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Aida
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Started my seeds!

Hey everyone!
Firstly, thanks for all of your advice on what varieties to do and how, you guys are gold. :clap:

Like you recommended, I am only starting my tomatoes inside. I bought a pack of "better boy" hybrids and put them all into a peat-pot seed starting kit my mom got me. I know it's not what most of you use(and I can see why, it looks like it's super easy to overwater...), but my mom talked me into it, and she said if it doesn't work we'll just go get more seeds and do the regular yoghurt-cup container we always did before.

I also planted some spearmint in the other rows(thanks gixxerific for your guide!), as well as marigolds(mom loves them!). In the left over ones, I planted some zinnias for my mom, too. :)


At the store I also picked up some manure/compost, and soil, and am going to prepare a chunk of land sometime this weekend. Directly, outside I am planting radishes(French Breakfast, as recommended by marlingardener <3), sunflowers(mammoth, a pack leftover from last year; thank you JasonFL for reminding me when to plant them, and that I have some seeds leftover).
Also this weekend, I'm getting a fluroscent light for when the leaves begin popping out, and am going to beg mom to drive me somewhere to a nursery to get some strawberry plants.
I'm also thinking about planting some lemongrass and borage(thanks, mattstern!), but I need to google those a bit more. I also don't want to overwhelm myself- this IS my first "real" garden... -wall-


Pictures!!!!(sorry, crap phone quality, I know):

https://s1211.beta.photobucket.com/user/ ... w%20Garden
(I will upload them there, as it is so much easier to have all the pictures in one spot)



I'm really excited, because like I already mentioned, this is my first serious garden, where I actually tried to find out about these plants and get some advice before just throwing them in the yard with some potting soil and calling it a day, then wondering "Why won't anything grow?! :evil: ". Gosh, this is fun- raising plants is almost like having pets~
So, if you guys see that I'm doing something terribly wrong, please let me know- I really want this to work out.

One last question: Should I keep the little plastic cover on, or not? The box said to keep it on until the first seeds emerge, then prop it up, then take it off once they all sprout- but I don't know, you can't always trust stuff like that. :roll:
If the temperature is what decides this, right now my room is 72 degrees, and it's 9pm- so I don't think it will get much colder. We haven't had a chilly night in a while.

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ElizabethB
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Aida - what ever you do = do not despair :!: We all have failures and we learn from them. That is part of the joy of gardening. You live and plant and learn.

Hang in there :lol:
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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Aida
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Ha ha, thanks Elizabeth!
I'm sure something will grow! :>

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ReptileAddiction
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ElizabethB wrote:Aida - what ever you do = do not despair :!: We all have failures and we learn from them. That is part of the joy of gardening. You live and plant and learn.

Hang in there :lol:
YES! You wouldnt even imagine how many plants I have killed.

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Aida
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I re-read the seed starting for newbies sticky, and I think I'm going to take the plastic cover off. They are in a starting kit, but the little pots are plastic on a plastic tray tohold water, so I guess it isn't that bad.

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rainbowgardener
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Did you know photobucket makes it really easy to embed your pictures in your post here, like this:

Image

I don't use the plastic covers. They are a set up for damping off, which is a fungal disease baby seedlings are very vulnerable to, in conditions of high moisture and low air circulation.

I also don't use the peat pots - as you noticed, they tend to hold water way too long, and then dry out and suck water away from your plant. But some people use them successfully.

I think you are right to take it easy and not overwhelm yourself. Congratulations on getting started!
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Betsy Muse
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Don't give up. I learned most of my seed starting techniques from trial and lots of error!
I fear we are losing the ability to do for ourselves. That's why I garden. When I'm not in my garden, I can be found bragging about it at Life in Roughedge https://lifeinroughedge.com

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Aida
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Thanks Betsy, and thank you rainbow!
You're right, I am going to take off the cover when I get home. Florida isn't a "dry" place anyways, even in "winter".

See, the thing is, I don't think they are peat pots. They came with soil in little "pellets", but the pots themselves are plastic- not the biodegradable kind. Except for the dry add-water-to-make soil, I don't see how they are different from yoghurt cups or teeny ceramic pots. o-o

Would you recommend not using that soil, though?(the dried kind)
(When repotting, I will be using miracle grow. Can this drastic switch harm them?)

