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seedling pics

Post  landarch on 3/24/2016, 5:34 pm

fter yesterday's wild weather swing (70 degress, hail, snow), thought I'd update with some seedling pics.

spinach seedlings...done the Kate method (snip with clippers, soak in fridge, germinate in paper towel, plant).

previous spinach seeding in soil blocks...poor germination rate after 3 days in fridge but no snipping or soaking.  germination has picked up when tray is left out overnight in cold temps.  Kate's method much better.  I seeded empty blocks with lettuce so I may have a mix over the next week or so.

beet seedlings in soil blocks...need to thin and plant.  there are youtube videos showing people "shattering" beet blocks and using all the seedlings...I may just thin and plant the blocks.

carrot seedlings survived the hail and snow over the last 24 hours...I started these in tiny soil blocks (20 block maker from Johnny's Seeds) and transplanted a few weeks ago.  True leaves coming on.  This should save a lot of thinning time.  I direct seeded last week and those are just popping through as of this morning.

more cole crops (italian kale, kilo slow bolt chinese cabbage, napa cabbage, and romanesco broccoli).  I love the color of chinese cabbage varieties.

healthy, hairy tomato stems...finally getting the rest of the peat pellet tomato seedlings to germinate...makes it tricky when in the same tray under the same light height.

flat of igloo lettuce...future lettuce wraps. I am also doing buttercrunch...would love to start some Boston Bibb if I have time/ space.  Took a pass on all romaine and leaf types this year.

Tomato and pepper forest...I set out in sunshine on warmer days...bring in over cool nights.

king arthur peppers potted up in the last few days...I use a combo of mels mix and Happy Frog potting soil with mycorrhizae.
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Re: seedling pics

Post  sanderson on 3/24/2016, 5:45 pm


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Re: seedling pics

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/24/2016, 6:55 pm

rock on nice!
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Re: seedling pics

Post  ralitaco on 3/24/2016, 8:18 pm

WOW!!! That is great. I haven't tried to start my own transplants from seed, but...

Do you have enough squares to plant all of those or do you not plant them all at once?
Also where do you do that? my wife would kill me if I started putting out trays of seeds all over the house.
With the starter trays, grow lights, etc, is it really cost effective to start from seeds?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: seedling pics

Post  landarch on 3/24/2016, 10:02 pm

I have space in an unfinished basement for the grow-light set-up, and I keep trays in stackable plastic crates that tulip bulbs are delivered in...I try to carry outside for natural light when I can...if temps cooperate seedlings stay out all night...if cold I have to bring back inside which the wife does not appreciate as they tend to find a home upstairs.

Market rate for seedlings is around $2-$3 for tomatoes and peppers...maybe a 4-pack of cabbage for $2.99...so if working with a low number of plants it may be more feasible to buy.  However, for a few years I tried to grow peppers with purchased seedlings and picked horrible peppers...average size with paper thin walls.  I asked a farmer from a local market about secrets to growing good peppers.  He said avoid seedlings for sale at local retail and garden centers as the genetics are crap.  Find good seeds of good varieties from good sources and start your own.  Since then I've grown gorgeous peppers (Yolo Wonder, King Arthur, Aristotle).

A couple years ago I ran into three 4' Sunleaves T5 grow light fixtures with both sun and bloom lamps for free.  This got me started, however these crank out a lot of heat (have to keep grow mixes watered constantly) and they are heavy.  I have equal luck with $11 4' shop lights from Walmart...very light with little heat.

I have about 180 squares as well as a 25x25 spot in a local community garden where I sell seedlings to help pay the annual fee for my plot.

In addition, starting your own seeds is a great way to extend the season...seed catalogs come right after Christmas, first seeds are started in Jan/ Feb, then again in July for fall plantings.

