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Seed Starting!!

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  RoOsTeR on 1/16/2012, 7:03 pm

@jkahn2eb wrote:Here is my simple operation using three hoods, each with two daylight fluorescent bulbs. Nothing fancy for $30.



Growing for myself and several other friends. Doing my best to keep lights within 2 inches of top leaves. The bulbs aren't too hot so is it ok not to panic when the leaves touch the bulbs?



Lots of tomatoes. The Vorlons are my fastest growers, followed by red cherry and black cherry tomatoes.



Nice! Looks like it gets the job done

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  camprn on 1/6/2013, 9:08 pm



http://cultivatorscorner.com/when-to-start-vegetable-seeds

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  GWN on 1/7/2013, 11:22 am

Hi Camprn
thanks for this chart, I am thinking about starting some seeds, but trying to hold back because I started way to early last year. ARE YOU?

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  quiltbea on 1/7/2013, 11:52 am

Camprn......I'm sure some of our southern friends can use that chart this month. I can't start anything til the 3rd week of Feb so I'm still deciding on final seed purchases.



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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  GWN on 1/7/2013, 12:16 pm

I am especially excited as I participated in an heirloom seed exchange and have many varieties of tomatoes and peppers to try.
Have thought about trying to plant a few peppers?

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  camprn on 1/7/2013, 1:13 pm

One of my resolutions this year is to be more patient and to everything there is a season.... I will begin planting seeds at the end of February and not before.

Mostly because when I became impatient and planted everything early by 3-4 weeks, they all died. I do not want to waste seeds and have disappointing results, so... to everything there is a season, a time to sow, a time to reap.... turn, turn, turn...




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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  GWN on 1/7/2013, 1:17 pm

Well starting too early creates a lot more work too it seems, trying to keep the little critters alive until it is time.

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  camprn on 1/7/2013, 1:21 pm

By the way, this is an old thread resurrected. There are some nice photos of seed starting on the first and second page. cyclops

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  GWN on 1/7/2013, 1:35 pm

camprn, when is your average last frost?

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  camprn on 1/7/2013, 2:28 pm

@GWN wrote:camprn, when is your average last frost?
I think it's about May 20.

http://www.plantmaps.com/03431

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Outlander is outstanding!


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My seed started set up .

Post  plantoid on 1/7/2013, 5:59 pm

This is a bigger picture of my current avatar Jan 2013 the frame is screwed together down pre drilled holes using 4 inch long coachbolts . The frame is trapped between the timbers and the screws pass through the ally frame .

It is set on 2 inch thick styrofoam inside the frame , pond liner to make a tank , 2 inch play sand , a trace heat cable with thermostat ( from 19 to 40 o C ) 2 inch play sand and fimally a covering of pond liner .

My seed trays sit on top of the top pond liner ,they get the bottom warmth ( had to wet the sand to get heat transmission ) from the trace heat cable wihich is inturn adjustable by a thermostat .
The UV LED lamps give a very small amount of heat as well as the UV full spectrum of grow light , there is not enough heat to scorch the seedlings even if they touch the LED's. But it helps warm the surrounding air to about 60 o F.

I have three LED UV light bulbs and have decided to suspended them on individual adjustable cord lengths is going to allow me to have three different heights of plants all in the same growing area.

Tonight I draped two pieces of garden fleece over the whole frame to make a fully enclosed square tent to keep the air still and retain the heat rather than using the grow bed to heat up all 40 cubic yards of office space.


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SEED GERMINATION

Post  kritika19 on 1/10/2013, 3:00 am

A seed contains an embryonic plant in a resting condition, and germination is its resumption of growth. Seeds will begin to germinate when the soil temperature is in the appropriate range and when water and oxygen are available. However, most of your wildflower seeds will only germinate between specific soil temperatures. Optimum soil germination temperatures will vary greatly from one species to another. With soil temperatures extremely low or excessively high, growth of the seed is either slow and erratic or germination is entirely prevented. Not all of your seeds will sprout at the same time due to constant temperature fluctuations typically observed in nature.


