Pet your seedlings

aka Why movement is good for seedlings.

Have you pet your seedlings todays?

Before you unsubscribe, hear me out. At this time of year, you probably have some seeds started indoors and some of the seedlings are starting to look like tiny little plants. While our instinct with anything small and tiny is to protect and coddle, it’s important for our seedlings to get a little tough love from us. 

When seeds germinate outside, they have to deal with the wind blowing on them. As the wind blows, the seedings get a little workout. Over time, their stems strengthen so that they can withstand the wind without blowing over. 

When we start seeds indoors, the seedlings have much weaker stems because they have not been subjected to the natural movement of the wind. If we don’t strengthen these seedlings before transplanting they will likely fall over at the first wind or rain storm and may not have the strength to recuperate. 

One solution is to set up a small oscillating fan near your seedlings. You don’t want the air to be too vigorous so set it up a couple of feet away from your seedlings and keep it on low. We want to stimulate a light breeze not a hurricane. 

For an even lower tech solution, you can simply run your hand across the top of the seedlings each day when you check their water needs. Lightly pet the tops of the seedlings a couple of times to create a little movement in the stems. I prefer this solution because it gives me a chance to inspect the plants at the same time and connects me to them. I am much quicker to notice when a leaf begins to yellow or there is a sign of wilt when I am being this intimate with the seedlings. 

So give your seedlings a little pet. It will make them stronger for the world outside and will give you a chance to do a little bonding with them. 

Everyone already thinks you’re a crazy plant person. Own it. 


2 thoughts on “Have you pet your seedlings today?

  1. I LOVE this little article on petting plants. How can I share it through Facebook. I especially love your closing line! “Everyone already thinks you’re a crazy plant person. Own it.” 🙂

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