings

The soil in which seedlings grow should be moist but not soggy. It should never dry out between waterings. To accomplish this, you should inspect your seeds more than once during the day and water them at least once. You can make the process simpler and keep the soil moist by covering your setup with plastic wrap (if it does not have a plastic lid) or watering from the bottom as needed, allowing water to come up through the drainage holes. 

Check the moisture of the soil’s surface every 10 minutes, and remove the water when the top of the soil feels moist. If you are inquisitive to know if you can water them daily you can. Water the seeds at least once daily to keep the soil damp and prevent drying. Watering more than once a day may be necessary for sweltering climates (depending on your soil or garden setup). Inspect your seeds or seedlings frequently to ensure they are getting enough water.

Overwatering Your Seeds

Overwatering seeds can cause them to be washed away from where you plant them, encourage the growth of mold, algae, or fungi, or cause rot. Plant seeds exactly as deep as the directions stipulate to avoid overwatering. Water seeds are planted in shady areas (such as under trees) less than in the sun.

If you’re prone to overwatering, invest in a mister or capillary mat. It will help if you let the soil dry before watering it again, which you can observe by inserting your finger into the soil. If dirt clings to your skin, the soil is still wet and does not require watering.

Inspect to see if your seedlings show any of these signs:

  1. Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing Leaves are a frequent sign of overwatered seedlings. It occurs throughout the entire plant.

  1. Wet Soil

If it is consistent, this is cause for worry. You’re overwatering your seedlings if the soil is wet daily or takes a few days to dry. 

  1. Mold

The appearance of whitish dust on the surface of the soil or algae-like growths is evidence of overwatering. Mold grows in a moist environment, so if you notice it, it means you’ve been overwatering.

  1. Root Rot 

It occurs when seedlings have been consistently overwatered and start to die. If you notice the seedling has become weak or there is any foul smell or the soil is loose, then your plants probably have root rot.

How To Save Overwatered Seedlings 

When you’ve observed that you’re overwatering your seedlings, you can take the following steps:

  • Remove the plant from the soil carefully so you can inspect the leaves. If the soil has a strong odour or visible mold, discard it and replace it when replanting.
  • Examine the seedling’s roots. Healthy roots should be strong, firm, and white. If you notice any mushy, brown, or smelly roots, they are rotting.
  • If you discover no root rot, the situation is better. Replant the seedling in the soil. Poke some holes in the soil to help it breathe, and then leave it alone until the moisture content has evaporated.
  • However, if there is root rot, you must do some tripping. Remove any unhealthy, rotting roots with sharp, sanitized scissors. Plant the seedling in new, dry soil. Also, use a clean pot with plenty of drainage holes.
  • In the future, do not overwater the seedling. Follow my seedling care advice to keep your plants strong and healthy. 

Signs of Underwatering  

The following are signs to inspect out for when it comes to underwatering:

  1. Plant Wilting

Plants suffering from underwatering will have limp and wilting leaves. Your plants must have enough water to move through the cells. If there is insufficient water, the plant will wilt and close its stomata to prevent evaporation.

  1. Dry Soil

If the soil feels dry, watering is likely required. You could evaluate the soil by inserting your finger as far as it will go into it. If you do not feel any moisture, it is time to water. Different plants require different conditions, such as dryer soil. Understand the requirements of each plant species and water it as needed for optimal health.

  1. Stunted Growth 

Underwatering your plants will cause them to grow slowly. It can result in either temporary or permanent problems. If the water shortage is only temporary, your plant should begin to grow again quickly. If your plants have gone too long without water, restoring proper moisture levels may not result in normal plant development. It also does not rule out the possibility of your plants recovering.

How To Solve Underwatering Issues

Plants experiencing underwatering will require time to recover. It usually takes between three and four weeks. After this period, you should notice the development of new leaves and stems where old ones withered and died. Water your plants only when the soil feels dry when touched. Your plants will not survive if you continue to drown them.

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