How to make a seedbed

homemade seedbeds

When we start with a small home garden that we usually place on our terrace, we have several options. The first option is to buy the seedbeds to sow the plants. The second and more ecological option is to learn how to make a seedbed homemade, thus reducing the amount of waste we generate and giving it a second useful life for the seedbeds.

In this article we are going to tell you how to make a homemade seedbed, what materials you have to have and the different types of seedbeds you can make.

what is a hotbed

planting sites

A plant seedbed is a space specially designed for the cultivation and germination of seeds before their transplantation to their final location in an orchard, garden or field. The main function of a seedbed is provide optimal conditions so that the seeds can develop properly and become strong and healthy seedlings. This, in turn, significantly increases the chances of successful growth and survival of the plants once they are transplanted to the desired location.

Among the hallmarks of a plant nursery is careful control of the environment. These spaces are usually located in protected areas, such as greenhouses or under structures with mesh, which allows the seedlings to be protected from extreme weather conditions, such as frost or heavy rain. In this way, the seeds are prevented from being negatively affected by sudden changes in temperature and humidity.

The substrate used in a seedbed is also of vital importance.. A specific substrate for seedbeds is used, designed to provide the necessary nutrients and ensure good drainage. This is essential to prevent the seeds from rotting due to excess moisture and to favor the development of the roots of the seedlings.

Irrigation is carried out carefully, since excess water can be detrimental to germinating seeds. Methods that avoid direct contact with water are used, such as self-watering trays or drip irrigation systems. In this way, it is ensured that the seeds receive the adequate amount of water for their development, without running the risk of drowning them.

Likewise, adequate lighting is essential for the healthy development of seedlings in the nursery. If they do not receive the necessary amount of direct sunlight, artificial lights, such as fluorescent lamps or full-spectrum LEDs, are used to supply this need. Light is essential for seedlings to carry out photosynthesis and to grow properly.

One of the most important points to take into account for the correct care of the seeds is aeration. Adequate airflow is essential to avoid moisture and disease problems., while favoring the strengthening of seedlings by stimulating a more robust and resistant growth.

How to make a seedbed

how to make a seedbed

Buying a seedbed is very simple, in most garden stores you can buy seedlings made of various materials such as peat. Simply plant them outdoors or in a new container when transplanting. However, we recommend using a seedbed of various recycled materials. Thus, in addition to saving money, we can reuse materials and reduce our ecological footprint.

One of the most easily available materials to learn how to make a seedbed and at the same time the most practical is polystyrene. Polystyrene trays are common in all kinds of shops and are an excellent option for making seedbeds due to their light weight and ease of transport, it is also very easy to make drainage holes in the base.

Another classic upcycled hotbed is one made from yogurt cups. They are the perfect size to sow the seeds individually so we can control each one individually. Also, it is easy to make drainage holes.

Plastic bottles, Tetra Pak containers, and even eggshells are also very effective options. For bottles, the ideal is to cut the bottom, or open it in half lengthwise, while for four bricks it is best to open it completely on one or the sides.

Once you have chosen one of these ideas, these are the steps you must follow to make a recycled seedbed:

  • Rinse the container well.
  • Drill drainage holes in the bottom of each cup or container. It's better to make several than one, but don't make holes all over the base.
  • Fill it with a suitable germination substrate for the plants you want to grow. You can also use slightly damp cotton or absorbent paper and plant the sprouts in the ground later.
  • Sow the seeds, water them a little and place the seedbed in direct sunlight or shade (this depends on the type of plant and the local climate).

How to make a hot bed seedbed

how to make a homemade seedbed

If you want to further speed up the seed germination process, a warm bed seedbed will work best. You can buy one of these seed boxes at any specialty store, but making your own is very easy. You just need to buy a wire heater like the ones used in terrariums. Once you have your materials ready, follow these steps to learn how to make a hotbed seedbed:

  • Choose the container size you need. Any plastic tray a few inches deep will provide plenty of space.
  • Make a hole in one of the walls of the tray for the cable to pass through and distribute it along the bottom of the tray so that it covers a good part of its surface. Use heat resistant tape to secure the cables to the tray.
  • For proper heat distribution, spread cat litter or river sand at least 2 cm above the cables.
  • Later, you can place smaller seedlings made of plastic or Styrofoam in this tray and you will see a huge improvement in germination time.

How to plant in a seedbed

The sowing process in the seedbed is the same as in any other situation, except that we can advance the time a few weeks, transplant the already germinated seedlings outdoors, and cultivate them for a few weeks under normal conditions when we sow outdoors.

It is important to prepare the substrate for seed germination. We recommend using a mixture of one part peat, another part coir and another part worm humus, to which we will later add a little perlite and vermiculite. These ratios result in a growing medium that is extremely nutrient dense while being very light, loose, airy and well drained.

It is also important to place the seedlings in a well-lit area to prevent crowding. In addition, you have to find a temperature so that it is as stable as possible.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about how to make a seedbed and what its characteristics are.


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