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Water and the right way of watering

The water should be as less lime-deficient as possible. Unfortunately, in most cities the tap water is rather hard and limy. The best choice is usually rainwater, despite the air-pollution in cities that affects the purity of the water. In many garden centres you can also find water softener that you simply add to the tap water. You can also boil off your tap water and use it for your plants. Ideally you use water with room temperature so you don’t shock your plant by watering with hot or icy water. After the whole propagation substrate has been soaked at first, it is best to use a water sprayer during propagation and spray daily to keep the earth moist. That way the water is dispensed finer and you avoid the seeds being washed out, and the common phrase to keep the soil moist but not wet, is so best met. It’s commonly known that plants need water, but the fact that the roots also need air and breath oxygen is often not being considered. It is, therefore, important that the earth doesn’t get solidified and that there is no water logging, so the roots can get air again after watering.

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Preparation

Befüllen Sie Ihr Anzuchtgefäß bis zum oberen Rand mit Anzuchtsubstrat. Die Oberfläche wird anschließend leicht angedrückt, sodass im Topf ein Gießrand von ca. 0,5 cm entsteht. Achten Sie darauf, dass sich so viel Erde im Töpfchen
befindet, dass sich diese beim Gießen nicht zu sehr verdichtet. Die richtige Menge Erde erkennen Sie daran, dass die Erdoberfläche beim Andrücken leicht „federt“, also einen leichten Widerstand bietet. Befindet sich zu wenig Erde in den Töpfchen, steht den zukünftigen Pflanzen zu wenig Wurzelraum zur Verfügung und sie trocknen schneller aus.

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Why we recommend coconut substrate for seed propagation

Commercial seeding compost is often made of peat, a resource that is being viewed critically from a nature conservation perspective. Peat comes from upland moors that are increasingly threatened as natural habitats. With moors vanishing also endangered species of plants and animals become extinct. A common 80 liter bag of peat pollutes the environment with 19 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2), that is more pollutant than a car produces on a 100 km drive; and to build a 2 meter thick layer of peat it takes about 2.000 years. This natural heritage is destroyed by an excavator in only 2 minutes. Coconut on the other hand is a renewable resource that can be harvested every three months – and climate-neutral. Coconut fibre substrate is, therefore, an environmental-friendly alternative to peat. The coconut blocks are made of scraps from coconut fibre that are used to produce coconut ropes and mats. This way, the use of a former waste material creates jobs and additional income to coconut farmers and small businesses. With regard to a more carefully use of natural resources and a sustainability-based environmental awareness, you should consider the use of environmentally friendly products for propagation right from the beginning. Coconut fibre substrate is an ideal renewable substitute for seeding compost since it also is low-nutrient, permeable and basically germ-free.

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The right choice of soil / substrate

The seeds of most plants contain naturally stored nutrients that are essential to young plants after germination to build their basic organs: roots, stem axis and leaves. After that, the plant is able with its greened leaf organs to carry out photosynthesis and to support itself (autotrophy). The nutrient storage is usually located in the cotyledons, or in some specific species in a special nutritive tissue (endosperm). Common potting soil is not a good choice for seeding. It contains too much fertilizing salt, in which the seeds can easily rot or germinated plants die because their fine roots being leached out by the salty soil. Therefore, you should always use cultivation soil or coconut substrate. Both are nutrient-poor, germ-free and water-permeable. The main purpose of the seeding compost is to allow the seedlings to anchor their roots at the beginning of growth and to provide a consistent water supply. Minerals (fertilizer) are not necessary at that stage because, as mentioned, the seeds carry their own nutrients. There is another advantage by using low-nutritious seeding soil: the plants develop more root-mass (main and side roots fed by the nutritive tissue of the seeds), and „looking harder“ for minerals, which results in a stronger growth after starting the photosynthetic activity. Plants that are propagated in well nutritious soil, like common potting soil, investing rather in developing stem and leaves than in building strong roots, which results more often in less steadfastness after planting out.