Susan W
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Looks like you have it going on A! FWIW, I use the peat pellet system, 10 to a tray. Most here don't, but then doing much more volume. I have small amounts of varying plants, mostly herbs and flowers. With the small trays I can make use of my micro spaces, moving them around as needed. Often I put a few trays on top of frig, check regular and move down when they show some activity. I often keep the plastic top on, loose and at an angle until activity showing. Some of my prime window sill space is taken up by Kitty. In the winter she has her perches on tables/shelves by windows. She can have her plump body on the shelf, and paws up on the sill, and bird watch from there!

From my experience, once your seeds sprout, get them good light. When theyhave real leaves, I keep a check on the roots (if showing on the bottom). Once a couple leaves, sign of roots, I put into 4" pot or sometimes into garden or large pot. I do tear down the netting on 1-2 sides and plant.

Have fun!
Susan
Have fun!
Susan

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ReptileAddiction
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If you use he pellets you will have to start fertilizing with water soluble fertilizer at half strength as soon as the first true leaves appear because that soil is void of nutrients.

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Aida
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Thanks Susan!
I do have a fluroscent light that I'm going to turn on above them for when they sprout, so light shouldn't be a problem. I water them from the bottom(put water in the tray as recommended), and I think I'll prop up the little cover like you did, at least at first at night. After that I want to drape a white sheet over the whole set-up to reflect the light, but keep them on a shelf under a cracked window, to ensure good air circulation. And yup, I'm saving up on plastic cups, etc. now for when they outgrow those teeny boxes. :3

Thanks for the tip, Reptile. I think I have some of that laying around for when they appear. I'm going to repot them with miracle grow potting soil when they get big enough, too, and maybe throw in some compost+manure, that way they won't have to rely on that stuff.

Susan W
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Thank you RA for that info! I knew I was missing it, but wasn't sure of specifics. The g-son was here by me playing and when his Dad came to get him I lost train of thought in confusion.
Have fun!
Susan

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Aida
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Woo! The first sprouts are here!!!

They're not even green yet, but I see their white little stems coming out! :wink:
Boy they are growing fast! Last night there was only one, this morning almost all of the tomatoes are started, and a marigold! SUPER exciting!

Also, mom picked up some straws last night, so I'm going to be repotting those outside today.

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applestar
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What kind of fluorescent light? I prefer Daylight --5500-6500K.

Be sure to position the light just inches above the tops of the seedlings.1-2" if T-12, 2-3" if T-8, and 3-4" if T-5. Raise the seedlings or lower the light.

If you are supplementing good sunlight from the window, position/angle the light to shine from the inside so it doesn't block the sun and so it lights up the darker, interior side.

Congrats and have fun! :D

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Aida
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Jeez, applestar, I have no idea what kind. The lamp is at another house, so my mom will have to go get it, and then I'll know.


As an update on the little guys, I came home today to find that they went from wittle white baby-roots, to full blow stalks with leaves in the 8 hours I was at school. Wow. :shock:

This morning:
Image
(There were only three with this type of tiny stem thing, and this is a picture of the biggest. It also really proves how plants lean toward the sun- when I saw the baby stems, I put them in the bathroom where there's morning light. They're all leaning toward the window. )


This Afternoon:
Image
For some weird reason, only half of the tray sprouted- not a single sprout on the other half, not even one, but the plants on both halfs are the same. Weird.

Anyways, now I moved the whole set up in front of an open window for air circulation and some more light, until we drive over and get the light, at least. :3

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rainbowgardener
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Yup, get those babies more light ASAP! They are pale and stretched and leaning toward the light.

Show us a picture that shows the whole tray and set up, re what happened to the ones that didn't sprout. It may be that they still will. There's a lot of individual variation in seeds in how fast they sprout. I think it's an evolutionary protection. (In nature) if they all sprouted at once and two days later there was a huge storm or freeze or something, the whole generation of babies would be wiped out. If some of them are still protected underground, then there's more chances to try again.

And then there's a lot of "micro-climate" variability in things like did all the seeds get covered to the same depth, get the same amount of water, etc. In the picture you did show, some of the cells look empty. Was that on purpose?
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Aida
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Ha, Rainbow! That's the thing, about the light, they literarly grew that much in the 8 hours at school- it was crazy!

