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Need Advice on seeding in trays inside.

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:22 am
by Avonnow
I am startig my seeds inside in containers. I have a Dome I purchased, but have not started using it. I also have some milk cartons and other plastic things I am using. Things are starting to sprout and I am doing some reading. I have some questions. :shock:

Dampening off - should I just watch how I water, or do you recommend treating the container, the soil mix - I have seen articles about putting soil in the oven, I really do not want to go there. Should I only mist lightly the plants & soil. Also other articles say when they get their first two leaves, to remove the cover from the tray, what if some haven't gotten to that point, they all seem to be growing at different levels. Also those leaves are not their TRUE leaves - correct :?: The books mention True leaves and then they are ready to be removed from the tray or container into something larger or go outdoors.

You can see, I have never grown seeds indoors. I guess I just need some basic advice. If I use a tray with 20 slots, is it wrong to plant different plant seeds in the tray together. Should it be all the same type of plant. The house and the room they are in are about 70 degrees. I do have a heating mat under them on low. I appreciate any advice. I do not have a large garden - so I do not want 20 tomato plants. I was hoping to do several different plants in the tray - but not sure. Thanks again!

:arrow: I also apolgize in advance, I know I have a tendancy to drone on forever. Just be glad you are not here in person - I am a regular chatterbox :P

Re: Need Advice on seeding in trays inside.

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:40 am
by wordwiz
Avonnow wrote: Dampening off - should I just watch how I water, or do you recommend treating the container, the soil mix - I have seen articles about putting soil in the oven, I really do not want to go there. Should I only mist lightly the plants & soil.
When I first started a wise lady told me one of the most important things about growing seedlings - bottom water. Put the container in something that has water in it and let the potting mix/soil wick it up.
Also other articles say when they get their first two leaves, to remove the cover from the tray, what if some haven't gotten to that point, they all seem to be growing at different levels. Also those leaves are not their TRUE leaves - correct :?: The books mention True leaves and then they are ready to be removed from the tray or container into something larger or go outdoors.
I remove the cover and put the tray under lights when the very first seed breaks the soil.

You can see, I have never grown seeds indoors. I guess I just need some basic advice. If I use a tray with 20 slots, is it wrong to plant different plant seeds in the tray together. Should it be all the same type of plant. The house and the room they are in are about 70 degrees. I do have a heating mat under them on low. I appreciate any advice. I do not have a large garden - so I do not want 20 tomato plants. I was hoping to do several different plants in the tray - but not sure. Thanks again!
As long as the plants take about the same time to germinate, and you can keep track of what seeds are in what containers, no problems. I would not try germinating something like a superhot chile pepper and Swiss Chard in the same container - one can take 2-3 weeks, the other 2-3 days.

Mike

Re: Need Advice on seeding in trays inside.

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:31 pm
by rainbowgardener
Avonnow wrote:
Dampening off - should I just watch how I water, or do you recommend treating the container, the soil mix - I have seen articles about putting soil in the oven, I really do not want to go there. Should I only mist lightly the plants & soil. Also other articles say when they get their first two leaves, to remove the cover from the tray, what if some haven't gotten to that point, they all seem to be growing at different levels. Also those leaves are not their TRUE leaves - correct :?: The books mention True leaves and then they are ready to be removed from the tray or container into something larger or go outdoors.

You can see, I have never grown seeds indoors. I guess I just need some basic advice. If I use a tray with 20 slots, is it wrong to plant different plant seeds in the tray together. Should it be all the same type of plant. The house and the room they are in are about 70 degrees. I do have a heating mat under them on low. I appreciate any advice. I do not have a large garden - so I do not want 20 tomato plants. I was hoping to do several different plants in the tray - but not sure. Thanks again!
Putting soil in the oven is for when you are bringing garden dirt in the house and it is to kill insects as well as diseases you might be bringing in. I have done it and it is a stinky process. Not recommended or needed if you are using potting soil. Damping off is a fungal condition that little seedlings are vulnerable that has to do with excess moisture and low air circulation. So if you do bottom watering, don't give them any more water than they need, and have some air movement (a little personal fan helps) you shouldn't have much trouble. A little bit of chamomile in the water is preventative also.

I don't use the domes, but if you do, then remove them as soon as the first seeds sprout... under the domes is perfect conditions for damping off and other fungus. I also don't recommend misting seedlings for the same reasons, just bottom water. The first pair of leaves that appear are the cotyledons or seed leaves which are often quite differently shaped than the regular ones. After that, all the rest are true leaves. Just because your baby seedling has it's first pair of true leaves doesn't make it ready for transplanting. I don't even pot up (from the little cells to 3" pots) until they have several pair of true leaves. And I don't set them outside until I have sturdy little plants, 6" or more (depending on the type of plant) tall.

Different plants in the same tray is fine, but do keep them labelled. I always have trouble with that. I don't have any trouble telling a petunia from a tomato, but since I grow several varieties of each, I always end up with some mystery tomatoes that I don't know which variety they are.

Trays and seeds

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:30 pm
by Avonnow
Thanks for all the good info, I do have small labels for the small containers, I will forget if I do not label them. I also bought some long plastic trays to water from the bottom. Sounds like a great idea. Also I am assuming they can stay in those small containers for awhile. They show all kinds of pictures with these small plants in these seed germination things and the tremendous root growth below it, and I am not sure if that is hyphe or it really gets that crowded in those small pods or whatever you call them. I did buy the jumbo ones instead of the itty bitty ones, I want the plant to be real sturdy before I move it. I have moved things before only to see them die off quickly. Some of the specialty peppers I have gotten seem to be very delicate and they take so long to grow - I hate losing them after 6 weeks of work. So I am going to be patient and try and wait before moving them to larger containers. :)

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:53 pm
by wordwiz
Sherry,

I learned to number the cells with a magic marker and then record what seed went into what cell. Labels seem to have a way of moving.

Mike

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:32 pm
by garden5
Here are two threads packed with information on seed-starting:

[url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21821&highlight=seed+starting]The Unofficial Seed Starting Thread[/url]

[url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12209&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=seed+starting&start=75]My (RBG's) Seed Starting Operation with Pics[/url]

If you like to read, these should offer up plenty of good material.