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rainbowgardener
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

I planted petunias, salvia, coleus, marigold, chamomile, caraway. So I now have seeds for 28 different plants planted and a long way to go yet. The coleus which is listed as 10-20 days germination time, sprouted in 4, with heat and light.

Nothing else will get planted until the tomatoes and green basil around the 20th of Feb.

The first broccoli seedlings got potted up into the 3.5" pots. If we were having normal weather, I could start taking them outside already. Running out of potting soil, because all the materials I ordered for this year's mix haven't come yet, including the rice hulls.
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skiingjeff
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

RBG,

Are you planting cauliflower this year? Even though it is a cold veggie, everything I've read about temperature indicates it is not as cold hardy as broccoli???

Broccoli says soil temp of 40 degrees but cauliflower says soil temp of 50 in most of what I'm reading.

I'm trying to figure out when to start it in order to get a spring crop. Does anyone in Zone 6a do cauliflower? If so, any ideas?? :)

Unfortunately I can't start my seedlings until the middle of February as I'm away from home until then :( so I'm working on what I will plant and when and getting anxious to start. :-()

I'm also trying to do more succession plantings this year.

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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Your post prompted me to look for my last year' seed starting thread because I had first time success with cauliflowers last year... And it turns out I did have similar thoughts as yours and staggered broccoli and cauliflower starting -- with broccoli in early Feb and cauliflower around mid-Feb

:oops: should have checked before sowing BOTH broccoli and cauliflower.

> I mentioned planting the broccoli ahead of the cauliflower in this post about planting out the cauliflower last year, but didn't note when I planted the broccoli. There's a picture of how I covered the beds against the cabbage whites.
>> Looking at my garden log from last year, I planted broccoli on 4/8 and cauliflower on 4/17, covering both with insect netting on 4/17, but noted that the broccoli could have been planted earlier based on performance.
>>> one more link to a thread about harvesting the cauliflower last year
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

One thing I still have trouble with is managing the things that have teeny-tiny seeds like dust.

I started transplanting celery even though it doesn't have true leaves yet, just because it was so crowded in the cells. I planted 18 of them in individual cells, thinned about 50 of the least thriving, and probably still have 100 in the 9 little cells they were started in. I will let them do their survival of the fittest thing for awhile longer, then probably transplant another 18 and trash the rest. Seems so wasteful.

And I have hundreds of little coleus and tarragon seedlings started, that will need the same kind of treatment.

Incidentally the coleus, which is listed as 10 -20 days, sprouted in 4 and the (Russian) tarragon that is listed as 7-14, sprouted practically over night, maybe 2-3 days.

Any tips people have to avoid over planting the dust-like seeds?
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

I tried two methods last year.

• Pick Up with Moistened Tip •
- only take out as much seeds as intended to sow and spread on a plate
- dampen tip of bamboo skewer with water, barely touch the scattered seeds
- twist the tip on surface of the prepared (pre-moistened, filled and lightly tamped) seed starting container mix (no I can't see them either -- just trust that they are coming off :wink: )
-- the tip is now moistened from the mix so just repeat picking up and twisting off at 1/2" to 1" intervals -- or in my case, next soil microblock.

• Pick Up with Eyedropper •
- soaked seeds in water or weak tea few hours to overnight until the seeds sank
- used Eyedropper to mix up and then suck up water and seeds and then squeezed/dropped suspended seeds where I wanted to sow

Both methods worked fairly well though *typically* my personal "Murphy's Law of Gardening" applied even here and I ran out of seeds before completing the seed starting container. :roll:
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Nice, thanks! I should have asked sooner!! :)
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skiingjeff
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Applestar, Thanks for getting back on the Cauliflower and Broccoli plantings. :) I plan to put cover over them to try and avoid the dreaded caterpillars as well. :evil:

If I read the threads correctly, your cauliflower did pretty well with the April planting. I have two Spring transplants planned for April 17th and the 25th so I'll continue along with the plan. I'm planting Snow Crown as well.

I hope to get a couple succession plantings in for the fall but will be planting Amazing and a purple one. I have transplants scheduled every two weeks from June through July. The purple is supposed to have lots of vitamins in it so it will be interesting to see how it tastes if we get it growing. :)

Based on everyone's comments on the threads it seems cauliflower can be harder than broccoli to get growing :(

I hope to get the broccoli out by mid March so it will hopefully not bolt like it did on us last year.

We love both veggies and really would like to get them fresh from our own garden!

Once we get going, I'll let you know how it worked out. :()

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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

what zone are you in? I'm in zone 6 (A I think) and mid-March is my target date also, for getting the broccoli in the ground. Course it varies a bit depending on how the weather cooperates.
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

I'm right on the border of 6a, so some years (probably like this one) we tend to be colder than others. I have a May 1st frost free date but last year we had frost problems until late May.

