Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Trying to save my seed grown coriander

As you will know if you read this blog regularly I have been concerned for my seed grown coriander for a while; it has been drooping more and more and has not looked very happy at all.

My suspicions have been focused on the quality of the growing material they came with; it looks very grainy and does not seem to be providing the seedlings with much support from the base of the plant.

Today I got an unexpected 20 mins before a meeting and decided to get onto sorting them into new pots (which would be needed at some point anyway) and hoping this will enable them to start growing proud again.

Seed grown coriander in its original growing material looking droopy
The seed grown coriander in it's shop provided growing material looking very droopy (apart from one seedling which is managing to stand proud)

I very carefully poured the growing material out of the pot and it all fell out without any trouble at all; this reinforces my thoughts that this is not the going to be helping the plant grow as it probably doesn't retain water very well and was not providing any support to the seedlings

Seed grown coriander out of the material showing the roots
The seedlings once I have emptied away the loose material. You can see that the roots have grown quite well, and they have attached to the water-collecting pad to get as much moisture as they can, as the material was not holding water well.

Getting ready for doing the actual repotting of the coriander
My five pots full of potting compost, with a small watering can and the seedlings on the plate.

My next task was to separate the roots from the pad, and then untangle into five different clumps. I have not got a picture of this as I didn't have three hands free, but I will describe this process here. Basically I used a small watering can to gently rinse over the roots and detach the pad. Once this was done it was easy to use the same technique to separate the roots; I actually found that leaves becoming tangled together was more of a problem.

Once I had separated five clumps of seedlings I started the process of putting them into the new compost. First I dug a hole in the centre of the compost, right to the bottom of the pot, and then carefully placed the roots of each clump into this hole, then pressed the surrounding soil to provide support.

Coriander seedlings in potting compost after re-potting
One set of seedlings safely re-potted into potting compost and with the soil carefully pressed in around the roots.

When you are moving seedlings it is important to water well as this will help the plant to survive the shock of moving.

Watering in the seedlings in their new potting compost
Watering in the seedlings in their new home. You don't want to over water, but by providing moisture you help the survival of the plant (or at least that is the plan).

Five pots of coriander seedlings post re-potting
All five new pots of seedlings, watered in and hopefully ready to thrive.

I have put this tray of seedlings on a window sill and fingers crossed the next week or so will see them starting to perk up and look more healthy.

So, there you have it, my 100th post! Not quite on the exciting subject I wanted (planting my carrots and parsnips) but still, it is all interesting really I think :)

My shop-bought herbs are still looking a little sad though obviously they've only been in their new homes for a day or two.

Keep growing.

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