If one spends money wisely it can be cost effective...just like anything else you don't really want to spend $100 in materials to grow $50 worth of vegetables.
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Re: seedling pics

Post  ralitaco on 3/24/2016, 11:15 pm

landarch,
thanks for your detailed answer.
I think I am still in the small stage with only 48 squares total and with no basement nor garage, I don't think I have room to do a bunch. However, in the future, I may try to just do some tomato or peppers, maybe 8 of each and see how that goes.

I also was wondering about converting one or more of my beds into a cold frame/greenhouse. They are elevated, so I would need to figure out how to "insulate" underneath, but I am thinking closing it up and/or putting hay bales or pine straw underneath would work...Oops, there I go rambling with my crazy thoughts for more projects.

Thanks again for the detailed answer, I look forward to seeing how your seedlings do
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Re: seedling pics

Post  sanderson on 3/25/2016, 4:21 am

All of this reminds me of my first seedling in 2013.  My husband make 2 boxes from scrap wood.  I lined them with 4 mil plastic and made removable top covers.  They stayed outside during the day and we brought into the kitchen as the sun went down.  There were around 64 seedlings.  [days later I ran across this Forum and had husband make 4 small boxes.  The rest is history]  For some some with out indoor space for a light set-up, this is a possibility.



Bird's eye view of yogurt cups, my first seedling cups.

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Re: seedling pics

Post  ralitaco on 3/25/2016, 10:09 am

@sanderson wrote:All of this reminds me of my first seedling in 2013.  My husband make 2 boxes from scrap wood.  I lined them with 4 mil plastic and made removable top covers.  They stayed outside during the day and we brought into the kitchen as the sun went down.  There were around 64 seedlings.  [days later I ran across this Forum and had husband make 4 small boxes.  The rest is history]
How cool. I wonder how many boxes he's made since then?

@sanderson wrote:
This is what I envision my 2x8 beds to look like. Put plastic on both sides of the 2x's to create an air gap, add a small heater and voila, mini greenhouses
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Re: seedling pics

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/25/2016, 11:45 am

Beautiful, landarch! You must be retired...?

CC
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Re: seedling pics

Post  landarch on 3/25/2016, 11:55 am

I wish...maybe in another 20 years...I'm in my mid forties with a 3 and 5 year old.  Had to get the frost blankets out after kindergarten open house last night...then did taxes in bed on the ipad...first ever soccer practice the night before...sigh.

The garden will go on cruise control at some point.

Kansas can be really fun in the spring...in the same weekend one can help friends burn the prairie, go crappie fishing, shoot a turkey, and hunt for morels.
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Re: seedling pics

Post  CitizenKate on 3/25/2016, 12:42 pm

@landarch wrote:After yesterday's wild weather swing (70 degress, hail, snow), thought I'd update with some seedling pics.
Very nice! What do you do with the tomatoes in peat pellets when it's time for feeding? I just tried some for the first time, and they're all getting their first true leaves now. I'm thinking they'll need something soon.
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Re: seedling pics

Post  mschaef on 3/26/2016, 12:25 am

@landarch wrote:I wish...maybe in another 20 years...I'm in my mid forties with a 3 and 5 year old.  Had to get the frost blankets out after kindergarten open house last night...then did taxes in bed on the ipad...first ever soccer practice the night before...sigh.

The garden will go on cruise control at some point.

Kansas can be really fun in the spring...in the same weekend one can help friends burn the prairie, go crappie fishing, shoot a turkey, and hunt for morels.
I started when I had a 1 year old. After dinner or before depending on time frame to go out and water the gardening together with our buckets and red solo cups. He loved it so much and even reminded me sometimes to water. He turns 9 next week and still loves to help in the garden.

Sorry to high jack the seedlings thread but want to share my experience with gardening with kids. Also I'm highly jealous of you beautiful seedlings! Your doing awesome!
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Re: seedling pics

Post  jimmy cee on 3/27/2016, 9:37 am

Landarch
You must be doing something really correct because you have gorgeous looking seedlings there.
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Re: seedling pics

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/27/2016, 9:49 am

Very nice, Landarch!
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Re: seedling pics

Post  sanderson on 3/27/2016, 9:28 pm

First day out for a bit of sunshine. Tomatoes are 100%. Some peppers failed to germinate, along with quite a few herbs. Winter squash and 3 types of cucumbers caught up nicely (rear). Even though I oven baked the old MM, there is a mold on top of some of the pots.

