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gixxerific
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The UnOfficial Seed Starting Thread

[Feel free to use this thread as YOUR answer spot on seed starting we can all learn from each other!!!!]


I didn't know if I should start a new thread or not. I felt I was piggybacking too much on others threads. We almost need a MASTER seed start thread though that might get too confusing.

Alright I'm way ahead of my planned schedule but what are you gonna do? :lol: I blame all of you. :P SO far I have Tomatoes, peppers, onions, radishes, and brussles sprouts oh yeah some nasturtium as well just poking through.

What would you all suggest next maybe broccoli I know Rainbow has broccoli and maybe cauliflower going. I have seeds for most everything you could think of. But I don't want to run out of room or get myself so bogged down things start going bad for my little guy's. Spring is still pretty far away.

Thanks

And everyone feel free to join in with your seed starting adventures. We can all learn from each other.
Last edited by gixxerific on Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:50 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Why don't you throw some lettuce seedlings in? They need a good head start. I'd start peppers before tomatoes. Toms seem to catch-up much better than do pepper seedlings, at least from my experiences. Oh, and there's always eggplant :D.

We really should start a big seed-starting Q&A thread :lol:.
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I have tried & failed with lettuce 3X. I don't know what I do so wrong but I get a tiny seedling then nothing else then it dies. So I won't try that again this year. I had great luck with tomatoes & cucumbers from seed so I will be starting those tomorrow.
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Duh_Vinci
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How about eggplants and brassics? I think that would be a good choice...? Brassiacs could survive even a minor frost too.

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D

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I started my cabbages, cauliflower, and kale today. I discovered to my disappointment that the packet of Romanesco broccoflower that I thought I had was empty. :? I may still try to get some seeds. I'm also trying to see if I can grow Brussels Sprouts if I start now. If not, I'll do the later sowing for fall crop.

Since then, I've been going over my game plan too. I want to make use of my cold, cold garage Grow Light Area, which today was holding steady at 55ºF.

I'm seconding the lettuce. They'll germinate at around 65ºF, after that, they can grow at 40~50ºF, and if you harden them off near freezing temps, cold hardiest varieties can handle down to 20ºF (according to planting instructions). Last year, I know my lettuce managed to survive 24ºF (that was even with floating covers protecting them).

Carrots can germinate at 45ºF according to several growing instructions. I'm going to start some round ones. They do take a while to grow out. I never thought you could transplant carrots, but I last year I started them in deeper (4" or more) pots, then transplant later by poking a hole deep enough for the length of the root and water it in while holding onto a seed leaf, they can be planted out. This year, I'm going to try Jeevon's method of pricking out at seed leaf stage into deeper pots. If I start some tomorrow, I should be able to plant out at pea planting time.

I'm also going to start beets early. They're supposed to germinate at 50ºF+ and grow best at 55~65ºF. They'll be planted out later in March.

Oh, I see you got a post in ahead of me DV -- eggplants need a warmer growing area so I won't start them until later: Peppers first because they take longer to grow, then earlier tomatoes, then the rest of tomatoes and eggplants.

In case anyone's wondering why I didn't start broccoli, I let my broccoli go to seed last year, so I'm going to count on them reseeding themselves.... Possibly put up a low tunnel over those beds. It's the De Cicco. I think I'll stick with this HL variety -- although it doesn't form a large main head, it makes a whole bunch of bite size heads -- no need to cut it apart. :wink: I'll start some next week just in case they don't self-seed. De Cicco's maturity date is 48 days and last year, they lasted where they were planted in the shady-er part of the garden (next to the cukes BTW if you saw my post about that), sat tight through the summer, then grew a bunch of side florets in the fall.

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I have already got the Brussels in they have been potted up already and going strong.

I have seed for Eggplant and Broccoli and Cauliflower which I had planned in 2 weeks but as I said I may have been a little too caught up in the later is better thinking that MOST people say, bah I'm gonna be planting tommorow again.

Lettuce huh? I had been growing some all winter but ate it all and removed the pots they were too since I wanted to lower the lights for seedling sized plants. I was figuring on direct seeding them.

And Carrots huh? I didn't think they transplanted well. I still have some outside but the tops are gone, rabbits I would assume. I was kind of hoping they would come back if the ground ever thaws that and my garlic. I could try carrots why not.

Thanks guy's

Apple for the carrots did you plant them in mass or singularly?

