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 Starting Seeds Indoors 
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Post Starting Seeds Indoors

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Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:20 pm
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Post Re: Starting Seeds Indoors
How to Start your vegetable seeds indoors Part 1 of 2



Part 2


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Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:30 pm
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Post Re: Starting Seeds Indoors
are those peat pots? sorry i didn't check the video. i'm still on dial up. but just to share...my personal experience is ....they suck. messed up my planting schedule, big time, as they developed a bad case of mold about 4 weeks into it. now some will say to prevent that...just water from the bottom. i tried that, and the upper portion of the soil, where all those new short roots are, never got damp enough.

this past year i used a germination/cell kit put out by burgess, *I THINK*. bought at home depot. made of tan plastic. bascially, your seedling tray sits on top of a water aborbing matt, which sits on an elevated base with legs, that sits inside a larger tray filled with water. the seedlings never sit IN the water...the matt dangles down in the water on either side of the tray...pulling water up to keep the seedling cells moist. just fill the bottom tray with more water every couple/three days. if the soil in the cell appears to be drying out...a light watering is ok, and you won't get mold. the kit is reusable and will last with proper care for many seasons. it's helpful to mix a little water absorbing crystals to your germination mix. a very little of it goes a long way.


Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:01 pm
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Post Re: Starting Seeds Indoors
Gen I think the system you just described is what I posted or very similar too it, sorry your on dial up and cannot see the video because I would love your experienced feedback

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Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:06 pm
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Post Re: Starting Seeds Indoors
the kit is nothing fancy. not much more expensive than regular cell packs sold with those clear plastic tops. (this kit comes with that too.) just something new they've recently come out with. should be available more widely this spring, i would think. but it's diffinately the way to go. wish they made em in larger cells. that would be nice. but i just transplated into larger pots and put em back on the matt. worked great.


Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:16 pm
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Post Re: Starting Seeds Indoors
Hi, Admin-

Thanks for these - very useful.

One of the biggest beginner errors is to start your seedlings too soon. That sounds kind of counter-intuitive, I know, but I've learned that if you wait until the onions & potatoes on your kitchen counter are sprouting and the tress outside have buds swelling, etc - you're seeds actually sprout much faster, and grow into tighter, more viable seedlings. Depending on where you are, latitude and climate-wise, this can be as early as February or as late as April (Northern hemisphere). Wait for it.

But if you get too eager, and start too soon, you risk the seedlings growing weak and leggy as they languish without enough sunshine and oomph - you will have to hold them indoors too long under diminished conditions before you can plant them properly outside.

And, paradoxically, the closer you can get to the "natural sprouting time" to start them, the faster and easier the seeds will germinate. And that could be later than you imagine.

The other thing I've learned, living in a northern climate where fungus is amungus ( :? ), that seedlings can too easily "damp off" (die off from mold in the soil, etc.) while under cover and starting. The best prevention against losing your entire crop of seedlings, I've found, is not to wait until you see evidence of mold spores - your crop will be long dead by then (!) - but to treat the water you use to dampen the soil to start the packets with a few drops of - wait for it! - fungicide.... A few drops of Ortho Daconil is good. "An ounce of prevention... ;) . Now, I'm as much in favor of organic farming as anyone - but when your food supply may depend on getting off to a good start, a bit of prudence goes a loooong way. It will save you much pain, loss and possible starvation later. And using a preventive approach will ultimately save you using huge amount of pesticides later on.

I've learned from hard experience - lo! these many decades of gardening later - that problems are best "nipped in the bud" (an old gardeners' saying, that...). If you see bugs or fungus or whatever creepies starting in a small corner of something, there's no point in waiting to see if it will "fix itself." It won't. It will only get worse, become harder to treat and eventually destroy your crop. A bit of judiciously applied remedy at the beginning of the problem/season will save a whole lot of grief - and the need for stronger remedies - later.

Anyway, happy growing!

Cheers,

Selene


Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:27 pm
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Post Re: Starting Seeds Indoors
here ya go. these are them. they cost a bit at this site. check home depot when they set this type of stuff out later this winter.

http://www.burpee.com/product/seed+star ... 6trade-.do

Image

and if budget allows...a warming seed mat will get you, in most cases, 6 week seedlings in about 3 1/2 weeks. and much better % of sprouting success. use these two together....plant 3 seeds in each cell...clip out to leave the strongest seedling when they get an inch or so tall....you'll have it made.


Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:30 pm
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Post Re: Starting Seeds Indoors
Thanks for the info ladies...

I am torn between Hyrdoponics and Greenhouse gardening this winter as my home grown veggies are gonna have to be done indoors until Srping..

I think I will try a couple of things and see what does best..

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Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:08 pm
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Post Re: Starting Seeds Indoors
I save the flats from my garden center purchases for sowing seeds, also the small cell-paks from annuals to transplant viable seedlings for growing onward. Clean them carefully with bleach, of course, before storing.

I begin by sowing the seeds in the larger flats, filled with about 2" of soil - not very much at all, moisten the soil lightly with fungicide-treated water and slip the entire flat into a dark/opaque garbage bag - Yes! Seeds germinate in the dark– with a few 6-8” stakes or popsicle sticks popped into the soil to keep the plastic lifted off the plants while they germinate. Twist end closed to seal. Place on top of something gently warm and wait. Peeking allowed after a week or ten days. ;) Remove the plastic after it looks like most seeds have sprouted.

The gentle bottom heat thingy is a very good trick, and you might find that it gets slightly warm enough, say, on top of your fridge to nurse the flat along. You don’t need hot, just warmish. We have central gas heating with large conduits that run under the main floor, so I have found the perfect spot on my dining room floor where a warm conduit runs underneath from our furnace, if I can keep the cats from settling onto the cozy flats (more stakes under the plastic work well...!)

When the seedlings have put out two little leaves, the fun begins – I thin out the weaklings, leave the good ones to grow on for a few more days, then slip on a pair of thin latex gloves to pluck each good one cautiously from the soil and delicately transplant two or three at a time into each cell-pak cell, place in a sunny window and begin watering, etc. as usual. I’ll thin the three down to one good one in each cell.

Now, because I’m at North 44* latitude, spring can be late and late frosts happen, so planting the plants outside can be tricky, and meanwhile they can start to get awfully leggy and weak in the thin window sunshine... So when the days get sunnier and a tad milder outside, I rig up a cheap and cheerful temporary cold frame on my patio: prop a pole onto my 18” high patio wall in the sunshine (you can use a sturdy box as a prop) and drape some heavy clear plastic from the hardware store over it, tent style. I pin down the edges lightly with a few bricks, leave a bit loose for ventilation, pop the plants inside and let them enjoy the brighter sun and thermal warmth that’s trapped under the plastic. Need more space? Use two parallel poles, each braced at the top/bottom between two bricks .....

If it looks like we’re getting another overnight freeze, I drag out a mechanic’s “trouble light” hanging lightbulb (100W) with an extension cord and leave the light on overnight. Or toss a blanket over the plastic. That’s all it takes to prevent freezing the plants, as long as you don’t have too much “airspace” to heat by having set your ridgepole(s) too high. As the weather warms up, I’ll unfurl the plastic more during the day and replace it at night. (You don’t want to cook the plants, either – and the closed space can heat up.) And when the time is right, I’ll have some nicely hardened-off plants to pop into my garden. And my cold-frame can vanish for another year....

Hydroponics sounds wonderful, but it would require power for the lighting, etc. I don’t know how reliable that would be in extremis. Nice stuff, though.

Cheers,

Selene


Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:29 am
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