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s.studer
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Seedlings Question

I planted this batch on 2/26, 2-4 seeds per cell and placed the trays on heating mats. The seedlings in the picture emerged by 3/1, at which point I removed the clear cover from the tray and placed it under T5 lights. Thes picture is from 3/2.
Does this mean that most of the seeds were not viable and will not germinate at all, or should I wait a little longer?

[img]https://gallery.me.com/s.studer/100011/IMG_1043/web.jpg[/img] :?: :?: :?: :?:

Cirtes
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I get 80% or more germination rates. Some seeds take longer than others, all things being equal. Also use seeds that are years old.

Give them some time.
Sunset Zone 21 - USDA Zone 10

gardenvt
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I usually leave the dome on until most seeds have germinated though I do raise one end of it to allow a bit of air in once a number of seedlings are up - usually in 3-5 days. The room that I grow my seedlings is about 60-65 degrees and they all seem to do well.

DoubleDogFarm
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Are all these tomatoes? If yes, I would put them back on the heat for another week.

Eric

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s.studer
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Thanks for the advice. I put them back on the heating mats with the cover on and some more seedlings are starting to emerge. So it is normal for seeds to take a different amount of time to germinate even from the same batch?

vermontkingdom
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Unfortunately, it's still a bit early to start our tomato seeds here in Vermont. However, last year, the time difference between my first seedling emergence and the last one was 13 days. It's hard to be patient in the spring!
"Good gardeners do not have green thumbs. They have brown knees, soiled hands and big hearts."

gardenvt
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Vermontkingdon, how do you start your seedlings? What temp is the room and what do you use for starting - germinating mix or something else?

It is curious how some of have seeds just pop up and for others it takes a long time. Mine are up in days and pretty much all of them.

wordwiz
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It's working for you but my MO is to remove any dome as soon as the first seed emerges. A couple of days later, the tray gets taken off the heat mat. I did this with two trays of seeds, 208 cells in all, one seed per cell. Sowed them on 2/19, the first ones popped up 2/23. Removed them from the heated chamber about two days later and stuck them under a 600-watt MH bulb. Thursday, I moved them to another, cooler place. 93% germ rate so far. The plants are only about 2" tall but have 2-3 sets of true leaves. Keeping plants under a dome with heat does one nasty thing - make them leggy.

Mike

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s.studer
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gardenvt wrote:Vermontkingdon, how do you start your seedlings? What temp is the room and what do you use for starting - germinating mix or something else?

It is curious how some of have seeds just pop up and for others it takes a long time. Mine are up in days and pretty much all of them.
I started the seed in the 72-cell Jiffy germination kits. I used Jiffy Organic Seed-Starting Mix. I keep the trays on top of heating mats in a heated room in the basement.

I know, it is strange how some seeds just pop and others take much longuer.

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Duh_Vinci
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Some varieties do take longer to germinate. Some seeds may just be older... If you noticed, specialty growers (not the big stores like Burpee and such) will often note on their sites something like "Not available for 2011, low germination..." It happens. But generally, 4-10 days is about the average.

Some seeds, even from the same packet, could have been saved from a different plants and different times, so germination can indeed vary a little.

5 days since your original post, any more emerged?

Regards,
D

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s.studer
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Duh_Vinci wrote:Some varieties do take longer to germinate. Some seeds may just be older... If you noticed, specialty growers (not the big stores like Burpee and such) will often note on their sites something like "Not available for 2011, low germination..." It happens. But generally, 4-10 days is about the average.

Some seeds, even from the same packet, could have been saved from a different plants and different times, so germination can indeed vary a little.

5 days since your original post, any more emerged?

Regards,
D
Yes, some more did, although not as many as I would have hoped... I have transferred (the whole cell, without disturbing the roots) in larger pots with no dome and under the T5 lights. Here are some pictures:

Some of the seedlings I transferred:

[img]https://gallery.me.com/s.studer/100011/IMG_1046/web.jpg[/img]


My setup:

[img]https://gallery.me.com/s.studer/100011/IMG_1050/web.jpg[/img]

This is where I will move them after they set a few leaves:

[img]https://gallery.me.com/s.studer/100011/IMG_1052/web.jpg[/img]


I have enough space for 4 trays with 15 4" pots each under the lights, and another row of 2 T5 lights for another row or two of 4"pots

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jasbo
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I'm new to all this, so maybe I should keep my mouth shut, but everything I've read says that the fluorescent lights need to be just an inch or two away from the seedlings. Your pics show plants that are a long way from the lights.

Jim

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s.studer
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jasbo wrote:I'm new to all this, so maybe I should keep my mouth shut, but everything I've read says that the fluorescent lights need to be just an inch or two away from the seedlings. Your pics show plants that are a long way from the lights.

Jim
Jim,

You are right, the lights are supposed to be about two inches away, but unfortunately I discovered that this particular light fixture will literally cook everything at that distance. So far the seedlings are doing great at the distance shown in the picture with this light fixture (it is an 8 T5 HO bulbs). I have another single T5 light fixture that I keep at about two inches.

gardenvt
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Wordwiz, I don't use a heat mat. The T8 lights and dome keep the soil warm enough to germinate in my growing environment which is about 60-65 degrees.

I prop a corner of the dome open once the seedlings start to emerge and it is only a day or so before they are all up. Then the dome is off and they get a little closer to the lights.

I never have leggy plants. My friends all want to know my secret to the bushy plants that I share with them. It's keeping the lights about 2" from the seedlings, feeding them and giving them good air circulation. I also transplant mine up a few times before they are planted out in the garden.

I'm very fussy about my plants.

Alicemae
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Seedlings

Well, I have to say thank you to you all ~ I have learned quite a bit from these posts and enjoy reading them all. Confession: I usually buy my seeds from the dollar store and even plant the left overs the next year! I only have a 'garden window' over my kitchen sink to work with so I plant only a few of my favorites. Call this odd, but almost everything germinates and I'm not out much if they don't. I've been lucky, I guess! Can't wait for some warm dirt to play in outside... Alicemae

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Garf
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Seed starting in Miami is pitifully simple. I had an Everglades tomato split on me, so rather that waste it, I squeezed the guts into a pot with some dirt in it and covered it with a thin layer of dirt. A week later I had a herd of seedling. All that was left to do was to transfer them to cells.

[img]https://www.mastercontrollinelinksite.info/Gardening/everglades3a.jpg[/img]


[img]https://www.mastercontrollinelinksite.info/Gardening/everglades3b.jpg[/img]

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