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How and When to Water and Fertilize Indoor Seedlings / Spring Garden Series #3

hi everyone welcome back to the Spring Garden series we are growing a spring

garden of vegetables all the way from seed to harvest and we're doing it in a

quick simple inexpensive way and our friend Joel is helping us out Joel I am

so excited that you're here on this series with us we were having a ton of

fun yes on today's video we're gonna talk about how and when to water your

indoor seedlings now this is where a lot of gardeners tend to get tripped up with

the tips in this video we're gonna be watering our indoor seedlings like a pro

but before we do that Joel we want to check in on your plants and see how this

week went how did everything go with your little seedlings I was pleasantly

surprised I mean I believed everything you told me I was I wasn't surprised

that they came up I was just amazed it that they how well they came up it how

quickly they came up I was I think about all the times all the time that I spent

trying to grow outside and man I wish I had done this from the get-go now I know

you were a little bit worried about the dogs getting into your seedlings indoors

where did you keep them tell me a little bit about how that went this week we

have a guest room and I put the seedlings back in the in the in the in

the room and the cool weather plants I put in the closet turn the ceiling fan

on and make sure that the room stayed cool because it's on the sunny side of

the house but it's all working out fantastically it was Wow

loved it never left the dogs alone either they were with me and or they

were out okay way to go you paid special attention for that yeah now next

question is how do things go with the grow lights rate yourself on like

turning them on turning them off how the timer work for you I guess I just

trusted the timer oh I give my psyche of the timer an a great so but I checked

them twice a day okay no when I got up in the morning when I came home from

work detective next question is how things go with watering very well as a

matter of fact I really kept an eye on the plans to make sure that they are the

dirt that it did when it turned brown I was on it and kept it wet kept it moist

and then the second day I started pouring some water into the pan itself

being very careful not to pour too much and not too little because it

the pods really the dirt really sucked up that water quickly

I liked the fourth day I didn't have to water anymore

perfect that's because it was you could tell they were moist I didn't want to

water log them well perfect we're gonna talk more about those tips today but it

sounds like you are off to a great start you're a good teacher thank you you're

welcome it's time for the big reveal I cannot

wait to see what you got in that grow light box let's see it

drum roll please drum roll here goes oh my gosh I know this is unbelievable I

was like that's what I'm saying wow what growth in one week Joel I have to

hand it to you you really blew me away here this is incredible you have got

like the cucumbers are growing the squash everything has sprouted oh yeah

yeah it's you're a great I say you're a great teacher well you did a great job

you took good care of them yeah yeah I try so these are the warm weather

vegetables and then here we have the cooler vegetables which look just as

amazing you've got your lettuce your peas your

kale every single thing has come up yeah yeah everything so I'm so proud of you

yours grew way more than mine did now granted I did let mine dry out a little

bit for today's video because we're talking about watering but yours look

absolutely fantastic I think you definitely have the green thumb a

super-duper green thumb the jinx is gone today's video like I mentioned is all

about watering and fertilizing your seedlings and if you haven't jumped in

on the spring garden series yet it's definitely not too late grab yourself a

spring garden seed collection and a copy of my book where I'm gonna give you a

little hint here everything we're talking about is in Chapter three the

consistent watering and fertilizing is where a lot of new gardeners and get

tripped up if you don't water your plants of course they're gonna die if

you over fertilize your plants they might get burned or die as well and of

course if you water them too much they're gonna get waterlogged could

possibly get root rot diseases all kinds of things can happen if you over love so

today's video is going to cover exactly how and when to water your indoor

ceilings because consistent watering is really the key to the health and growth

of your brand-new plants now remember we're growing these little seedlings

indoors for about four to six weeks and we're gonna be transplanting them

outside when the weather is right so that's gonna be a lot of fun but in the

meantime one of the questions I get asked all the time is when do I water my

seedlings well I really wish there was a magic formula to answer that question of

