Fertilizing Seedlings

Fertilize the plants as soon as the leaves expand, using a complete fertilizer such as 20-10-20 at the recommended rate and frequency listed on the product label. If the frequency is listed as once a month, you should probably fertilize more frequently at reduced rates, e.g., once a week at one-fourth the monthly rate. Watch for pests, such as diseases, insects and mice (when overwintering in coldframes). You may want to use a fungicide to help control damping-off in addition to using a sterile growing medium.

Transplant seedlings to larger containers (4 to 5 inches) as soon as root systems have developed throughout the growing medium. Overwinter seedlings of most species in a protected location, such as a coldframe, until final transplanting the fol lowing spring. Be sure to watch for mice and rabbits.

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