It actually wasn't on purpose. The tablets of soil that came with the set up, or whatever, were smaller in some? I don't know. :roll:

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ElizabethB
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Rotate your tray. Your seedlings are leaning towards light. Rotate once or twice a day. Good luck - looking good.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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applestar
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You want to concentrate and gather all the reflected light possible. Surround seed starting area with reflectors -- mirrors, foil/Mylar covered cardboard, WHITE surfaces, etc. I use accordion folded mylar windshield sun shields to close off the front of the seed starting shelves -- they're lying around useless for the winter anyway. Fold to open for access, unfold and clamp to an edge to cover. Inside of chip bags -- get the giant party size bags if you can, but smaller bags can be tapes together.

Her are some lighting ideas -- Adapted from a bedside lamp:
Image
It looks like this -- I'm using a rectangular aluminum foil lasagna tray as reflector. Extended swivel Y splitter holds a soft white and a daylight 100W equivalent (26W) CFL bulbs. I shift the containers by 1/4 turn every day.
ImageImage

Here's a 10" clip on utility light with socket extentin and a Y splitter. Looks a little hokey but a chip bag to widen the reflector so the exposed bulbs aren't blinding the rest of the room (and why waste the light?)
Image

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rainbowgardener
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Well... if you are trying to grow your seedlings without lights, just with the window, the reflectors and collecting all the light would be really important. If you are growing big plants and getting tomatoes to fruit indoors in winter as applestar is, the reflectors are really important.

If you are just starting seeds and growing them to transplant size, just having fluorescent tubes a few inches directly over the plants is fine and you don't really need all the rest (not that it would hurt if you are in to it).
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applestar
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Umm... My point was that if you don't have dedicated light fixture/shop light, etc. You can still get some light on them.

Also, I dislike those large trays and cells because I don't grow that many same seeds at a time, and if you start different kinds of seeds in cells of same tray you run into trouble because they won't germinate or grow at the same rate.

Check out the recycled seed starting containers sticky. I prefer to sow same seeds in community containers just big enough for the number of seeds I want to sow. Even then, there are fast germinates and slow pokes, but you can up pot the ones that grow faster and then there will be more room for the slower growing seedlings

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Aida
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Yup, no worries guys! Like I said, I do have a fluroscent lights that I'm getting today. Those are really creative set ups, applestar. I think I'm just going to set up the tray under a window, and shine the light from the other side(maybe cover with a white sheet), since I am transplanting them into the garden when they're big enough.

Speaking of my garden progress outside, this is SO hard, guys. I spent 4 hours yesterday, digging up a new patch and ripping out all the grass and weeds growing there. Today, I have to finish that up, dig deeper, and mix in compost/better soil. I feel like I'm going to have a six pack when I'm done with all of this. :wink:

Aww, thanks, Marlin. I'm so glad this forum exists-- no one else around here seems to think gardening is the new "cool" hobby, ha ha! As for labeling, I have a little chart drawn on a sheet of paper, with everything written on there- you can't really see, but each row is marked with "A, B, C, etc.", so I just had to redraw that on a sheet of paper and mark which row has what. :3

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Aida
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I now(since a few days ago) have a light system set up above the babies, and they have tinfoil around them to reflect the light back- I can really tell the difference. They are growing super fast, and three more have grown leaves from the second half of the tray, so I guess they were just late bloomers... literarly. :lol:


As for my patch outside, I don't have a six pack, but I did(finally) finish and planted those sunflowers and radishes. I believe some are already sprouting, too!

Now, how often should I water the outside ones? I'm kind of "eyeballing" it right now, and watering once a day if it's hot outside, or skipping a day if it wasn't that sunny, etc. (I water with a hose)

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Jardin du Fort
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OK, so I'm thinking, if Aida is just now planting in the garden in Florida, it will likely be, um, well that's a difference of four zones, at a month and a half a zone, um, times a weather irregularity vector of 10%, minus the global warming factor at 5 1/2%, um, well, it looks like I'll be able to plant my garden here in northern Indiana about July 27! :roll:

Really now, Aida, you're doing a great job! :clap:

And don't worry about not getting that 6-pack. You'll firm up well enough if you just keep at the garden chores! :D

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