Bobberman
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Location: Latrobe Pa.

Basement seed starting under lights!

I have done this several times in the past and decided to try it this year! I plan to start the seeds under lights then after they emerge in a few days put them into my solar greenhouse to get more light! The 59 degree temp allows them to come up in a few days while in my greenhouse it takes over 10 to 14 days because of the below 40 night temp!
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I welcome any tips on this way of starting seeds. My own tips get a remote acurite temp meter $9 Wal Mart and put the remote near the starter boxes and check the temp all the time right in your kitchen without going down stairs! What I noticed with this set up was when I surrounded the boxes with insulation the 59 degree basement temp went up 3 degrees. You can also see the change in temp as you move the lights closer. I placed white styrofoam around the boxes not only to insulate but to reflect light from the lights back to the plants for more intense light!
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Another thing to do with the remote is to place it in different places in your greenhouse to see what temp that area will get. I also put a remote in my greenhouse which is 100 feet from the house and can read the greenhouse temp from the house since the remote woks up to 160 feet away! I like to see how the greenhouse temp reacts to the outside temps even at midnight or how much the greenhouse temp drops the first hour after dark. Lots of fun!.
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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quiltbea
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:27 am
Location: Southwestern Maine

I also start my seeds in the basement furnace room.
First I germinate them in tiny soil blocks on a heat mat. When they pop up, they are put under the lights. It keeps pretty steady there at around 62*F and if I want it warmer, I can just slip a heat mat under a tray of soil blocks for a week or so during the day.
When they grow a bit and have their first true leaves beginning, I transplant those mini-blocks into 2" midi-blocks and again, keep them under the shop lights with the light about 2" above the top of the plants.
[url=https://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/823/050111seedlingtraytomsp.jpg/][img]https://img823.imageshack.us/img823/7550/050111seedlingtraytomsp.jpg[/img][/url]
Here's a tray of little tomato seedlings.

Uploaded with [url=https://imageshack.us]ImageShack.us[/url]

Dillbert
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Location: Central PA

bobber -

for each seed / plant there is an "optimum" germination temperature - some have a very wide range of temp, some a very narrow range.

note - that is "optimum" - not minimum or maximum - optimum.

that is NOT to say seed outside of the optimum temp will not germinate.

if the seed germination area is varying so much in temperature that you need to track it - from upstairs or downstairs - that's not an optimum situation.

when the "optimum" germination temp is determined, it is a _constant_ temperature.

which is NOT to say seeds subject to temp swings above/below the "optimum" will not germinate.

I built a "germination box" for my greenhouse. plywood sides, storm window top, thermostatically controlled hair dryer for 'heat'

I ran two cycles - 'warm' and 'cool' germination - just took the seed data and lumped it into two categories. no problem.

DoubleDogFarm
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I built a "germination box" for my greenhouse. plywood sides, storm window top, thermostatically controlled hair dryer for 'heat'
What a great idea, I should try this. :lol:

Eric

Bobberman
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Location: Latrobe Pa.

I would have to think that most seeds will germinate in a week to 10 days in a 60 degree temp! I would be very careful with a hair dryer. I think a ceramic heater would be safer and longer lasting! The small personal heater I just bought from Wal Mart was $12 and only uses 200 watts. It has ceramic inside and I think it may be the best thing to use since the heat could be left on longer with a smoother rise in temp! I liked it so much I bought two of them!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

DoubleDogFarm
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https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=189901#189901
Pulled the (9) flats out of the sweat chamber today and onto the watering shelf. 3 days

Red Sails Lettuce
Slobolt Lettuce
Buttercrunch Lettuce
Valmaine Lettuce
(2) Arugulas
Mizuna Mustard
Olympia Spinach
Di Cico Broccoli
Frank, Some of use don't have a week to 10 days.

Eric

Bobberman
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Location: Latrobe Pa.

How hot is too hot! I was taking 2 weeks or more in my greenhouse last year in march but now 5 days at 60 so I am happy! I guess you are doing seeds in 3 to 4 days! Most of those seeds you sprouted are cold weather crops and they sprout quick even at 60! Check out that personal heater I know you will like it! You cold use two with less wattage than the hair dryer and use one n each end of your sweat chamber.
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

DoubleDogFarm
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Bobberman wrote:How hot is too hot! I was taking 2 weeks or more in my greenhouse last year in march but now 5 days at 60 so I am happy! I guess you are doing seeds in 3 to 4 days! Most of those seeds you sprouted are cold weather crops and they sprout quick even at 60! Check out that personal heater I know you will like it! You cold use two with less wattage than the hair dryer and use one n each end of your sweat chamber.
My chamber was about 80F for all seeds from A to Z. I'm pretty sure it cut germination time by 1/2 and a 1/3 for some.

After March last year, I switched to a Kero-Sun Ceramica heater. Output is variable up to 1500w (5200 BTUs).

Eric

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