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Old February 15, 2016   #61
bower's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 6,483

I'm sure everyone's methods are a little different, but personally I take the seedlings from the heat mat as soon as the cotyledons are free of the seed, and I put them in cell pack with a tiny pinch of bone meal to ensure that the necessary nutrients are available.
I don't have temperature control really other than moving seedlings to a warmer area, so they probably (or surely) get more cold exposure than the average deliberately 'cold treated' plants. One thing about the cold is that moisture requirements are much less. So I water the seedlings infrequently and only when they are visibly dry. This is potentially a problem with the liquid fertilizer regime,because I don't want to flood my seedlings or leave them in wet soil when they're too cold to take it up. I used promix last year and really didn't like it, it got very soggy and stayed wet too long after watering for my liking. I will be switching back to a mix of peat and compost, where I don't need any ferts other than the pinch of bone meal.
The other advantage of dry ferts for me is that all the seedlings get the same amount, where my watering tends to be uneven - I'd be lying if I said I could water them evenly, and I'm not set up to do bottom watering especially with the concern about overwatering in cold conditions. All my seedlings have excellent roots, so the bone meal method works for me.
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