We talk about how we really like using seedling trays to start our seeds. Sometimes this isn’t the right choice!
For example, here we are preparing several Moringa plants for the season. Since these are kind of “one off” plants for us, we sow them directly into 3.5 inch pots. We are starting them rather early in the season, too, so we want them to have a bit of soil to grow into for the next three months. It’s no big deal if one or more don’t germinate, we can just re-use the “failed” pot or soil to grow something else. We will start these under our indoor grow lights, but may move them to live with our houseplants later if we need the space.
In fact, this is exactly how we sow our “big seeds” like squash and cucumber, but not for a couple months from now! It’s not reasonable to use a seedling tray for big seeds like this! You end up having to transplant them almost immediately after germination, but before the seedling is mature enough to do so. All that moving around is disruptive to the seedling that’s just trying to get established! Instead, we just sow directly in the pot they will live in until we transplant directly into the garden.
In case you’re curious about our Moringa, they make great house plants! Moringa is a high protein superfood, making an excellent harvest for smoothies and other uses. We’ve grown them many times before, but this year we intend to do some in-ground grow testing in subarctic soils. Although they hail from India and a warmer climate, we know they tolerate a wide range of soil types and we want to see their response to in-ground, cool soil growing conditions. We may also opt to grow one in our high performance outdoor growing containers as well.
This isn’t the last you’ll hear about these. As you might have gathered, this is the very start of one of our experimental garden trials for 2023!