Why You Need Foil for Sprouts: A Tip You Didn’t Know About

Few people know that in order to grow good seedlings, you need to know some nuances.

Who of us at least once in our lives has not tried to grow something on the windowsill? Some planted onions, others – dill or aromatic herbs, and others – tried to grow flowers or seedlings of vegetable crops, which were then planned to be moved to the cottage. But, you must agree, not everyone in this endeavor at least something worked.

Growing seedlings with foil – a tip hack

Growing seedlings is quite a time-consuming process that requires knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, and much more.

As practice shows, simply dropping the seeds in the ground is not enough to get a harvest. Neither abundant watering, the composition of the soil, nor the duration of the daylight hours separately will help the seedlings to take off. All of these factors will work only if they are taken into account comprehensively. But if ensuring fertile soil, plenty of water and adequate lighting is easy enough, what about the temperature?

What to do if it is still cold outside, and it’s already time to plant seedlings? Of course, in this case, the seedlings are planted not in the open ground, but on the windowsill for faster sprouting. However, any botanist will tell you that at low temperatures the seeds germinate very poorly, as they lack heat and sunlight.

In this case, gardeners recommend using plain aluminum foil.

The fact is that foil perfectly reflects heat and sunlight, so it has been found to be ideal for acting as an artificial incubator for seedlings.

How to use foil when growing plants

It is enough to enclose the place with seedlings with a peculiar border of foil so that the culture began to grow faster. You will get the following result:

  • the foil will reflect light, but it will not scatter, but begin to concentrate on the plants.
  • aluminum foil reduces heat dissipation and solar heat, which will be received by seedlings standing on the windowsill, will be retained longer.

In other words, by making a foil fence around the box with seedlings, you will invent a kind of home “thermos” and create an artificial greenhouse effect for your seeds or seedlings. The plants will get more heat and light and, accordingly, the seedlings will germinate faster and be more viable.

Keep in mind that the higher the sides of the foil, the better. Ideally, the reflective surface should be up to 30 centimeters high. However, do not cover the “roof” of your incubator with foil under any circumstances.

The seedlings should have access to daylight and heat, and since you are trying to create a favorable environment for the plants and not an oven, the foil should be fixed only on the sides of the box with the seeds. This will be quite sufficient.

Foil for seedlings – what is the advantage

The main advantage of this method is that the plants receive three times more sunlight and heat than if the box with seedlings was not wrapped in foil.

In addition, due to the high reflectivity of the foil such plants will not have problems with the lack of sunlight even in cloudy weather. Consequently, the percentage of germination of such seedlings is much higher compared with seedlings that are grown in a more traditional way.

Also, note that the foil perfectly reflects the heat. By wrapping a box with seeds or seedlings in foil you will raise the temperature of the ground and the air above the ground by at least 3 degrees. Accordingly, the seedlings will be denser and more viable.

Sprouts at home – how to do it right

If you do not know what is the best way to grow seedlings – start with the simplest. First, decide on the place where the seeds or plants will stand. This can be a window sill or a glazed balcony. The main thing is that there must be a lot of sunlight and no draughts.

Based on how much space you can allocate in your home for seedlings, you can decide exactly how you will plant plants.

You can grow seedlings in one large box or individually in plastic or peat cups.

Each option has its pros and cons. The main advantage of planting seedlings in a large wooden or plastic box is that this way you plant a lot more seeds, and on the window or balcony one box will take much less space than two dozen cups. However, a serious disadvantage of this method is that such seedlings will need to thin out, otherwise, the plants will begin to “choke” each other, and eventually, your seedlings will not be viable.

Growing seedlings in plastic or peat cups do not require thinning, which is a definite plus. But you agree that to take to the country house a box with seedlings is much easier than 20-30 rather fragile cups with plants. In addition, such containers take up a lot of space in the apartment. So be sure to consider the delivery option if you plan to plant plants in the open ground.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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