how often to water but it's really dependent on two different variables and

I think you probably found this true this week as you were watering your

plants the first variable to consider on how often you water your plants is the

location that you have them growing so you had years in a nice warm closet and

if you're growing it in a cooler location of your house they're not going

to dry out as quickly but in your closet they dry out really fast and you found

that you had to water them every day or every couple of days just to keep the

moisture level up yeah at least yeah but you know at the same time you got human

is it rained here so I think that helped a little bit to the relative humidity

absolutely now the second variable to consider is what your seeds are growing

in so I don't know if you notice this or not Joel but a lot of times the pellets

will dry out a little bit quicker than the larger pots because there's you know

a different type of soil in here so it really depends on the type of medium

that you're using in your containers or what type of containers they're growing

in a little recycled cups or for example these egg shells these egg cartons

because they're like a cardboard these try out very very fast because the

material kind of wicks up the water so I found I really do have to water my

little cardboard seed-cups or the egg cartons a lot more often well it's

actually very simple to tell when to water your plants if you look for two

clues now these clues will tell you exactly when your plants need water

the first one being which you mentioned Joel you did a really good job of checking

for this this week is the color of the soil now again I let my plans to dry out

a little bit too much this week just so we could demonstrate for the video but

you can tell the difference between here grab one of your pallets there Joel well

that's nice and wet you can tell the difference in color look how this one is

a light brown and Joel's which has a good amount of water is a dark brown so

when your pellets or your cups with soil start changing to a light brown color

that's the first clue that they need some water

and at this point like I could spray the top of my pallet right here because it

definitely does need water the plant hasn't germinated so I'm just gonna

spray the top to moisten it and Joel yours is looking great cuz you did such

a good job this week it doesn't eat any water so we're not gonna water the

second clue to look for and this one is kind of fun especially when you're

dealing with a little container is the weight of the container so a container

that is has dried out its gonna be a lot lighter because it doesn't have the

moisture content yours is nice and moist you can tell the difference right here

oh yeah you pick it up and you can just tell this one it's almost like you just

planted it yeah exactly exactly so and this one definitely does need some water

so we're gonna talk about how to water in just a second now the most important

thing you can do is check your plants daily and Joel I am so proud of you

because you were right on top of that check in the morning before you went to

work checking once you came home I'm that's the best way to monitor the color

monitor the weight and as you go as I'm sure you notice during the week kind of

trial and error you got to know your plants you got to know how they feel how

they look and that was the best way that really you could tell that they needed a

little bit of water yeah exactly I checked him before he even

grabbed a beer number one I'm so proud of you thank you I know it was a sacrifice

question of the day is how to water your indoor seedlings now as we talked about

last week before your seeds germinate you can just spray the tops which you

did very very well on that now once your seedling to germinate though what you

want to do is bottom water now a lot of people will come along and just dump

your watering can pour water all over the tops of your seeds but as you can

tell these are very very delicate and that could really displace the seedlings

you definitely don't want that you've worked hard to grow these vegetables and

you want them to be nice and healthy absolutely so you're gonna do something

called bottom watering and this is a healthier way to water it helps disease

not to spread as easily and then the soil just wicks up the moisture from the

bottom and you it really allows for efficient watering of your place so I'm

gonna have you go ahead and bottom water we're gonna start with a little seedling

