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Starting Small Seeds

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Starting Small Seeds

Post  Shoda on 6/21/2010, 6:35 pm

I am having some trouble getting small seeds to sprout in the Mel's mix. I think it is because it is getting warmer and the cool weather seeds I am trying to sprout are not staying wet enough or they are getting too hot. I am having to water the seeds twice a day. Once the plants start growing they seem to be OK. How does everyone else deal with this issue? I thought about burying them deeper but I wasn't sure the seeds would be happy that way either (these are shallow sow seeds -- 1/4" )

Any suggestions?
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Re: Starting Small Seeds

Post  Megan on 6/21/2010, 6:40 pm

What did you plant?
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Re: Starting Small Seeds

Post  Shoda on 6/21/2010, 6:41 pm

Sorry... lettuce, spinach and carrots are having trouble. It hasn't been that hot yet... only in the 80s a few days. Mostly 70's but the Mel's dries out.
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Re: Starting Small Seeds

Post  Megan on 6/21/2010, 6:52 pm

I haven't tried planting additional squares of lettuce as we are still eating the first three.... but mine grew in similar weather to yours, maybe a little colder. My carrots took a LONG time to germinate but they are growing well now. (Their tops anyway... the carrot roots are still pretty small.)

I wouldn't change the planting depth.
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Re: Starting Small Seeds

Post  Shoda on 6/21/2010, 7:07 pm

I have lettuce we are eating too. I was just trying to stagger and try some different varieties to see what lives in the hot summer months (without getting too bitter). I have two romaine lettuce heads left that are about to come out and I am trying to keep it going. Has anyone tried a wet towel or plastic or shade cloth or sprouting inside?

Maybe the carrots are just slow to sprout but only a few of the lettuce and spinach came up. I planted many seeds per hole but most spots didn't do anything.
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Re: Starting Small Seeds

Post  Shoda on 6/22/2010, 2:34 am

I spent the last two hours researching the sprouting issues I am having. Here is what I did wrong.


  • I think I planted the lettuce too deep. Lettuce and dill (which I planted and also didn't come up) need light to germinate. This means they have to be in the top 1/4" of the soil. Some places recommend just scattering on top. Most of mine were farther down then that because I thought that the water would be more of an issue.
  • Carrots.... they take a long time. I think mine are just not ready yet.
  • Spinach ... these did the best but I think I just needed a few more seeds for the "dead" spots. Also, some seed growing information says that seeds may need a few waterings per day. I also think I am spraying them too hard with the hose and washing them away (where they are seen as weeds and removed).
Most of this I got from reading the excerpt of the New Seed Starters book on Amazon.com There is actually a lot of the book there and there is some really good information.

So tomorrow, i plant those lettuce seeds again.
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