So this year I planned most of my crops for May 15th frost free.

I'm going to be a little late starting my broccoli since I'm away until next week. I was looking at your thread on broccoli plants and I'll be about a month behind your schedule.

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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

When "up potting" are you using more of a potting soil or the same starter mixture? Last year we started our seeds in the 3.5" pots and didn't transplant into any other container until they went into the ground.

We did this because it seemed we were constantly "up potting" something and wanted to eliminate some of the rework. But I'm wondering if everyone's using more of a potting soil when up potting if I'm hurting the little guys because they are staying in the starting mixture????

Any insights would be helpful :)

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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

When I say up-potting, that is to the 3.5" pots. They stay in those until they go in the ground.

But I don't use seed starting mix, which is sterile, without nutrients. People use that because it is very fine textured. But it isn't necessary. When plants are in sterile mix then as soon as they have true leaves, you need to start providing nutrients or move them to regular potting mix. I avoid all that by just starting everything in regular potting mix. I make my own which is described in my sustainable potting mix thread:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 48&t=56511

So I start seeds in this, very crowded in little cells to conserve space, especially space on the heat mats. Once they have true leaves, they are moved to one per cell. When they outgrow that, they are moved to the 3.5" pots where they stay.
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

@skiingjeff : How did you post your spreadsheets? I wouldn't mind showing my much simpler version, but I don't know how to do it. I have it in dropbox, but that still doesn't give me anything like a link to it, not like having stuff in photobucket. Thanks, RBG
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

rainbowgardener wrote:@skiingjeff : How did you post your spreadsheets? I wouldn't mind showing my much simpler version, but I don't know how to do it. I have it in dropbox, but that still doesn't give me anything like a link to it, not like having stuff in photobucket. Thanks, RBG
I saved the spreadsheet as a PDF and then I took a "screen" print (picture) of each one. Then I used the attachment function in the Forum to browse for them on my computer and posted them.

It took me awhile to figure it out because the Forum wouldn't accept spreadsheet; then I tried the PDF and that wouldn't work; then I discovered the capability of screen printing in my PDF preview software.

I have a MACAIR laptop that I'm working from but I know that there is a screen print software for Microsoft products as well.

I hope this is helpful :)

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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Thanks for the info on your up potting process RBG. I was using the Miracle Gro starting mix which has some fertilizer in it but figured that I was missing out on giving my plants some nutrients as we went along the way somewhere :oops:

I need to rethink my potting process. Thanks!

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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

I finally moved out some plants that have been on the bench since November and have some space. Now, I can pot up the kale seedlings. I started pulling the broccoli out to plant out the lettuce and pak choy. I am still getting side shoots from the rest of the broccoli. Pak choi and Romaine are harvestable. The meyer lemon is flowering now. Unfortunately with all of the rain, the weeds are monsters too. I am going to have to weed whack soon.

Yesterday, I planted a bun long taro (Chinese taro) and mioga. The mioga is still dormant but should be coming up in the next couple of months.

Now that I have temporarily more room on the bench I can start more seeds of green onions, nasturtiums, cilantro, parsley, lettuce, spinach, and more pak choi.

The night temperatures are still in the 60's and it is still raining every few days so I will have to wait a little while more before I plant the peppers.
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

rainbowgardener wrote:When I say up-potting, that is to the 3.5" pots. They stay in those until they go in the ground.
[...]
So I start seeds in this, very crowded in little cells to conserve space, especially space on the heat mats. Once they have true leaves, they are moved to one per cell. When they outgrow that, they are moved to the 3.5" pots where they stay.
Hey Rainbowgqrdener, I'm going to take this opportunity to ask you for more details of your technique/method. 8)
Little Cells -- are these tray inserts? How many cells per 1020 tray? How deep?

When you uppot to one per cell (presumably same size), do you wait until the seedlings fill the cells so they pop out relatively easily or do you dig them out with some tool?
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

I second the request for more specific details. I was just discussing this with my spouse and asking a lot of the same questions so I logged on to ask and saw Applestar's request.

Please more details :)

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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

They are tray inserts. They come in various numbers of cells per tray, but I mostly use the 72 cell ones. They are about 2 1/2" deep, basically the same as the trays. Since I am separating a whole bunch of seedlings per cell into one per cell (same size cells), I usually dig them out, since often I am leaving some behind. If you are transplanting all of them at once, you could probably pop the whole cell contents out and then tease the seedlings apart. The "tool" I use to dig them out is whatever is handy, most often the plastic plant tag/label sticks, because they are sitting around by where I am working. Just insert it straight down, next to the seedling, then lift up from the bottom. As long as you are lifting from the bottom, rather than pulling from the top, you will not damage the seedling.
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Everything I have planted so far just got moved out to the greenhouse. Then I realized that I left the greenhouse open all night long :oops: . At least though it only got to like 52 last night. Now that I have some more space inside I am going to start some other things like petunias today.

