After getting the seeds to germinate, we sometimes have the question: "What now?", Or "How do you take care of a young tree?", Or "Is it difficult to maintain it?" With this article I will try to solve them.
I have been planting and caring for very young trees for several years, and if there is something I have learned, it is that the care is somewhat different from what you would give to an adult tree, but they are easy to care for.
Lets start by the beginning:
- The flower pot. It should be preferably made of clay, but if it is made of plastic it will also work. The advantage of the clay ones is that it allows you to save a little more water, since they prevent this water from evaporating as quickly as it happens with the plastic ones.
It doesn't have to be very big, but not very small either. For example: if the seedling is about eight inches high, the pot should measure about the same width, and about fifteen or at least ten deep.
- The substrate. Draining (black peat with fifty percent perlite, for example), and above all and very important that it is new, that it has not been used before.
- Location: It will depend on the care of the specific species. Let me explain: generally they will be put in full sun, but if we are talking about Japanese maples, for example, they must be in semi-shade.
- Irrigation: Perhaps the most difficult issue to control. How often does a young tree have to be watered? If we have it in a plastic pot, it will need to be watered quite often, perhaps five or six times a week in summer, depending on whether we live in a very dry climate or not. The best way not to overdo it with watering is to take the pot and see if it weighs little or not. If it weighs little, it will be convenient to water abundantly.
- Climate: It is very common to buy seeds of trees that we like, without paying much attention to the resistance to the climate that it has. It is a mistake that many of us make. But in the long run with this what we achieve is to lose money, and at the same time we gain experience. My advice is that before buying seeds of a tree that you like, inform yourself about its hardiness. And of course, sprouted seeds , they are more resistant than the seedlings of the same species brought from other parts (other nurseries, other countries ...).
- Fertilizer: I advise fertilizing as if it were any other plant, that is, from March to October, following the manufacturer's instructions. An organic fertilizer, such as guano, gives very positive results. But anyone can do.
- Pests and diseases: It is highly recommended to put a little sulfur on the surface of the substrate from the first day, even in the seedbeds it is convenient to use it since the fungi are always on the lookout, and they act very quickly. Sulfur is an excellent natural fungicide that will not harm seedlings.
It is also very common for them to have whiteflies, mealybugs, red spider ... You can use a generic insecticide to prevent, but I do not advise it. In the long run the young tree can weaken, and become less resistant.
Pests should be treated when they have already appeared. There are specific products on the market to combat them. Always recommendable follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Transplants: We will change it to a somewhat larger pot as soon as the roots come out through the drainage holes, taking care with the root ball, which should not break.
I would like to emphasize one very important thing: the germination rate is very high, practically in all species. But the death rate is too. Do not forget that a well-cared for plant will hardly fall ill. Watering and fertilizing are essential in all stages of the tree's life, but perhaps it is more important during its first years of life, since it will depend on it if it can reach adulthood strong, and above all healthy.
More information - Tips for preparing organic fertilizers