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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  quiltbea on 1/10/2013, 12:18 pm

Camprn..... I like that Plantmap. Very useful with dates closer to my experience the last 2 years than other frost maps.

Personally, according to the last two years in my area, my Last frost date will be closer to May 10th and First frost to Oct 5th so I've changed my seed starting times accordingly for my Zone 5a in Maine.

With that in mind, the week of Feb 17th I'll begin with broccoli, cabbage, and parsley seeds on the heat mat. They need to be started 12 weeks before last frost date.
Remember, one can always cover the transplants in the spring if a sneaky frost arrives. I just hope Mother Nature doesn't fool me this year and hand me another very hot spring which nearly wiped out my cool weather crops last year.

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First time starting seeds

Post  JK on 1/10/2013, 3:31 pm

I am wondering what everyone has had the most success with as far as seed starting soil/mix as well as containers for holding them?

I had my first sqft garden last year and I was pretty happy with my two 4x4 boxes. Im planning on adding 4 more boxes this year and I just went a little overboard and ordered a ton of all heirloom seed from Seed Saver Exchange. I have a small metal shelving unit in the garage that I am going to mount a few 2ft shop light fixtures to.


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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/10/2013, 6:18 pm

Wow! According to plantmap I have to start mine Jan 19th! And I'm zone 7a, not 6.

I'd better get crankin'! thinking

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  camprn on 1/10/2013, 6:29 pm

CC Don't sweat it, you got plenty of time. Cool

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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: Seed Starting!!

Post  camprn on 1/10/2013, 6:39 pm

@JK wrote:I am wondering what everyone has had the most success with as far as seed starting soil/mix as well as containers for holding them?

I had my first sqft garden last year and I was pretty happy with my two 4x4 boxes. Im planning on adding 4 more boxes this year and I just went a little overboard and ordered a ton of all heirloom seed from Seed Saver Exchange. I have a small metal shelving unit in the garage that I am going to mount a few 2ft shop light fixtures to.

JK, look back to the beginning of this thread and also use the search feature for older threads that will probably answer your questions.

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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

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  plantoid on 1/10/2013, 6:45 pm

@JK wrote:I am wondering what everyone has had the most success with as far as seed starting soil/mix as well as containers for holding them?

I had my first sqft garden last year and I was pretty happy with my two 4x4 boxes. Im planning on adding 4 more boxes this year and I just went a little overboard and ordered a ton of all heirloom seed from Seed Saver Exchange. I have a small metal shelving unit in the garage that I am going to mount a few 2ft shop light fixtures to.

I deffo give the thumbs up to fine grade horticultural vermiculite every time .
i just use a small tube 1 & 1/4 dua tube x 3 inches long with the base blocked up with a bit of foam about 2 inches of fill it near to the top with the vermiculite
lay one or two seeds on top of if needed insert a single seed in the correct position
Sprinkle the same amount of vermiculite as the seed diameter over the seed .
Then stand the tube in one & a half inchs of water and let the water move up via capillary action .. the vermiculite changes colour when wet so it's easy to see if it is wet enough.

Then I take the tube out the water and stand the tube in a small seed tray keeping it warm & damp till it grows the second set of seed leaves.
Then give it a soak in 2 inches of water to soften the plug and gently with an old teaspoon handle ease the plug out and directly into a well watered hole that is a fraction deeper than the plug . Cover with MM to bring level with the rest of the bed. If there are two seeds use the spoon to very carefully move one plant per hole . Don't use your fingers for you'll usually kill the small seedling .

My tubes are 3 or four inch long sections of old kitchen sink waste pipe .. they will last for years and years .
The bottom plug for the tube is made from a half inch slice of one of those long foam things kiddies use in swimming pools that over here in the UK we call pool noodles , a 2 yard long noodle gives you 144 plugs
It is a simple thing to keep the used plugs & tubes in a bucket and when it is nearly full give them a soak in soapy water & bleach or disinfectant to sterilize everything then a coule of warm water rinses to get rid of the spap etc.

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/10/2013, 6:50 pm

Don't they have yogurt cups across the pond, Plantoid? Or TP rolls?