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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Here's the over all view of seed starting right now:

Image

10 trays, four of them with things in pots. This coming week we are supposed to be getting warm up and the broccoli, cabbage, and spinach will start coming out and being introduced to sunshine. Maybe cilantro also.


Here's some little bell pepper seedlings. They were planted 1/27, sprouted 2/3. Now they mostly have true leaves. They are still very crowded in the little cells, even though I took the first few (7) out and potted them up.

Image
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

I was looking at all the little seedlings and realized I couldn't really tell the curly parsley apart from the cilantro, except that the cilantro is bigger, growing faster. I haven't grown the curly parsley before, just flat, and I haven't done cilantro at all, so at first I thought I made a mistake. But I looked up pictures:

Image
https://tinyfarmblog.com/wp-content/uplo ... ly_parsley[/b]_seedling.jpg


Image
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PR-Eg9sJfYY/T ... ]Coriander[/b]7A.JPG

They do look quite a bit alike, at least at this stage (which is about where mine are). Are they related or is it just coincidence.
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Hah! Interesting. My cilantro self seeds outside so I never took the opportunity to compare before....

I think maybe a distinction is parsley seed leaves are pointier... and perhaps cilantro true leaves are thinner and less stiffly held?

...I've been playing iPad games "spot the difference" "search for objects" (usually very detailed hand drawn pictures in which objects or pieces of objects are placed in plain or camoflaged areas) -- then realized I play this "game" all the time when gardening -- when volunteer seedlings emerge, plant ID, looking for pests like aphids, tomato leaf miners, or (currently) overwintering brown marmorated stinkbugs among the plants.... :lol:
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Got my herbs, veggies and flowers going right now. 4 flats under a grow light. So far my Big Dipper bell peppers, swamp milkweed, plains coreopsis, lantana and my tomatillo have sprouts.
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Planted my first two tomato varieties yesterday: Better Boy hybrid and Early Cherry. It's a few days early from when I said I would plant tomatoes, but I couldn't resist. More to come! Also planted the green basil. Starting on the warmer weather stuff, spring is coming!

I thought your signature line was interesting, inuyasha. Lists 8 large Aerogardens, which are for indoor gardening and then says "I am addicted the outdoors." Mildly contradictory. :) I have one of the small aerogardens that I use for winter herbs and then turn off in the spring.
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

YAY!! It is 45 degrees and sunny and the first two trays of potted seedlings went out in the sunshine -- broccoli, cabbage, spinach, cilantro. I have more of all of those indoors, if I somehow manage to kill these, starting them out so early. But it is going up to 66 tomorrow, time to get them out in it!! This is the time of year when I watch the weather forecast very closely and things go in and out a lot.
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

I hope that weather is coming our way soon -- it's pouring rain outside right now... Melting the accumulated snow (some drifts up to around 18"-20" deep judging by how high up the rabbit fences they are)
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Finally got some of my broccoli and kohlrabi seeds started! :D

I wish it was anywhere close to 45 degrees here. We have highs only in the 30's still :(

But at least we're getting the seeds started now that we are back home - Yay! :-()

Can't wait for the little guys to pop out of the soil.....

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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Amazing what a bit of sunshine will do!! :) My broccoli have now been out for most of two days (coming back in for the nights), in a spot that gets mostly only morning sun. In those two days they have nearly doubled in size and are looking fuller and healthier and darker green. Even though they will grow under the lights, it's really not the same.
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

First tomato seedlings are up! They are Stupice, which is an ultra-early, and sprouted in TWO days. The early cherry and Better Boy have not shown yet and they were planted one day sooner. The rest of the tomatoes haven't even been planted yet, but it is time.
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

I started noticing that some of my little seedlings didn't seem to be growing as much as I would expect. My first thought was the soil, so I tried amping it up a bit more with coffee grounds and alfalfa pellets. But I noticed that the celery planted in Miracle Gro was actually not doing as well as the celery in my home made soil. Then I noticed that the stuff in pots that got moved up to the upper level started doing a lot better. The upper level has the newest light tubes. The lower level especially where the stuff is that is thriving least has the oldest light tubes, at least 15 years old. So I took a couple of them out and put some of the newer ones in (since I am currently only using 12 of the 16 tubes). I'll give it a few days and see if they perk up any.

