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Jardin du Fort
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Starting seeds first time in years...

Wednesday March 19, 2014 I started the first seeds of the year.

This thread will be used for my own reference, but others please chime in as you deem appropriate!

I started five varieties of tomatoes and one of sweet peppers:

Burpee Organic Roma Tomato three pots
" " Brandywine Pink three pots
" " Beefsteak three pots
" " Yellow Pear three pots
Seeds of Change Red Cherry three pots

Burpee Organic California Wonder three pots

These were started in toilet paper tube pots. The soil mix is two parts Mushroom Compost, two parts Composted Manure, one part Top Soil, and a couple handfulls of Perlite, all purchased locally at the M home store.

The pots are labeled and grouped by type, rubber-banded together for "support" and placed in a couple of recycled plastic trays. These are watered from the bottom.

As of today (3/22) there is not yet any sign of sprouting, but I'm sure it is too soon.

(NOTE TO SELF) I need to set up some lights really soon so that these will grow properly inside.

Temperatures this year have been much colder than normal, and the forecast for all of March is colder than normal. Snow is still melting. These seeds will (hopefully) be ready to transplant into the garden by May 20 or so.

I have several other veggies on hand, but am thinking nothing else really needs to be started just yet. Three obsolete recycle tubs have been painted THIS COLOR for aesthetic purposes, and I have almost enough soil mix to fill them. My current plan is to use one for salad greens, one for Peppers, and one for peas(?). Oh. I need to get that one going asap.

This gardening stuff really keeps you on your toes! :shock:

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digitS'
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Re: Starting seeds first time in years...

Dropping some seed, Jardin du Fort?

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Steve

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shadylane
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Re: Starting seeds first time in years...

Great start Jardin, you did not mention a heating mat, which tomato seeds need the soil to be 70 degrees to germinate. You should see young seedlings appearing about 1 1/2 weeks. That is when the lighting will be needed. Then water from the bottom, this will reduce the dangers of damping-off. Which kills your seedlings.
Best of gardening to you..

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Starting seeds first time in years...

Agree with all that, especially the need for heat, for the peppers even more than the tomatoes. But on the heat mat my tomato seeds take 4 -7 days to sprout and the peppers 7 - 10.
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Jardin du Fort
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Re: Starting seeds first time in years...

shadylane wrote:you did not mention a heating mat, which tomato seeds need the soil to be 70 degrees to germinate.
Hmmm. I don't have a heating mat. I have the starts inside where the ambient temp is 70° in a sunny south-facing window. Is that good enough, or do I really need to invest in the heating mat?

:roll:

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hendi_alex
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Re: Starting seeds first time in years...

All that matters is for the soil to stay constantly warm enough. Does your location stay 70 degrees 24/7? You can get by with any heat source, though I tend to think that bottom heat is best. An incandescent light would probably give adequate warmth. Also placed over a heat register may be sufficient. Even at somewhat cooler temperature, the seeds will likely sprout, but germination may be worse and may take longer.
Last edited by hendi_alex on Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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Jardin du Fort
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Re: Starting seeds first time in years...

Thanks Alex. The seeds don't need light until they sprout, so moving them to a heat register is not a problem. I will do that right now. :D

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applestar
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Re: Starting seeds first time in years...

I'm going to say something that you may not like.

So far in my limited experience, starting slow germinating seeds in TP tubes have not worked well.

The tubes wick moisture and dry out the mix, but if you create high humidity germination chamber/container, they tend to quickly grow mold.

The thick paper appears to cause N leaching effect and the seedlings seem to grow slowly.

Seedlings when they grow, appear to slow down and stunt when their roots reach the cardboard. This can be offset by heavily feeding, but you can't do that with young/just germinated seedlings.

When the cardboard finally start to break down, they seem to hold too much moisture....

I have a bunch of sprouted tomato seedlings that need to be uppotted. This thread has prompted me to try uppotting a few tomato seedlings in TP tubes and see if they are suitable for next stage seedlings. If I do this, I'll start a new thread to talk about TP tubes.
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Jardin du Fort
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Re: Starting seeds first time in years...

applestar wrote:The tubes wick moisture and dry out the mix, but if you create high humidity germination chamber/container, they tend to quickly grow mold.

The thick paper appears to cause N leaching effect and the seedlings seem to grow slowly.

Seedlings when they grow, appear to slow down and stunt when their roots reach the cardboard. This can be offset by heavily feeding, but you can't do that with young/just germinated seedlings.
Applestar, I appreciate your sharing your experience.

I'm bottom watering these, sitting in a plastic tray, so the drying out and leaching hopefully won't be a problem. I'm also using a N rich potting soil (see above) so that hopefully won't be a problem either. My trays are open to the air, so again, hopefully, the mold won't get a start. lol.

I'll keep an eye on them and make notes of any of the problems you have mentioned!

:shock:

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shadylane
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Re: Starting seeds first time in years...

Jardin du Fort wrote:
shadylane wrote:you did not mention a heating mat, which tomato seeds need the soil to be 70 degrees to germinate.
Hmmm. I don't have a heating mat. I have the starts inside where the ambient temp is 70° in a sunny south-facing window. Is that good enough, or do I really need to invest in the heating mat?

:roll:
Hendi answered that very nicely, I thought. :)

Jardin, am I understanding correctly that you are wanting to start peas indoors first? Peas do not transplant very well at all. They are very successful starting from seed outdoors. If that is your intension to do so.

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Jardin du Fort
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Re: Starting seeds first time in years...

shadylane wrote:Jardin, am I understanding correctly that you are wanting to start peas indoors first? Peas do not transplant very well at all. They are very successful starting from seed outdoors. If that is your intension to do so.
I was planning on starting the peas in the bin outside, once I have it "assembled". I'll be adding a couple of pieces of pipe to the ends of the bin for mounting poles for support, with probably some netting between the poles. I need to get the pipes mounted, put in the dirt, and plant the seeds. The weather is basically fine for starting peas outside.

Its the other "warm weather" veggies that will get started indoors. Squash, corn, beans, etc.

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