One more thing I hear Rainbow has some herbs in so what the heck. I'm gonna need to get my other shop light out of the garage and bring it downstairs I got just the right amount of room. Those 50 pots I got the other might need to be doubled. :shock:

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Alright I change the title of the thread and welcome everyone to ask your questions here. There are several threads on seed starting right now. So if everyone wants use this as your answer place feel free or not. Just thought I'd see if went over or not.

Dono

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gixxerific
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What about starting celery or radishes would you direct seed or plant as a starter?

Just looked and I have 13 kinds of lettuce not including 3 kinds of Spinach and 2 kinds of Chard. that would be an awful lot to start as seedlings. Direct or stater.

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I have never started lettuce, radishes, carrots etc. in the house.
I have started cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, herbs etc.
But, legumes, and salad items.. nope... just go Ruth Stout, pull the mulch back, find some dirt, use a finger nail to rough it up... and there ya go.

Before you give up on lettuce... go to the garden, about a month before... frost free for your area, and plant it, with some radishes, so you can see where it should be. But, do check the lettuce from time to time.. it will be ready for salad making before you even dream that it could be... and be bolting for seed!
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My lettuce was awesome last year but G5 suggested lettuce needs a need start I always thought it was pretty fast and easy to grow.

I was just reading and will start celery tomorrow and try carrots I have a ton of carrots seeds as well. I just don't want my Dragon carrots to go bad at least. If all else fails I can try again or get plants from the store. I saw somewhere today in a sig "The best gardeners are the ones who have made the most mistakes" or something like that. :lol:

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I agree that I don't start lettuce, spinach, swiss chard indoors. They are fast sprouting, quick growing and cold tolerant, so I just sow them outdoors, "as soon as the ground can be worked."

I also heard that carrots don't like transplanting, so they are another one that I always direct sow in the ground (when I grow them -- they are one of the things that some years I decide I don't have room for).

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My summer comes way too quickly and I've had trouble getting lettuce to grow in the past, especially if I want the heading types like Cos, Batavian, and Bibb. On the other hand, I didn't know you could sow lettuce way ahead back when I was trying to grow them. But lettuce takes well to transplanting and is as easy as tomatoes. Also with my trouble with slugs last year, I think the transplants did way better than DS'ed lettuce.

Carrots -- I was really pleased with the success of the transplanted carrots last year. They germinate much more quickly indoors and I was even able to grow 140 day giant carrot like Health Master.

Swiss chard, too, though I agree they're so easy it's not even funny.

I'm STILL having trouble growing spinach. What variety do you grow? Is it and Heirloom? I was trying Bloomsdale and germination was spotty and what came up didn't grow well, so I must be doing something wrong. (Had PLENTY of Swiss Chard though :wink: )

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I am going to try carrots inside this year if Apple so it's okay than it's okay :D I have 4 packets of them so if it doesn't work so be it. I don't have any luck DS'ing them either so it's worth a shot. You can't win if you don't play the game.

And don't tell me about slugs :x I had them bad last year big ones too 6 in. +. This year it's on, I am prepared to go full nuclear on their slimy little butts. I do have some Iceberg I think I will try to start indoors at least. But most I think will be planted outdoors as Rainbow said.

As far as spinach I planted Teton Hybrid (Rabano) and another variety I can't remember, I just picked a few packets of seeds without much consideration there were tons of variates and I didn't know what was what. But they grew like mad, they and the Chard (obviously) were the last ones standing last year. Try again Apple, it might have been a fluke. This year I have Bloomsdale Long Standing, Teton Hybrid and Giant Nobel (one of the $.20 packs at walmart).


I tell you what Apple I'll trade you some of my luck with spinach for some of your carrot luck, they just don't seem to like me 10- 15 years later.
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We all seem to have our one crop... that doesn't co-operate...
Mine is onions, and green peas... I just can't get anywhere on either of those.

I will start many kinds of spinach. A lot of them are not truly spinach. I have a very, very short window for spinach growing.

I picked up some malabar spinach at the seed swap. It is not truly a spinach, different plant family... but it is suppose to be heat tolerant... a new experiment for me.

I am also planning to start an herb garden... any ideas there?
Also, I tried Asparagus, years ago, when the garden was new... it didn't amount to much... My hubby loves asparagus, but does not really want to try it again. I am stubborn, I kill onions every year!

I killed strawberries for many years straight... then, I got some and no matter if I do good or bad.. they are surviving... maybe it never was me... it was the type, or I just got a plant that likes it here?

