A common question we’ve received is about how and when to use a humidity dome on your plants and trays. We’ve done quite a bit of experimentation with this and can help you answer that question based on that experience.
In general, we always recommend using humidity domes over any seeds you are trying to germinate, as well as very young seedlings. Higher levels of humidity will help your young seedlings, reduce your soil from drying out and will overall improve your success. For us, this means we have humidity domes on our seedlings any time our plants are in their seeding trays, prior to transplanting. Typically speaking we’re talking plants in the 1 to 2 inch range, but even this recommendation is somewhat vague since some plants are quite small.
When we transplant from our seeding trays into their pre-garden transplant pot, we also use the humidity domes briefly. We typically put our domes on our plants for about two to three days after the transplant. Past that, we remove the humidity domes and allow the plants to acclimate to normal room temperatures and humidity. This brief period of higher humidity encourages the plant to sink roots into the new soil, aids in recovery from transplant shock and reduces the number of variables the plant has to deal with at the same time. It’s really only helpful for a brief period of time. Too much time can encourage the soil to grow algae, something we’d prefer not to interfere with our plants.
Humidity domes are a super helpful tool to aid in seed germination, we’d almost consider them essential gear. There are many reasons behind the methods of our madness, using seeding trays, 1020 trays and the various germination techniques we talk about and promote. It’s very beneficial to separate the “germination phase” from the “growing phase,” much of it surrounding humidity levels. It might seem like “more work,” but our tips & techniques are baked in many, many years of raising seedlings indoors!
Our vast pepper crop is looking mighty photogenic now that we’ve removed the humidity domes!