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Pricking out seedlings.

BMLBML Posts: 151

I left planting some flower seeds later than possibly I should but as it was very cold there seemed no point so I planted some Marigold and Antirrhinum a week or so ago and now they’re showing nearly an inch tall. When should I be able to prick them out.

I have another question and would like to know can one have Pansy’s showing all year round?


  • Mike AllenMike Allen Posts: 207
    Hello BML.

    Please do not become offende in anyway to my reply.  I mean well.

    1.  We SOW seeds.  We plant, pot, and pot-on plants.

    2. such rapid growt/ germination is requiring some caution.

    3. Pricking out. This is a stage that is controversial.  Usually seedlings are left alone until the second pair of leaves appear.  At this point.  The tiny plant has gained strength, the roots have developed and it's all systems go.

    Be wary when young plants tend to race away.  Fast, rapid growth is not good.  To have some control over this.  It takes time to identify various facets.  Over watering can have bad results, so also can underwatering.  Just an example. Semi mature plants, can be controlled to a degree, by watering.  For instance.  In some cases.  Suddenly depriving a plant of water.  The plant.....thinks.  I have to grow, flower and set seed.  So height etc comes forth.

    Yes. Pansys can be cultivated to produce 24/7
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,294
    I don't prick out seedlings  I usually sow in quarter trays. Starting off in the kitchen window sill,then conservatory, inspite of 3 green houses,I run out of room,I don't prick out or pot on most seedlings,in fact the cosmos have buds,but they're hardening off outside now. Technically most pansies are perennials,if you have somewhere to keep them,cut them back,they will reflower the following year. I grew some from seed once which flowered in a hanging basket for 9 months
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast East YorkshirePosts: 1,410
    @BML I do happily prick out seedlings as it's how I was taught. Generally I wait till they have a true leaf then prick out. It does depend on how densely sown they are though as if they are thinly sown you can leave them longer. Best luck 
  • BMLBML Posts: 151
    Many thanks for a collection of such helpful advice. I doubt that anyone has ever done it but I wonder if anyone has ever calculated what it cost to keep a standard Greenhouse say 12 feet by eight feet warm enough to protect seedlings from say March to the end of May.
    I'm also wonder as to the economics of installing a Solar Panel or two in order to provide electric current to a Green House.   
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    I have a 2kW fan heater in a 12x8.  It's controlled by a thermostatic plug with probe, which is set to come on at 8C and go off at 9C;  From observation (it has a wireless remote), it comes on for about a minute every 10 minutes or so when outside temp is below 8C (only gets that low at night being a GH, so say for 6 hours) at night.  From that I can roughly estimate cost at about 40p per day.
    I also have a 60W solar panel with charge controller and 22Ah battery which provides 1 12V DC supply and powers the lights and a small pump circulating water from a butt inside the GH through a small radiator with fans and back into the top of the butt.  This stabilizes the air temperature - the water in the butt absorbs the heat when the sun is out and releases it when the air temperature falls below that of the water.  I've noticed the fan heater is coming on much less since I got that working.  It's still a work in progress:

    The 'Jump Starter' is now back in the garage and has been replaced with a Lithium battery.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast East YorkshirePosts: 1,410
    Man alive @BobTheGardener that's a genius set up. I won't be setting up a similar rig, it would lead to utter despair 🤣🤣
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    Luckily, I originally trained as an electronics technician, so design and wiring etc. wasn't a problem.  It does seem to work better than I expected (it started as a 'lockdown project') so considering building another for my 2nd greenhouse.  The only downside is that the water butt does take up some valuable GH space..
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BMLBML Posts: 151
    Could you let me know where I can find support for the project of being able to create a solar panel system capable of providing enough power to maintain a sufficiently effective temperature to protect seedlings from around the months of March to June for which I'm prepared to pay.    
  • BMLBML Posts: 151
    My apologies but I failed to scroll up to check what you posted and I think its fantastic and I will be speaking to the electrician who looks after us on Monday, many thanks all I ned now is to find out what battery I should use. Thanks again. 
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