Carrots don't like my clay soil... I may try them in my sand topped bed this year.
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gixxerific
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Herbs are USUALLY very easy to grow give them full sun and lot's of water they should do fine. What were you wanting to know.

Oh and about the ONE thing we have problems with, let me think,
Strawberries
Blueberries
Carrots
Onions
One of these day's I'll get it right. :lol:

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Off topic!

Gixx where did you get the cute smiley face, banging his head on the wall.. I had to laugh at that one... I know that feeling!

I loved it... I want one...

Okay, back on topic, I digress... but it is cute!
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My extension center book says to start my tomatoes in March inside, so I haven't started them yet, but they do really well for me from seed.

I have onions, leeks, lettuce, parsley, cabbage and brocoli started now. The onions do better, I find started in the garage than outside from seed. Now it's time to start cauliflower and escarole, I better get with it. Has anyone heard of trimming the onion seedlings when they get too tall and spindly (when they are still in pots, very young). I trimmed a couple of mine and am waiting to see if it helps or kills :?
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It is said to give your onions a "haircut" and keep them 3-4 inches until they go out. I have even read to clip the roots before transplanting. Can't tell you much more that that maybe some else will have more to add.



OL the extra emoticons are right there to the left of the frame you write your post in. Just click "View More Emoticons".
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Does anyone grow kohlrabi? My dad and I both love it. he normally buys little starter plants from a local nursery/farm market, but I told him that I'd get some seeds for him and get them started-in exchange for some of the plants of course. This is my first year starting plants, so any suggestions?

I also want to start peas for him, tomatoes and peppers for him and my in-laws, some lettuce that I think I should be able to grow here. My MIL also wants mini pumpkins, but those I don't think I'll be starting indoor.

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KOHLRABI! Jal_ut posted about them in the fall and I was going to try them! I guess I'll HAVE to go seed shopping for them as well as Romanesco Broccoflowers now! I'm pretty sure he said to grow kohlrabi like cabbage.

Peas can be started indoors (I did last year for longer maturing pole peas) but some say that it's best to leave the pea seeds to decide the best time to germinate outside. I did notice that when DS'd outside "as soon as soil can be worked" it took them FOREVER to come up -- like 2 weeks. And the ones planted a week or two later for staggered production basically came up at the same time.

Ah ha! https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=111953#111953
Last edited by applestar on Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Gix, when is your last frost date? Ours is May 15th but I have had better luck putting them out May21 and even then covering them at night. I think I will take your advise though, and plant a few now. LOL, that will be me pushing a crated tree size tomato out to my garden in May.
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gixxerific
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I'm sorry I deleted my previous response I didn't realize it was so late for you, hopefully someone else will chime in I don't want to screw you up. My 10% first date Apr 24. I saw what OR last frost was and was shocked which got me to looking at my references here I was kind of going off the wrong one I may have to do some rethinking myself.

It may be too early for you count back 6-8 weeks plus germination from when you want to transplant. Which I'm coming up with about the end of March.
Check this out this is what shocked me with the late dates. [url=https://davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/index.php?q=oregon&submit=Go]Last frost percentages[/url]type in you zip code for a more accurate reading.

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Thanks for the link, Gix! It showed me I was right on track :D
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gixxerific
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crobi13 wrote:Thanks for the link, Gix! It showed me I was right on track :D
Good I'm glad it's working out for you.

I just got back from Worm's Way with a new seed starter heat mat. They have EVERY organic thing you could think of and they sure are proud of it, can you say VERY EXPENSIVE!!!!!!The mat was pretty cheap compared to everywhere but everything else was pretty high. I wanted to get a back of seed starter or potting mix but they ranged from $20 - $40 for a regular sized bag. I'm sure it was good stuff they were mainly bat guano and worm casting mixes. They also told me cinnamon won't work for fungus and that NEEM won't either. I had to point it out to the guy, he was somewhat new but come on.

So seed starter mat do you guy's leave them on all the time?

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rainbowgardener
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So seed starter mat do you guy's leave them on all the time? YES


But most things only stay on them til they get 1-2 pair of true leaves. Then they are moved off to make room for more seeds. The heat is mainly only for the germination.

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I knew about the second part and thank you Rainbowgardener (I got it right this time)

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swiss chard is that colorful stuff right? what does it taste like?