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Re: seedling pics

Post  CitizenKate on 3/27/2016, 11:28 pm

Do you fill your seed starting containers with less mix for the tomatoes? That's what I started doing a couple of years ago.

Nice array of seedlings!
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Re: seedling pics

Post  jimmy cee on 3/28/2016, 8:29 am

@CitizenKate wrote:Do you fill your seed starting containers with less mix for the tomatoes?  That's what I started doing a couple of years ago.

Nice array of seedlings!
The Bayou Gardener on you tube has a video of doing just this, 1/3rd cup when planting tomato seeds, then building as he goes along...good idea in my opinion..
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Re: seedling pics

Post  CitizenKate on 3/28/2016, 9:48 am

@jimmy cee wrote:
The Bayou Gardener on you tube has a video of doing just this, 1/3rd cup when planting tomato seeds, then building as he goes along...good idea in my opinion..
Exactly.  I saw all that stem coming out of the seed starting cups a few years ago, and wondered if it would make a better seedling if I sowed the seed in less soil, then add more soil to bury the stems when they get tall enough.  It does.
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Re: seedling pics

Post  sanderson on 3/28/2016, 2:33 pm

Yes, I filled the cups 2/3 full.

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Re: seedling pics

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/28/2016, 7:20 pm

Great.  I did not do that.  My little starters were topped off.  Dang it!  When I pot up, I will know to bury them a bit deeper!

Nice seedlings getting their first sunshine, Sanderson!


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 3/28/2016, 7:22 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Forgot to compliment the seedlings!)
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Re: seedling pics

Post  CitizenKate on 3/29/2016, 12:17 am

No worries, you can compensate at transplant time, SR. But next time, you know how to give them a little head-start.
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Re: seedling pics

Post  ralitaco on 3/29/2016, 10:28 am

@landarch wrote:...done the Kate method (snip with clippers, soak in fridge, germinate in paper towel, plant)

Can you explain or point me to the "Kate method"?
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Re: seedling pics

Post  landarch on 3/29/2016, 10:43 am

The Kate method is quickly explained in the snippet you copied from my post...I don't know how to find or link to her original post..it had directions an good pics.

Basically she snipped the seed coat of each seed with nail clippers, then soaked in a container of water in the fridge overnight, then placed the seeds in a paper towel to germinate, then plant the seeds that had germinated (but don't wait too long).  It's a good way to not waste time, material, space on seeds that may never germinate.
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Re: seedling pics

Post  landarch on 3/29/2016, 11:14 am

When I pot-up I kick my mix with a little home made compost and purchased soil mix with mycorrhizae (Mycorrhizae are symbiotic relationships that form between fungi and plants. The fungi colonize the root system of a host plant, providing increased water and nutrient absorption capabilities while the plant provides the fungus with carbohydrates formed from photosynthesis.).

You will find this marketed as Myke in garden centers...for trees, shrubs, veggies.

I try to get my seedlings hardened off and under natural sunlight as soon as possible...I typically set all my plants outside before heading to work in the morning...covering with Agribon when temps are in the 30's.  Easter morning it snowed then temps rose to low 50's, it was 75 degrees under the Agribon blanket.
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Re: seedling pics

Post  yolos on 3/29/2016, 2:17 pm

@ralitaco wrote:
@landarch wrote:...done the Kate method (snip with clippers, soak in fridge, germinate in paper towel, plant)

Can you explain or point me to the "Kate method"?
Here is the Kate Method of Germinating Spinach.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t20284-problems-getting-spinach-seeds-to-sprout-try-this?highlight=spinach
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