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  donnainzone5 on 1/10/2013, 9:15 pm

CC & Plantoid,

I use margarine tubs, with the bottoms perforated with a small-diameter sharp object. I then set them in a shallow tray or saucer, to which I add water. As Plantoid said, the vermiculite turns darker when it's moist.

Then, I add two or three seeds and cover them with a bit more vermiculite. As I previously mentioned, this method worked like a charm for my bush beans last summer--better than the seeds I planted directly into fresh Mel's Mix!

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  SusNton on 1/10/2013, 9:20 pm

Been receiving my seed orders in the mail and am getting ready to fire things up, yahooo!..My greenhouse is almost done but I'll be starting cold plants indoors under my lights..My average last frost date is ~ April 15th so will be starting things real soon..
I actually sowed some broccoli seeds yesterday b/c well----I couldn't help myself..You know what I'm talking about!! Wink
Cheers all.. Very Happy

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  quiltbea on 1/10/2013, 9:20 pm

I use soil blocks (block of soil, no pots or container) so there is no transplant shock to the plants in up-planting into a larger soil block and then into larger air-pruning pots.
Seed Starting Mix:
3 Qts Peat Moss
2 Tablespoons Green Sand
2 Tablespoons Phosphate Rock
2 Tablespoons Bloodmeal
Mix the above thoroughly together and then add:
1 Qt Perlite or Vermiculite
3 Qts Compost
Mix it all together and you have soil blocker starting mix.

Johnnyseeds.com sells this mixture premade if you can't trouble to make it yourself. It's called Johnny's 512 Mix and can be used for any seed starting. The soil isn't completely inert of food so the plants stay healthy til transplanted outdoors.

When I sow my seeds, I just cover them with vermiculite so they can pop right up thru without problems. I also place them in waterproof trays so I can water them from the bottom.

To learn more about this alternative method, just search Soil Blocks and you'll find more info.

All I know is its easier for me; there are no small pots to wash and sterilize and store away, I don't have to dig out the roots of the baby plants and hurt them, no losses from transplant shock, and it works for me.

I can even start melons, squashes, cukes and corn in soil blocks and not worry about losses from transplant shock. The roots are never disturbed.

In a pinch, I admit to sowing seeds in coffee cups with holes in their bottoms and watering from below. I cut away the cup when transplanting so there's minimal shock to the babies.

Whichever way one chooses, its fun.

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  SusNton on 1/10/2013, 9:34 pm

Hi quiltbea, I have some experience growing indoors and some outdoor container gardening..But till now mostly working with transplants..This will be my first spring with seedstarting in general..till now I've always used commercial seedstart soil, and will now be making my own mix,
peat moss/perlite/vermiculite..B/c my plan is to use this mix only for seed starting and not long term growing, will I still need to amend with lime, in your opinion/experience?..
IOW, does the peat still need lime even for just germinating?..Me says no, but what say you?..TIA!..

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  quiltbea on 1/10/2013, 10:05 pm

SusNton.....Most seed starting mixes don't have any food value in them at all. They are just a light compound to get the seed started. The seeds have their own food in the seed itself and for the short time they are waiting to go outdoors, they seem to do fine. A little watering with half-strength liquid organic fertilizer, fish emulsion or compost tea the 3rd week or so if the plants are going to wait a lenghty time before transplanting helps but otherwise its not necessary.

The mix for soil blocks is a bit more robust because it needs to be to hold its form thru a few weeks of watering without falling apart. Hence, the additions of all else.
Still, I like the idea of a bit of food for my own coffee cup starts to keep them a bit stronger so I use it for all my seed starting.

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Re: Seed Starting!!

Post  SusNton on 1/10/2013, 10:15 pm

Yes thanks for that..I purchased the MG peat moss from HD(not what I wanted) that comes with some light nutes I believe, so should give them some food for a lil spell, or if longer I will feed some ferts as needed....
Next time I'll be picking up the bale(s) from a nursery when I start filling the beds..Thanks again!..

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Re: Seed Starting!!

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