Pricking out vs sowing individually in pots

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Pricking out vs sowing individually in pots

Postby Primrose » Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:20 pm

Can anybody explain the benefits to me of sowing multiple seeds in trays vs sowing them individually in pots?
I normally grow about 20 tomato plants and half a dozen pepper plants and sow them initially individually straight into in 3 inch pots in whixh they remain u til being planted out.

Being somebobody who has been time challenged in the past this has proved to be a time saving exercise which eliminates the pricking out process but I wonder whether the plants and roots benefit or not from this transitional process?.

Does anybody else so straight into pots? Does it make any difference in preventing plants like tomatoes from becoming more leggy?
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Re: Pricking out vs sowing individually in pots

Postby Geoff » Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:31 pm

As I understand it there are two technical reasons for not direct sowing in pots as large as 3". Firstly, normally seeds are sown in a compost that is low in nutrients (I think it is because a rich compost can inhibit germination) so leaving the young plant in this type of compost for a long time would stifle its development. Secondly, it is normally accepted that plants grow best in fresh compost so again being in the same compost for a long time might hold the plant back.
This doesn't mean the alternative is seed tray sowing followed by early pricking out. The method I use for tomatoes, peppers and aubergines is to ¾ fill thimble pots with potting compost (usually my home made mixture) and top them up with commercial seed compost. As with all my sowing I water well then leave the pots to warm up in the propagator for 24 hours before sowing 1,2 or 3 seeds per pot (depending on cost and stock) then grow on one plant per pot to a couple of proper leaves then pot on.
Tougher vegetables like brassicas I germinate in potting compost in 12 per half tray type modular trays and again grow them on a bit before potting up.
Things I tend to want more of like bedding, cutting and drying flowers I do use seed trays and prick out early, usually into modules.
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Re: Pricking out vs sowing individually in pots

Postby Monika » Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:03 pm

One advantage for an intermediate stage for tomatoes is the fact that, when sown early, they are quite often rather stretched for lack of light, so pricking them out from a 'communal' pot into individual pots allows you to plant them very much deeper. Like Geoff, I sow brassicas individually, usually into short root trainers.
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Re: Pricking out vs sowing individually in pots

Postby Westi » Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:59 pm

I suppose Primrose it can only be measured by your success & I do the same as you & (try) to sow one seed per pot which are little dinky things & then pot on as the roots fill the pot & the next & so on until the weather plays ball for final planting. Toms get planted on to below the first leaves, others as root ball dictates so by the end there is a variety of pot sizes based on the plant. Always pots though not trays as you get a right mess then with entwined roots.

It suits me this way & harvest is usually OK (if weather & wild life plays the game)! But if not by then I can just sow direct in situ & harvest a bit later but funnily not by much. An experiment next year maybe to see Primrose??
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Re: Pricking out vs sowing individually in pots

Postby oliviamia1351 » Mon May 31, 2021 9:00 am

Pricking out refers to transplanting young seedlings from their original flat into their new home – an individual pot of their own. ... If you sow more seeds than you need, you can choose the strongest to be transplanted and discard the ones that haven't kept pace. Second, transplanting can make certain seedlings stronger.
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