The plants were not getting leggy, but a bit pale and faded and just not thriving or growing much. The bulbs still did not seem to be dark at the ends. It may be why the stuff that has been going outside perked up so much with actual sunshine.

They say you should replace the tubes a lot sooner than that. I always said I would replace them if and when the plants didn't seem to be doing well. This may be that time.

The "newer" ones that I replaced them with were still T12's, though I do have some T8 and even a couple T5. I suppose for real comparison, I should have swapped for the T5.

It's the advantage of years of experience doing this. If I didn't have a mental image of what they should look like, I might not have noticed for longer that they weren't really doing well.
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Well, my broccoli have sprouted and 2 of my Kohlrabi are sprouting!!!! :)

It is always a thrill to see them poke out of the soil.

I was away yesterday and got home today to find the little guys coming up :-()

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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

My purple basil is up. The rest of the seedlings go out almost every day and go into the greenhouse at night.

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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Sounds great! I think between yesterday's thunderstorm and today's sun the snow finally disappeared enough to see the ground. My patio table had no snow on it. It looks almost strange -- I got used to seeing white all over.

I could have put my seedlings outside too, but I stepped on something and have a cut on the bottom of my foot that is exactly where the bone presses as you take a step. Ouch. My babies will have to stay inside for a while longer.
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Oh ouch, indeed! Sorry, applestar.

Anyone have any thoughts about how often you replace your fluorescent tubes?
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

rainbowgardener wrote: Anyone have any thoughts about how often you replace your fluorescent tubes?
I have heard at least every 3 years. But I say if if it stops the growing process then change them, but if it works don't change it.

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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

rainbowgardener wrote:Oh ouch, indeed! Sorry, applestar.

Anyone have any thoughts about how often you replace your fluorescent tubes?
A typical flourescent light lasts approximately 20,000 hours but the quality of light output gradually decreases over time around the half life point. This is based on running it for about 3 hours at a time. Life expectancy can increase to 34,000 hours if the light is left on for 24 hours each time. :?

So using the minimum 20,000 hours scenario to be safe, if you run for 16 hours a day for 3 months, you get 625 days or 7 to 8 years before you reach the midpoint of 10,000 hours and start losing light quality.

So if you got 15 years before you noticed a decrease in growth, you either did really well or you run your lights for less than 3 months time :)

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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Just thought I'd pipe in here to say I'm still alive. Sounds like you have things well in hand. This year is NOT a year for me to be starting the garden early, so will be concentrating on "summer" crops in my currently small bed.... Probably same as last year until I get a chance to enlarge the area later in the summer.

Here in the Fort we still have about 3" of snow on the ground that hasn't melted from the 4 days of thaw last week. I still have mega piles of snow either side of the driveway, and there is not currently any thaw in the 10 day forecast! Aside from being the coldest winter on record, we are about 2" shy of being the winter with the most snow.

So, anyhow I'm thinking about starting my tomatoes and peppers &c from seed this year. Last year I started too late and had to get plants from the local organic gardener..... From what little I remember, mid to late February is the right time to be starting seeds around here. Hmmmm.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

This:

https://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-in ... te-map.php

says your average last frost date is May1 - May 10. That's at least a couple weeks later than mine, so you have a bit of time yet. I have decided over the years that it doesn't work well for me to start tomatoes from seed any earlier than 7 weeks ahead of my av. last frost date. Even using the early end of the range, that would give you a couple weeks yet to get it together.

Peppers are a little different story though, being a lot slower. I start mine about three weeks sooner than the tomatoes. But you won't be too late if you get them started right away.

Not sure about the "and etc."

Here in Cincinnati, we have had record, season to date snowfall, 18", just about exactly double the average.
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Jardin du Fort
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:59 pm
Location: Fort Wayne, IN

Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Thanks Rainbow.

Although the "average last frost" is May 1 - 10, my experience shows that there is often a late frost later in the month. I don't really feel "safe" setting out vulnerable plants until around the 20th or so. I am hoping to actually get a hoop-house built this year, which, if built over the Solanums, they would enjoy the warmth, and get an extended season. At least until I plant the (hopefully) overwintering crops....

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rainbowgardener
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Re: 2014 Seeds Started!

Oh sigh... after a little warm up, polar vortex is back. Our ten day forecast has only one day where the HIGH is above freezing. Thurs night it goes down to 7 chilly degrees. I have four trays of cold weather stuff that I have been trying to get hardened off. But I don't feel very successful at it, since they keep coming back in. I don't think they can withstand 7 degrees, so I have to find somewhere to keep them for at least the next few days... Normals for the period would be aboout 50 / 32, which would be perfect for all the broccoli, cabbage, etc.
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