Seeding Recomendations
Prepared by Maher Jabado Apr 30-2008

Sunflower SeedlingsGrowing Bedding Plants From Seed HydroFarm Seedling Heat Mat

Annual vegetable and flower seedlings that are started early in the season, for later transplanting to the garden, are classified as "bedding plants." Lot of plants fall under that category; Examples can be Petunia and Begonia and Geranius and Salvia etc....

Commercial greenhouses do a big business in bedding plants every year because so many retail gardeners have difficulties in starting seeds themselves.

Germinating Temperatures

The seeds of most bedding plants germinate best when the temperature is kept between 23-28C (75 and 80 degrees F) from the time they are planted until the plants develop their first set of true leave. Try to keep the temperature relatively constant throughout the day and night..

After the plants have developed, they grow best in a cooler temperature-approximately 18-20C (65 to 70 degrees F). . Some exceptions are the heat-loving plants such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and the concubits-squash, cucumbers, and such, which prefer 20-28C (70 to 80 degrees F).

Whatever the temperature, keep the plants out of drafts caused by open doors or fans. The chill or hot air factors work on plants as well as people, and they are adversely affected by cool/hot breezes or sudden temperature fluctuations.

Germination light and water requirementsGeneral Hydroponics Rapid Rooter Plant Starter

Although seeds will sprout in the dark if the temperature is right, they develop well only if they get plenty of light. Imitate the long days of spring and give them as much light as possible for the first two weeks.

The proper amount of water is critical for seedling growth. Too much or too little at the wrong time, or the wrong temperature, can kill them or create conditions for disease, as my bad experience showed. It is a painstaking job to sprinkle a flat of seedlings with just the right amount of water, but the results are worth the effort.

Growing Medium
: In the Middle eastern market there are several products used by growers; Each product has advantages and disadvantages;
Several common brands of Peatmoss and Potting soil

When deciding on the best choice of growing medium it is important to know the environment limitations where seeds are germinating;
In general during high temp and high humidity it is better to avoid a potting soil product that is very high in black peat. The potting soil should also have a Ph (acidity) close to neutral; The medium must also NOT be high in fertilization which could negatively affect the new sensitive roots.
What is also important is that the product must be free of pathogens and better brought from reputable sources;

To my surprise the growers in the Middle East tend to use products that are opposit to the above recomendations;The main reason for such wrong usage is the need to save on costs;

In my opinion and experience, A typical 'good' seeding medium that is optimum in cost and quality and that can be used in seed germination and later transplanting stage is
Characteristics of the SAB Substrate 1
  • High water capacity
  • High air capacity
  • Good structure stability
  • Freedom of harmful substances
  • Optimum pH-value
  • Optimum nutrient level
  • Uniform quality

Advantages Of The Peat-based SAB Substrate 1

The SAB Substrate 1 is a product that is especially suitable for the cultivation of young plants (seeds, rooting, transplanting) and is optimum for plant finishing (for example Hydrangea and Azalea and Poinsettia).

Due to its fertilization of approx. 1,0 g/l, means 1,0 kg of fertilizer in 1 m of substrate, a good supply with all necessary elements is ensured.The used fertilizer has the formula 14-16-18 in the NPK-ratio, all necessary micro-nutrients are included.

Additionally, a micro-nutrient fertilizer is added, as well as a re-moistening device which enables the product to be wettened easier during the cultivation.

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