pricking out seedlings

AG’s gardening editor, Kris Collins, potting on his winter bedding seedlings

You’ve sown your free Amateur Gardening seeds, they’ve sprouted and seedlings are showing their first true leaves. Now’s the time to prick out and pot on. Kris Collins tells you what you need and how to do it in three easy steps.

Tools and equipment

• Multipurpose/young plant compost

• Dibber (don’t rush and buy one, a pen, pencil, chopstick or knitting needle will do the job)

• Watering can with fine rose

• Cell trays or 3in (7.5cm) pots

• A chair or stool – the job can take a while, so get comfy!

Step by step: Pricking out and potting on

1) Fill pots/seed trays with young plant compost, tap down, water in and make planting holes with a dibber. Also water seedlings before pricking them out of the tray

pre-dibbing planting holes to make the pricking out process  quicker

prepare planting trays before working with your seedlings

2) Lift one seedling at a time by gently teasing the soil underneath with a dibber. Hold the seedlings by the leaves only. When moving, hold the weight of the roots with the dibber

pricking out seedlings using a dibber

lift seedlings by their leaves and hold the weight with a dibber

3) Firm in the soil around the seedling so that the leaves are just above the surface – some stem will be buried. Water in and place in a warm spot. Cover to protect from direct sun

firm in seedlings when pricking out potting on

Firm soil around the seedling and water in

What have you sown from seed this year and what performed best for you, tell us about it here??