Gardening *TIP OF THE WEEK* - Germination of seed

Germinating seed is sometimes daunting for garden beginners. Good basic guidelines to successful germination of seed depends on the following basic elements:

- Provide constant moisture for seed, whether using overhead sprinkler watering systems or irrigation mats, ensure constant available moisture to seed,
- Adequate drainage of pots / seedling trays,
- Warmth, preferably provide bottom heat using landscaping heat mats,
- Higher humidity in most cases helps germination,
- Adequate ventilation during hot periods.

Beware of:
- Damping off. This is where seeds that have germinated and have started to shoot leaves and are attacked by fungal disease. Usually due to excess humidity, lack of drainage and poor airflow
- Sunburn on fresh new growth, provide some shade for seedlings, try using 30-50% shade cloth,
- Damage from excessive wind and late frost can be fatal to seedlings. Provide protection from winds and late frost using cold frames, wind cloth/ frost cloth.

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