【2022夏日系列 Summer Series -1】培苗的五元素 Five Elements for Growing Healthy Seedlings(閱讀時間:約4分鐘 / Reading Time: 4 Minutes)



All seeds are suitable for direct sowing – No one was there to transplant in nature.  So why are we growing seedlings and transplanting them?

育苗的益處 The Benefits of Grow and Transplant


The biggest benefit is to avoid diseases during the plants’ premature stage, such as damping off. It also allows flexible management of water, fertilizer and temperature, especially when using seedling trays or pots. As for farmers, it allows checking of germination rate before transplanting, identifying diseases at early stage, and early sowing early harvest, leading to efficient use of land.

Not all plants are suitable for transplanting. Generally, if you are harvesting the roots, don’t transplant; if your crop can be harvested in a month, you don’t need to transplant.

So what are the elements that lead to higher possibility of healthy seedlings?

育苗元素1 - 土 Element 1/ Earth

耕土經過長期種植,有可能會硬化,質地亦較重,可能混有雜草、前作植物的根,甚至是病害。因此,培苗建議選擇無病原菌、質地幼細的培養土。確保泥土濕潤後,就可以放入種子(要把種子埋多深?繼續看下去~),輕按泥土表面 , 使泥土不會跳起 ,也可使水份保存得更久,然後用噴水壺輕輕噴濕穩定種子。種子初期生長可以仰賴自己與生俱來的養分,所以通常一直到長出第一組真葉之後才需要施肥。這也是為什麼如果你收割的是Microgreen,生長至收割的過程都不用施肥!

Garden soil is often too heavy, mixed with weeds or roots from earlier crops, or even disease. Use light quality soil, seed-starting mix, or potting mix. Wet the soil and you are ready to plant seeds (Continue reading for the proper planting depth). Gently tamp your soil for soil compaction, then gently (always gently!) spray water to secure seeds.  Seeds are powered with nutrients for germination, but you will need to fertilize the soil after the emergence of their first set of true leaves. This is also why if you were harvesting Microgreen, you don’t have to fertilize throughout the process.

育苗元素2 - 金 Element 2/ Metal

育苗初期,選擇有4-5cm深的有孔容器,可以是苗盆、苗杯,甚至是UPCYCLE加工家中的膠瓶、雞蛋盒,或者選用可降解花盆都可以。當你看見植物的根部已經發展至露出容器底孔,又或是長出了第一組真葉,很大可能植物已經抓緊泥膽,就可以進行「假植」(Heeling-in),移到另一個較大的容器中。例如你可以把幼苗從雞蛋盒或苗盆,移植到這種7.5cm的軟膠盆中。重複以上的過程,待根系發展至容器底部,就可以移植到你的菜園裡。如果你的培苗過程是在室內進行,則建議把植物連同容器先放到定植的環境,讓幼苗適應生長環境,這是一個讓幼苗「健化」(Harden Off)的過程。待植株長出最少2塊真葉,通常就是定植的好時機。難怪培育幼苗的地方都叫做Nursery(育苗場 / 幼兒園)吧!

Follow the “From small to big” principle when choosing your container at different life-stage of the seedling. Start with a 4-5cm deep container with holes for drainage. It can be seedling trays, pots, or even your upcycled PET bottle or egg cartons. You may also choose bio-degradable pots. When you see the roots develop and crawl out of the drainage hole at your container, or the first set of true leaves is developed, it is highly possible that your seedling has formed a structure around the soil, then you can proceed to a heeling-in process - transferring seedling into bigger containers. For example, you can transfer your seedlings from an egg carton or seedling trays into these 7.5cm pots. Repeat the process, wait until the roots are developed again, then you can transplant to your vegetable garden. If your seedlings were grown indoors, it might be a good idea to place your seedlings in pots in the environment where you are going to plant, to allow them to harden off. When your plant starts to develop at least 2 true leaves - it is the right time to transplant. No wonder why the place where seedlings are grown is called a Nursery!

育苗元素3 - 木 Element 3 / Wood

一般來說,覆土的厚度是種子的一倍;不過也要注意物種的特性。例如瓜類種子是嫌光的,因此需要確保土層是完全覆蓋種子; 生菜種子是喜光的,因此你甚至可以不覆蓋土層,不過就要防止鳥類食用你的種子。光線相對於溫度和濕度,對於種子發芽的影響不大,不過幼苗期應注意光線充足。散射性陽光是最理想的,如果你沒有培苗設備,還是可以在田間培苗,畢竟有光線比沒有光線好 — 幼苗在沒有足夠光線時,就會徒長,影響定植後的生長。

Back to our question: What is the proper soil coverage on top of your seed?

In general, it is wise to cover seeds with soil doubling their thickness, but it is also worth looking into the light requirements of different species. For example, gourds generally hate light, while lettuces love light that you can even leave them uncovered (but remember to avoid the birds). Light has a lesser impact on germination compared to temperature and humidity, but seedlings are sensitive to light. Indirect sunlight is most desired, but you can still grow seedlings near your field. More light is better than no light, to avoid leggy seedlings that might be weak when transplanted outdoor.

育苗元素4 - 水 Element 4/ Water




This might be the most challenging part for most beginners. ‘Soil must not be too wet, and not dry’ (What does that mean?)

Water control requires observation. These three tips may help you. First, observe the soil colour, the darker it is, the wetter the soil. Second, observe the weight - as you guessed - the heavier the more water. Third, observe the seedling. If it is standing up straight, it is moist with the right amount of water. Some people cover their containers with plastic covers, or placing the container into plastic bags, to create a moist environment for their seeds before germination, rather like a greenhouse. You can try this method, but remember to remove the cover once the seed sprouts.

育苗元素5 - 火 


Right temperature and good ventilation are the keys. We will update an English version of germination temperature and days soon.

培苗工具 Seedling Tools





★推介給香港中級農夫的春夏種子:小冬瓜茉莉西瓜 黃胸鵐(黃肉)

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