Wow! What an huge help!
I agree, that starting a second tray would be better for a couple of reasons. I made the decision, likely too soon, that the seeds with the very light covering were unlikely to sprout and so I put my remainder on top. I've dubbed this the "sprinkle and press" method. I feel as certain as my lousy lab practice will permit that it is these that have sprouted.
I took the lids off last week or so- I also have a tray of anise hyssop that got flipped. The seed packet was pretty light, so I wasn't able to keep back any $&;/!!?! stash as I usually do.
I would then battle "total dry-out" with my misting bottle- one thing with seeds, but as you've all confirmed, another thing once there are sprouts.
I was putting the lids or plastic (I have a second shallow pot of thyme I'm trying to coax along) when they went into the light box for a few hours after sunset. It's not the right set up at all- but I hoped that the warmth and full spec light might help germinate. I was considering leaving coverings off and watching them better, and you guys have helped me to make that decision. I have 5 thyme seedlings on 2nd or 3rd leaves- from a sprout crop of about 20, which is why I immediately reseeded after moving those out.
I know these will grow well here once established, but they are difficult.
I think I got attached to the lid method because when I was starting Italian parsley I got nowhere- in fact I thought it was a failure, snapped lids on, put them on the fire escape and forgot them- only to find a large number of light reaching long seedlings later. I had to prick them out with a toothpick, but now I have a fantastic pot of parsley.
Of course, it's silly to think you can use the same method for everything, and you all have really helped. Wish me luck- I'm going to operate under the assumption that these 6-8 are it, so I better not murder them with a fungal utopia of an environment!
I murdered a number of thyme seedlings like that.
It's been interesting growing light- germinating seeds. I found that my poppies (Danish Flag) sprouted much better using the "toothpick trench" method. I have a bad feeling about the feverfew which I put directly into the large pot I intended to keep them in. Too wet and the paper-like seeds rot, too dry and they float away. I'll try again with those- who knows, something may still arise. The Thai basil sprouted with a couple of days once I started them in a small pot. I put the seeds on top, but pressed down. I have such a carpet of them that I'll have to thin them just so they can put out first leaves. I originally put them in with hyssop- half and half- big mistake I won't repeat.
The fact that only one or two of those sprouted in there leads me to believe that the tiny hyssop seeds are just too far down now. I may do an artificial kind of miniature plowing to see if I can get something viable back up in the light. The only place to obtain more seeds is via the Internet- strange, I know.
If none of the marjoram survives, maybe it is more economical to buy a small plant- but SF has become a very strange city. The Farmer's Market doesn't seem to sell the little pots of herbs and tomatoes that it used to-just succulents and depraved looking rose bushes and African violets. One is tempted to rescue the poor dears, but I've got more than enough on my plate.
BTW the first rose of the season is opening thanks to generous help from this forum. If I wind up with any marjoram (which I pick over oregano every time) it will also be thanks to you all.
The good news is that even my failures teach me loads. I do keep notes so that when I manage to do something right I can determine what it was! All of those science classes weren't a waste after all!
Thank you again! You are the best!!!