tray right here these are my cool weather vegetables and look at the clues

that we talked about look how the soil is a nice light brown color which is a

big clue that they need watered and then when I pick them up they feel really

light so once you go ahead and pour pour an inch or so water right in there a

couple inches then what we're gonna do is let these sit in the tray for about

10 minutes or so till we can see the top of the soil changed color to a darker

brown color and then we're gonna pour the water off because we don't want to

over water and the soil will get all soggy

that way the roots will tend to rot that's how to water the little

containers with soil now as you mentioned watering the peat pellets is

really fun these are super super dry and I know the seeds haven't germinated yet

but because they are so light and so dry we're gonna go ahead and bottom water

these let's try it here with this little tray and I want people to see how the

water is just sucked up into the peat pellets and then you can just see it

really travel up the sides and you might want to pour a little bit more water in

there but it's really fun to watch

you can see the color change as the water goes up the side they get more wet

and then pretty soon the top will get wet too so you can

see here look at this Joel how the top of the soil is nice and dark though

that's a good sign that these pellets are good to go it's a little tiny tip

here most people have a turkey baster sitting around their house so you can

just suck the water out with that little turkey baster I kind of get it in the

corner of the tray there put it back into your watering can or water another

plant if you have another tray that needs watered let's check on our little tray

of lettuce here and peas to see how that's looking so what are you noticing

here about the top of the soil nice and wet nice and wet nice and dark brown

right then you can suck out that water in the tray again we don't want our

plants getting root rot so you don't want them sitting in the water too long

and getting water logged perfect now the next step is how to fertilize your

indoor seedlings yours are actually at the perfect stage for fertilizing but

you want to fertilize your indoor seedlings when they get to the true leaf

stage now let me explain what that is when seedlings first come up they have

little baby leaves mine are at the baby leaf stage here right here these don't

look like a cucumber or a squash seedling at all yet they just have the

baby leaves here on your squash plant you're getting true leaves which

actually look like a squash leaf see that right there and the same thing on

your cucumbers you've got your little true leaves coming out those are the

adult leaves they definitely need some fertilizing and you want to fertilize it

once a week so your plants continue to grow healthy and strong and are ready to

plan out to the garden in about six weeks

easy does it is the key when it comes to fertilizing your seedlings you're going

to follow the directions on the back of the bottle but cut it down into quarter

strength so whatever it says on the back of the bottle a quarter strength I think

that says three pumps per gallon in the back there so put your glasses on we

are gonna do one pump per gallon so we don't want to do full strength you don't

want to burn your seedlings or anything like that we're doing it first off with

the Good Dirt Plant food this has a higher nitrogen level now your plants need

nitrogen because it's what gives them that

green leafy growth so if you want to just put one pump into your watering can

there probably until it comes up sorry there we go got one pump the other thing

we're gonna use to fertilize our indoor seedlings are the Vermisterra Worm Tea I've used Vermisterra in my garden for years my plants absolutely love it

and your plants are going to - and what this does is is help provide your plants

with some beneficial bacteria and microbes so that they're healthy and it

gives a nice slow and steady growth and it doesn't burn your plants so you

really can't overdo the worm tea but we're gonna add two capfuls to the

gallon there normally you add about three to six ounces per gallon so two

capfuls will be just right and we need to mix it up wonderful and then your

plants are super dry right now so we're just going to add a little bit to the

bottom of the tray and let them suck it up I'll be the hole yeah we'll go ahead

and water all of them the tomato plants over here are just starting to develop

teeny tiny true leaves but this is a nice gentle fertilizer and it's gonna be

just beneficial no it won't hurt them at all good and you want to

fertilize your seedlings about once a week at the time when you would normally

water them I'll just let that sit for a second and we'll be good to go on the

fertilizing now Joel one thing I wanted to mention about the worm tea is you

don't want to let it freeze now I know that's not an issue for us here in

California but it could be for a lot of people so you want to store it somewhere

between 40 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit anywhere out of that range

could harm the microbes that are actually dormant in the tea until you

add it to water what are the things that I get upstairs when I added water to the

bottom you don't really know if your pan is perfectly level or not it's just if

you're in doubt just twist it around a little bit let it sit and then

around again let it sit for a little while until all the water will be evenly

dispersed so you can see that by following the steps we've talked about

here today you can easily tell how and when to water indoor seedlings and how

and when to fertilize them too so they grow into nice strong healthy plants

that we're gonna be planting outside in the garden very soon well Joel you're

doing a great job keep it up this week that's your assignment for the week just

keep on doing more of the same I will continue on you're a great teacher

you've really helped me out tremendously well thank you I'm going to expand this

knowledge into each season that comes along believe studying this and I've

already got plans for like the summer and the fall

yeah it's gonna be great well what would you say to someone who is considering

getting started with their spring garden again what I would do is go back and

watch the videos again don't be afraid

it works it works great it actually changed my whole way of thinking oh well

head start with seeds and I've always liked the idea of starting with seeds

but I never really was very good at it and I always had a little to do it

centers and you know buy your plants and everything well now now I feel much more

confident that's great a lot better it's not too late for you to jump in on a

spring garden series grab yourself one of my spring garden seed collections and

my book over my website I've actually packaged them together so that you can

save five dollars if you purchase them together and then go back and watch the

first few videos in the series we've already covered how to set up easy

simple grow lights we've covered how to start seeds indoors watering and

fertilizing today and next week's video we're gonna be setting up some

containers and drip irrigation in containers out in Joel's yard it's gonna

be a ton of fun so comment below let us know if you're joining us here on the

spring garden series look forward to seeing you on the next video bye-bye