Scrappy Coco
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How do you germinate your seeds?

Winter in Israel is coming to it's end and it's time to start to germinate seeds. I'm talking about tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and so on. I remember last year I either put them in small pots, which wasn't very successful because the pots stayed inside the house and the water just didn't "dry". Or the other option was putting a wet napkin on a plate, putting the seeds on the napkin, closing the plate in a bag, and putting it on a heated area. The problem with this one is when the seeds germinate it's hard to remove them from the napkin without damaging them. The last option was crystal balls, but from what I understand it's suggested not to grow eatables in them, but only like flowers and other ornamental plants.

So, how do you germinate your seeds? Be specific and illustrative please. :D
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rainbowgardener
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Re: How do you germinate your seeds?

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Scrappy Coco
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Re: How do you germinate your seeds?

Well I looked the first one over and I do have something to ask. Lighting - I don't have space for lighting, all I have is an area of about half a meter on half a meter. I can fit in ahmm.. A few pots, but definitely not light. Also considering this is in a kitchen, I can't quite control the area because my mother would get annoyed. What I mean is, I can't do any modifications to the area where I germinate seeds. What do you suggest I do?

Another thing, I got regular soil, compost mix, and perlite. How do you suggest I make a germinating mix? I thought like 25 percent regular soil, 25 percent compost mix, and 50 percent perlite, but I'm really not sure. Also, as long as we're on that subject, what do you use to grow your mature plants in? I used to use 75 percent compost 25 percent perlite (I know it was kinda wrong.. back then I actually thought compost and soil is the same thing). What mix do you use to grow your mature plants in?

Thanks! :)
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rainbowgardener
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Re: How do you germinate your seeds?

Honestly, for no supplemental lighting, I would suggest don't try growing tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers from seed. They just won't do well that way. You could try lettuce and other leafy greens or herbs, if you have a good window to put them in front of, preferably south facing.

I don't know how things are in Israel, but here it is easy and cheap to buy well started tomato and pepper plants from a garden store.

Do you have an in ground space they are eventually going to go in? If so, once the soil is well warmed up, the cucumber seed can be planted directly in the ground.

I use the same potting mix for everything from seeds to trees. Most people would not agree with that, but I'm too lazy to try making a bunch of different mixes. :) It is roughly by eyeball 2 parts coconut coir (a substitute for peat moss), 2 parts mushroom compost, and 1 part or a bit less rice hulls (a substitute for perlite). Plus some minor additives like soaked alfalfa pellets.
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applestar
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Re: How do you germinate your seeds?

Let me add my "haphazard" methods -- I can't help trying different ways to see if they work -- imagine how much I could grow if I would just stick to a tried and true, fail safe method (haha). But you might see an adaptable example in there somewhere.... (I don't have my utility light set up photos in there this year, but I've done that in the past, too) :arrow: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 48&t=56474

Two comments -- "germinating" and "growing" are two different processes requiring sometimes completely different environments. Certainly "germinating" can be done in very limited space with minimal equipment.

Why your mother's kitchen may I ask. If you had 50cm square of space that is completely under your control -- your bedroom perhaps? You can maybe be better equipped to grow these seedlings. Certainly your chance of success will increase if you can use lights for them for at least four weeks (that's if you are willing to take them outside for full day of sun and being them inside if it's going to be too cold for the remaining couple of weeks)

Light fixtures can be mounted under shelves or a table, on the wall, or hung from the ceiling. Inside closets and cabinets. Are you sure you don't have such a space to call your own?
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digitS'
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Re: How do you germinate your seeds?

Would Mother allow you to use the top of the refrigerator, Coco?

That is where I do nearly all of the seed starting. There is a cabinet above the fridge and my container of potting soil with pepper seeds are there now. The thermometer shows that it is above 20 Celsius no matter that the house temperature falls below that during the nights.

I have to watch that container closely. There is no light up there and the seedlings will have to come out to a sunny south window as soon as they emerge. Nothing is very "ideal" for peppers but they will be in a heated greenhouse in a few weeks.

Don't you have weather now or soon when you could be getting containers with your plant starts outdoors?

Steve
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imafan26
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Re: How do you germinate your seeds?

I don't germinate indoors much. I can germinate cool crops now with the night temps in the 60's but it is best to wait until the night temps are closer to 70 for peppers.

If you have a heat mat you could germinate them now.

I use my standard 50% peat 50% perlite with a little osmocote in the mix. Most seeds I just sprinkle on top of the mix and I do not cover it. Seeds that need darkness to germinate, I will cover with a paper towel and water over the paper towel, then remove the towel after the seeds have germinated. My day temps are in the 70's now and the nights have varied from 56-68 degrees. I germinate all of my seeds outside on a bench in full sun. It is the rainy season here, so I may not need to water for a day or two with rain. I just have to check the pots twice a day to make sure they are not drying out.

I have limited space and I have not had luck with cell trays (they stay to wet for me), so I germinate a lot of things in community pots and then transplant out to individual 4 inch pots later. I germinate lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, onions, and herbs this way. I will sometimes plant out fast germinating seeds in individual pots like the cucumber and squash instead of community pots, but that would mean I would have less diversity on the bench.

If you are in a drier location, you may want to increase the peat and decrease the perlite so the mix does not dry out as quickly.
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Scrappy Coco
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Re: How do you germinate your seeds?

digitS' wrote:Would Mother allow you to use the top of the refrigerator, Coco?

That is where I do nearly all of the seed starting. There is a cabinet above the fridge and my container of potting soil with pepper seeds are there now. The thermometer shows that it is above 20 Celsius no matter that the house temperature falls below that during the nights.

I have to watch that container closely. There is no light up there and the seedlings will have to come out to a sunny south window as soon as they emerge. Nothing is very "ideal" for peppers but they will be in a heated greenhouse in a few weeks.

Don't you have weather now or soon when you could be getting containers with your plant starts outdoors?

Steve
The first sentence made me laugh :D Anyway, you gave me a good idea, we do have a cabinet over the fridge which I could use. That's an idea.

About the weather outside.. Well I remember I germinated tomatoes outside last year, but it took them about a week or two to actually germinate, and in the house they germinate in a few days really.

Thanks!
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