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Watering sprouts from seed that are direct sown Toplef10Watering sprouts from seed that are direct sown 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Watering sprouts from seed that are direct sown I22gcj10Watering sprouts from seed that are direct sown 14dhcg10

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Watering sprouts from seed that are direct sown

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Hip2B
biobarnes
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Watering sprouts from seed that are direct sown Empty Watering sprouts from seed that are direct sown

Post  biobarnes 5/22/2022, 12:09 pm

Hello all!
My husband and I are very new to this. The funny thing - I'm a high school biology teacher, so I understand how all this works and why it works, but I also don't want to kill our new sprouts!

We decided to just jump in and see what we could sprout from seed. There are a few plants we bought from the local nursery just because we didn't think we could get them sprouted from seed before the heat really ramps up in Georgia.

Almost everything has sprouted! From seed! Direct sown in our 4x4 beds! That is exciting to us!

So my question - I've searched the forums for "watering" and read a lot there - but most people were doing seed starting indoors and then transplanting. I couldn't find much on people sowing direct outside in the beds. WHEN do I stop watering the sprouts/seedlings every day? Right now, I'm concerned about them drying out as they are trying to develop and grow in that initial growth spurt with the cotyledons. I do not have any true leaves on anything yet - we just started everything a week ago! (Which I'm still shocked how quickly the seeds sprouted - I only soaked some of the larger ones!)

So - what is the watering plan once you have seedlings from direct sown seeds? I do not want to encourage disease or root rot either. But, we do have squash and cucumbers, and I know those are giant sponges when it comes to needing water for fruit development - but I don't know if they need more water when young as well. Should the seedlings have true leaves and then you just check the soil/needs of the plant to water? Or is there a certain height to the plants before I cut back on the everyday? I'm misting them once a day to make sure the top of the soil doesn't dry out.

And we are expecting storms the next few days, so my husband is working on the second cage so we can cover and prevent damage from large rain drops this week. We also have a TON of wildlife that we need to protect the plants from - raccoons mostly, opossum, cats (we don't want them using the beds as a litter box), squirrels/chipmunks and other things we know are in the backyard, but just haven't caught them on the Ring cams yet (like coyote - we hear them, but haven't seen them yet).

TIA from Georgia! We are just NW of Atlanta in zone 7b.
Jen & Doug
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Post  Hip2B 5/24/2022, 8:37 am

Awesome germination rate. You must be very excited! I will defer to the more experienced folk on the forum in relation to your water question.
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Post  OhioGardener 5/24/2022, 4:57 pm

I don't know that there is any easy, one-size-fits-all answer to "when to water".  It depends on the soil.  The simplest method of determining when to water if you don't have a moisture meter, us is the finger test. Stick your finger into the soil to the 2nd knuckle, if the soil is moist at that level you are good to go.  If, though, the soil is dry at that level, you need to water.

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Post  sanderson 5/30/2022, 2:29 pm

For direct sowing, my beds were wet to begin with and I used the mist setting on the hose wand to keep the surface wet for germination. The drip lines ensured that the Mel's Mix was moist throughout but the mister helped keep the surface moist.

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Post  Soose 5/31/2022, 8:24 am

We planted some green beans, pole beans yesterday.  The Mel's Mix was not dry.
I gave them all a good top watering.  Should we keep misting the surface until they germinate?
Or 2 wks beyond germination until the roots get deep enough to wick?

I mean, does the "2 knuckle finger" test apply while the beans are germinating as well
as after they're seedlings?
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Post  yolos 6/1/2022, 9:48 am

After I sow my seeds, I put a layer of burlap over the area.  This helps keep the top of the soil moist and keeps the birds from digging up the seeds.  I mist the top of the burlap twice a day to keep it moist.  As the seeds sprout, I lift the burlap off.
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Post  sanderson 6/4/2022, 4:31 pm

Soose wrote:We planted some green beans, pole beans yesterday.  The Mel's Mix was not dry.
I gave them all a good top watering.  Should we keep misting the surface until they germinate?
Yes, keep misting. The roots are the first part to germinate. By the time the beans sprout, the roots will be long enough to find the water.

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Post  Soose 6/4/2022, 8:18 pm

sanderson
Yes, keep misting. The roots are the first part to germinate. By the time the beans sprout, the roots will be long enough to find the water.

Thanks, Sanderson, almost all the beans were up in 3 days. Just checked, 3 in the 12 squares didn't come up. Planted Monday evening, an inch high Friday. I thought they'd be longer. But they are definitely beans! Gotta finish their trellises. We've been keeping them watered, though the MM is staying damp enough.
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