I have peppers, squash and cucumbers planted already. I have raised beds, so I think I am good to put them outside at about end of march, beginning of april... so i think my timing is ok...

i will start toms next i think?
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gixxerific
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wolfie wrote:swiss chard is that colorful stuff right? what does it taste like?
Yes it is that colorful stuff. :wink: As for taste I would have to say like lettuce. Not really sure. It's not bitter or anything. I always put it in salads.

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LOL, Gix, the part of Or. that showed up first when I went to the site said you could count on not having frost from July 29-31. What on earth can anyone grow there? nutz:

Fortunately we are in Southern Oregon and the zip code came up with an answer for May 16th to Oct. 4th and dang if you can't count on frost on Oct. 4th exactly!

I leave my heat mat on 24-7 and my lights for 12 hours a day.

Swiss chard is wonderful cooked too, tastes to me like a mild spinach. Just cook it as you would spinach or as an Italian, I add olive oil to EVERYTHING.
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gixxerific
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Yeah that is why I deleted most of my response telling you to go ahead and plant now. Even though now is a little early for you anyway's. When I started looking at that site I saw
Your frost-free growing season is around 36 days.
I about fell out of my chair. :lol:

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Here are my first tom sprouts found them this morning, after all that worrying about "damping off" yesterday too. It's all good. :clap:

Oh yeah D_V, and the rest of you the race is over the peat pellets beat my starters in my mix that are in Dixie cups (paper ones, plastic would be better).
Though the Dixie's are coming up just barely visible, but the peaty's are standing taller, even more now than when I took this pic this morning.

[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC03314.jpg[/img]

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"Houston, we have take off" O:)

Bring on the light, and watch them grow!!! Good to see that you found the way to germinate seedlings that works for you Dono! Keep up with updates!

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D

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It's not over yet buddy, just so you know about a 1/4 of those that germinated are your seeds. So you are kicking some butt too. :clap:

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Alright, looking good, Gixx!

That does it, where are those pots and dirt....

But, gee shouldn't I start the cool season crops before the warm? This just seems so odd.

I know, different areas... different zones...

I have cabbages scheduled to start this week, and celery those kinds of things... but tomatoes, peppers, and tobacco are more Fun!

I wanna have fun too!

I talked you through it Gixx, or tried to...

In 2009 I killed 760/800 seeedlings... so here goes...
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Yes, the ordinary way of doing things is cool season first. I don't know if Gixx is doing any cool season stuff or just the tomatoes, etc.

But for being in Arkansas, it does seem like you have been a bit conservative. I started my cabbage and broccoli 1/21 and I'm a good ways north of you. Are you at high elevation? What is your average last frost date?

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You mean these pots I got 57 of the 4 inch some round some square and a various other sizes plus some flats. I got all these today for $0.00 i did buy some Dr. Earth potting soil and other stuff too it was a good day today. Along with the 50 four in. I got the other day I should be good.
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wolfie
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I want to get some of those flat ones u have with the individual compartments, where do u get those, does anyone know?
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gixxerific
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wolfie wrote:I want to get some of those flat ones u have with the individual compartments, where do u get those, does anyone know?
Not sure where to buy them I got them from a local nursery for free.

RG I have Tom's, Peppers, Eggplant, Onions, Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, radishes and nasturtiums going. I have been waiting for flats like I got today, tomorrow I'm going to start some celery, broccoli, cauliflower and who knows I'm on a roll.

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I am in zone 6b/7 and yes elevation is 1500' so a bit above sea level.
Last frost is a relative term... My chart says March 23... But the % one that you use here, says April 15... 8 weeks.
My experience is no warm season plants outside before May 1st... But be ready then..

I have been thinking over what went wrong last year... to turn it around this year. Normally I am good with seedlings... not so last year.
I killed the plants at first true leaves, or the second set.
Finally, I started them outside, and got some to live.
So, I definitely don't want an instant replay of that.

I also must confess the 760 that I killed were tobacco seedlings... they are so very tiny! And I listened to other folks... and killed them.
Finally, I just decided they are tiny tomatoes and did it my way!! ha ha

So, I think that I am dragging my feet just a bit.. from the getting burned on seed starts last year. I keep reminding myself... we all have bad years.. just not usually that bad!

My self confidence really took a major hit... Know what I mean?

In self defense, I stuck seedlings in the ground at first leaves... and didn't lose more than 10% and that was with animals digging them up..

For some reason, I just don't start seeds well in the house.
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Ozark Lady wrote: I also must confess that I killed 760 seedlings...
Please stop saying this, it's upsetting my baby's :lol:

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