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Seedlings

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Re: Seedlings

Post  camprn on 2/13/2012, 12:02 pm

@GWN wrote:I guess perhaps to rephrase my question, are there certain seedlings that need the light more than others.
Last year I did tomatoes, pepper and basil and they all clearly needed the lights, this year I have tried to hold off the tomatoes and pepper until a bit later, and instead am doing perennials etc.

can some seedlings grow in the greenhouse this time of year without grow lights?
, The short answer for indoor sowing is almost all plants really like light and lots of it! Young plants, they all need light, but they benefit from longer hours of light, between 10-16 hours a day, thus the need for the grow lights.

GWN, your timing is good. Getting some perennials now so you can put them out soon is a good strategy. You will need the lights for your summer vegetables in about3-4 weeks... your last frost is in the middle of May, is that correct?

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Re: Seedlings

Post  GWN on 2/13/2012, 12:50 pm

I think it is more like the beginning of May
I live in a very small place and so hard to get accurate readings.
Near a large body of water which I think makes for earlier last frosts. Last year I planted my first outdoor seeds April 25 and they thrived.


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Re: Seedlings

Post  Windsor.Parker on 2/13/2012, 3:53 pm

@TejasTerry wrote:...
Kinda cool watching this happen.... Very Happy

I agree!
Here, I raised my light to snap a few pics of some my seedlings.

Top left 4 are Broccoli, Top right 4 are cabbage, Center bottom 4 are Brussels Sprouts!

A bit closer

Each Brussels Sprouts was started from seed in its own soil cube.

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Re: Seedlings

Post  quiltbea on 2/13/2012, 4:12 pm

Windsor....I noticed you have some in soil blocks. I find it makes it so much easier to transplant into the garden. I start all mine in soil blocks now. No root disturbance and they don't get root bound because when the roots hit the air they stop growing and won't circle into a mess.

My tomatoes have need of lots of root room so get transplanted from the 2" soil blocks up to homemade air-pruning pots rather than buy the big soil blocker (it costs around $130, gulp!) Hence air-pruner pots made from 2- and 3-litre soda bottles. Works out just fine.

I hope the soil blocks work out for you as well.

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Re: Seedlings

Post  landarch on 2/13/2012, 10:09 pm

Joe, I am in Kansas City as well...eventhough our last frost date is around April 17th, time yor tomato transplants to go in the garden around May 15th when the soil temps are prime. Do some research on your other warm season plant material. I think Mel's book ahs some recommendations that are a bit too early for seeding/ transplanting warm season plants in our area.

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Re: Seedlings

Post  yolos on 2/14/2012, 12:47 am

quiltbea - What is an "air-pruner pot made from 2- and 3- litre soda bottles". I have wanted to buy some soil block makers but the larger ones were very expensive.

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Re: Seedlings

Post  camprn on 2/14/2012, 7:02 am

@yolos wrote:quiltbea - What is an "air-pruner pot made from 2- and 3- litre soda bottles". I have wanted to buy some soil block makers but the larger ones were very expensive.
Here are a few threads about air pruning.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5141-my-homemade-pots-are-done

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5159-seed-starting-equipment

there are more threads out there and lots of info on the web.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Seedlings

Post  quiltbea on 2/14/2012, 1:35 pm

You can see pictures of my air-pruners in the 2nd URL. I take soda bottles and cut them so they are about 5-6" tall. With screwdriver I punch holes in each of the 5 bottom lobes. I just sit outside on my bench and put the bottle on the lawn and hit that screwdriver with a hammer to make the holes. Then with scissors I cut up from those lobes about 3-4" so there is a slit about 1/8th inch wide. That is enough to stop roots from circling. I find the transplants easily slide out of these pots if I water the plant a little and press the base with my hands to lossen it. Then it slides right out in my hand.



above: I also cut four air-slits in used and rinsed 16-oz soda cups the family will be tossing out after a party. Same principle. I use the cups for plants that don't take as much root room as tomatoes but that I have to keep a little longer under the lights when the 2" soil blocks aren't enough, like cabbage and broccoli and herbs.

You can wash and rinse your soda bottle pots in a mild bleach solution for another season so you are recycling.

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Re: Seedlings

Post  Windsor.Parker on 2/14/2012, 4:00 pm

@quiltbea wrote:Windsor....I noticed you have some in soil blocks. I find it makes it so much easier to transplant into the garden. I start all mine in soil blocks now. No root disturbance and they don't get root bound because when the roots hit the air they stop growing and won't circle into a mess.

My tomatoes have need of lots of root room so get transplanted from the 2" soil blocks up to homemade air-pruning pots rather than buy the big soil blocker (it costs around $130, gulp!) Hence air-pruner pots made from 2- and 3-litre soda bottles. Works out just fine.

I hope the soil blocks work out for you as well.
quiltbea,
Thanks for the encouragement!
Made my first 30 or so soil cubes early last month. Only half have been used so far. (Mustn't let them dry out!) Making, working and growing with them has other benefits, too! Fewer containers, for example.
cheers

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Re: Seedlings

Post  quiltbea on 2/14/2012, 4:56 pm

Windsor...You're right. No storage problems for pots. I start mine in the 3/4" mini-blocks until they germinate. Those that germinate get popped into the 2" midi-blocks and placed under the lights. That way I don't waste starting soil in the larger pots that might not germinate. I can also start a lot more seeds when they are started in the mini-blocks because I only have one heat mat. My storage areas are minimal so I have to save them for other things than starter pots and I don't fill landfills with plastic containers. Yes,there sure are benefits using soil blocks.

Above: Sown 3/4" soil blocks on heating mat last Feb 21st.

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Re: Seedlings

Post  Windsor.Parker on 2/14/2012, 7:27 pm

@quiltbea wrote:... I start mine in the 3/4" mini-blocks until they germinate.... I can also start a lot more seeds when they are started in the mini-blocks...

Okay, so how do I make the 3/4" or find the right tool? Although germination seems fine in my 2 1/4" blocks, as you say, they're larger than needed, and they get kinda heavy, too!

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Re: Seedlings

Post  braim5 on 2/14/2012, 8:18 pm

I found this site on Pinterest that shows how to make your own soil blocks. I think I may try it. You could use different size containers for different size blocks.

DIY Soil Blocks

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Re: Seedlings

Post  camprn on 2/14/2012, 8:23 pm

@braim5 wrote:I found this site on Pinterest that shows how to make your own soil blocks. I think I may try it. You could use different size containers for different size blocks.

DIY Soil Blocks

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Seedlings

Post  quiltbea on 2/15/2012, 1:25 pm

I'm not handy enough with tools to make my own so I bought mine from johnnyseeds, the 20-block mini and the 4-block midi sizes. If I were handy I know I could make the large one for tomatoes later.
I've seen them made on youtube so if you are handy, make your own from the site above. Sounds like a good plan.

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Re: Seedlings

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