bardos
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seed propagation

I usually do this in the spring when the temperatures are good for my area. Start them out as seeds, then into seedlings and then transplanted out into the vegetable garden. I have discovered that lately there is a new business afoot in my town: importing seedlings from warmer climes just as the weather warms up to plant seeds here.

So for the past two years I have gotten a super head start by purchasing a few of these already developed plants, while mine are still in their seed stage below ground. Gets me food much earlier. I saved a few of the trays to reuse this year for my own seedlings. I bought some potting soil and planted, expecting to have the same results as the commercial ones that I was buying from the same trays.

Trouble is, mine don't really grow very well, even in the warm sunshine. What exactly am I missing about these trays? My plants grow much faster in regular seedbeds. Must be the mix they use commercially... any help welcome.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: seed propagation

where are you located and what kind of climate? What kind of seeds are we talking about?

Am I understanding right that all of this is outdoors (you mentioned warm sunshine). So you usually plant seeds in the ground (but not directly where they will grow since you still transplant them)? Now you are talking about planting seeds earlier, in trays and potting soil, but still outside?

Most garden seeds sprout better and get started a lot quicker with warm soil. I start a ton of plants from seed, very early, but indoors under lights, on heat mats. The heat mats make sure the soil is warm enough. Indoors they have a pampered existence, with consistent steady light, moisture, warmth, etc. Except in a greenhouse, it is hard to duplicate that outdoors.

I take it you are in a very warm climate. For many of us, seeds can't be started earlier outside, whether in trays or in the ground, because earlier it is too cold.
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bardos
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Re: seed propagation

rainbowgardener wrote:where are you located and what kind of climate? What kind of seeds are we talking about?

Am I understanding right that all of this is outdoors (you mentioned warm sunshine). So you usually plant seeds in the ground (but not directly where they will grow since you still transplant them)? Now you are talking about planting seeds earlier, in trays and potting soil, but still outside?

Most garden seeds sprout better and get started a lot quicker with warm soil. I start a ton of plants from seed, very early, but indoors under lights, on heat mats. The heat mats make sure the soil is warm enough. Indoors they have a pampered existence, with consistent steady light, moisture, warmth, etc. Except in a greenhouse, it is hard to duplicate that outdoors.

I take it you are in a very warm climate. For many of us, seeds can't be started earlier outside, whether in trays or in the ground, because earlier it is too cold.
I live in Andalucía in Spain. I was trying to get an early start on tomatoes and green peppers. Outdoors. When I see the plants in trays being sold, they are already pretty tall with a large rootball. I used the same trays and the plants hardly grew.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: seed propagation

It's not really the trays. You can use all kinds of containers and they can still grow well.

We start tomatoes and peppers 6-12 weeks before planting time by sowing seeds and growing them indoors while it's still winter outside.

I have been planting my seed-grown developed plants in the past week, and in the garden there are volunteer tomato seedlings starting to grow everywhere ("volunteer" is word we use to describe seeds that have sprouted on their own) from dropped fruits or surviving seeds in the compost. Which tells me this is a good time to plant and expect them to grow well.

There is a thread called Seed starting basics for newbies -- it may tell you the difference in the way you tried to grow your seeds in those flats. Tomato seeds and pepper seeds germinate best when the soil is warm so we use bottom heat, etc.
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bardos
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:08 pm

Re: seed propagation

ya... i guess heat is the key

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