The Q&A Archives: Watering During Germination

Question: I plan on using plug trays with domes to start my seedlings this year. Should I water from the top with a mist to keep them moist, or from the bottom. I have heard of something called a capillary mat that is on the market to aid in water from the bottom. What is your opinion of the mat?

Answer: When I start from seed, I like to water from the bottom and mist the seedlings occasionally with a very fine mist. I don't water from the top at all. I have a hard enough time battling damping off, I don't need to flirt with disaster! When water hangs around for a while on the leaves of your young seedlings, you are, in my opinion, inviting trouble. I like capillary mats, they tend to help us avoid the tendency to over water. Over watering is probably one of the biggest reasons for seedling failure because it leads to so many other problems. It sounds like you are off to a great start...I wish you a no-fungus seed starting season!

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