Twice, thrice or even more frequent daily observation of seedlings in the greenhouse was not going to make them grow any quicker, but I was beginning to notice that those I had pricked out later seemed to be thriving rather more than the others. I did have an inkling that I had re-used some compost when I was pricking out the earlier ones and in retrospect realised that the poor dears might now be starving and that it was a mistake not to have used fresh compost. Even though there wasn’t a huge difference in size, I decided today to pot the earlier ones on into the 9 cell trays I had bought in later, removing them from the useful big trays of 5 x 8 6mm pots.
I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of root in many of the pots, but dumbfounded by how WET the compost was, as all the trays are on gravel or matting. As the pots were removed from the trays it soon became clear why, as the right hand photo below shows – the machine cut bases were not accurate enough to ensure that the drainage holes in the pots were not blocked, so I was lucky not to have lost many seedlings from this. There are a few zinnias that have failed, but other than that the earlier seedlings have generally just been slow and a little pale round the gills, but hopefully they will bounce back in their new homes. Meanwhile they have been in and out of the greenhouse to harden them off, and although I have noted we may have a frost on Friday night I look forward to planting them out in another few weeks.