It's Wednesday which means its time to look at my word of the week. A weekly look at my understanding of a horticultural term. This week I am looking at pricking out.
Pricking out is essential for propagating plants from seeds. Once the seeds have germinated and the seedlings grow they need space. Chances are that when sown the seeds were all in 1 small pot and therefore fairly closely packed together.
To give the seedlings space they need we prick each seedling out into small pots of there own. It is important to do this fairly soon after the true seeds have started to show.
Pricking out tips.
Water the compost before pricking out so it is just moist. Also, prepare the compost and pots for where you will be planting your seedlings. I like to use my root trainers for this but small pots will do. I fill up my root trainers with a seedling compost, firm down and then dib a small hole in the top for each seedling.
When pricking out it is a good idea to hold the seedling by the leaf. Chances are if we hold by the stem the stem will snap and the stem cannot grow back. If a leaf snaps the plant will grow more leaves.
I like to use a small dibber to separate the seedling. I push the dibber right underneath the seedling and gently ease the seedling out with all its roots. I then place the root of the seedling into the previously dibbed hole. Lightly firm the soil around the seedling and that is now pricked out.
It's as easy as that. How do you prick out your seedlings or what do you use? Let me know in the comments.