Lemon Queen Sunflower Planting Instructions
Expand the planting discs by pouring warm water over them and letting them soak in the 6-section divider tray. Use enough water to fill the tray if necessary. Make sure the divider tray is seated in the drip tray and the holes in the planting discs are facing up. After the discs have expanded to about 1-1/2” to 2” high (wait up to 30 minutes if necessary), drain excess water.
Place 2 to 3 seeds in the center hole of each planting disc, and cover over the holes by gently squeezing the tops of the discs to cover over the hole. Tear back the fabric mesh around the hole so that the top of the pellet is completely exposed. This will prevent the emerging seedling from being trapped under the mesh.
Place the clear cover over the tray and put the greenhouse in a sunny location that receives direct sunlight for 6 to 8 hours a day. Make sure that the ventilator on top of the cover is open to allow air flow.
The discs need to remain moist, but not soaking wet. Use a spray bottle to gently water the discs when needed.
Sunflower seeds often germinate within a week, but can take up to 10 days or more. Ideal temperatures are within 65F to 75F.
When the seedlings emerge, remove the greenhouse cover and continue to water to prevent discs from drying out. Use an organic fertilizer at this stage to help the seedlings develop as the disc does not contain the nutrients needed by the plant. Turn the greenhouse daily to ensure even lighting conditions.
When the second set of leaves begin to appear, or any roots are growing through the sides or bottom of the disc, trim back all but the single strongest seedling in each disc carefully using scissors, and prepare to plant the seedlings outside.
When the danger of spring frost has passed, plant the discs directly into the garden soil or a planter outside in a sunny location. To help reduce shock, it can help to introduce the seedlings to the outside conditions for a few hours at a time over the course of a few days.
Why won’t my planting discs expand all the way?
It is common for some of the compressed planting discs not to expand during soaking, this is not a problem. The discs can be gently massaged, or squeezed while soaking to encourage expansion of the planting medium. Not all of the discs will expand to be exactly the same size but you will want them to expand to a height about about 1.5" to 2" in height before planting seeds.
When will my seeds sprout?
Lemon Queen Sunflower seeds usually germinate (sprout) within 7 to 10 days under favorable conditions. When the seedlings have sprouted, it is highly recommended that you use an organic fertilizer to help the development of the seedling.
What if the planting discs get moldy?
Mold may sometimes develop if the micro-greenhouse is overwatered, there is poor air circulation, or not enough direct sunlight. A little bit of mold, if handled quickly is not a big deal, but it can become deadly to newly emerging plants. If you notice mold, try sprinkling a little ground cinnamon on it, placing the greenhouse in a sunnier location, and increasing the air circulation in the room by running a small fan. Be sure that the vent is completely open on the top of the cover. Also, drain any pooling water in the drip tray and make sure you are not overwatering. Remember, the planting discs need to stay moist for germination to occur, but not dripping wet.
Do I just plant the seedlings outside?
Transplanting the seedlings can be a big shock for the young plants, especially if there are big changes in the amount of direct sunlight, exposure to wind, and difference in temperature. To reduce the shock, it is important to gradually expose the seedlings to the outside conditions that they will be facings. A simple way to do this is to place them outside for increasing lengths of time over a period of a few days to a week or so. Starting with an hour or so initially, and increasing to several hours, and also increasing the exposure to the full amount of sunlight they will be facing on a daily basis will help reduce the shock of being moved to their new home. It is best to transplant the seedlings early in the day, and on an overcast day if possible. When the seedlings are transplanted into the ground, completely bury the planting disc in the prepared soil. Using an organic fertilizer after planting will help increase the chances of success for the new addition to your garden.