General Seed Starting Method

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Durgan, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    General Seed Starting Method


    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?LJPNG 17 February 2009 General Seed Starting Method

    General seed starting method. Containers are plastic cups with drain holes made with a soldering iron. Coffee filters contain the earth and tend to keep the roots together, when transplanting. Plastic bags create a mini-greenhouse that means no care until germination occurs. The marking system functions for more than 2 years without undue fading.

    Experience has indicated that germination rates approach 100%, and this method is ideal for the small home garden grower. The seeds selected for this example are luffa.
     
  2. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    This technique, however masterfully successful, is not very eco friendly...re the styrofoam cups... made from polystyrene... you could use terra cotta pots which are recyclable.
     
  3. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Very interesting Durgan. I always find your photo essay's very interesting. Considering the number of seeds that you start, I am sure that using the plastic cups is way cheaper than using terracotta pots. Have you every grown luffa before. I don't think my growing season is long enough here.
     
  4. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Luffa has been grown for four years. The length of the season is marginal for sure. I had large fruit last year but none ripened on the vine, due to cool summer. Here is the 2008 effort.
    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?KYAWO Summary: Luffa Growing Experience
     
  5. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    You certainly got a big crop in 2007. That would be enough loofah to last for a few years, so I guess you would have to be successful every year. I assume that you save the seeds, so it wouldn't even cost you anything.
     
  6. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    I got a good batch of loofa seeds in 2006 and am still using them. If the Fall season is wet sometimes the seeds don't mature. I haven't made sponges from the 2008 crop, since the fruit is still in the shed, and is drying. Some were too unripe and rotted. It takes a good six months for the fruit to mature, and the weather has to be reasonably hot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2009
  7. Vera eastern wa

    Vera eastern wa Active Member

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    My favorite seed starting method now is hands down via the winter-sowing method. Yes, even for veggies...cool and warm season! I've been winter-sowing every year since 2003, but only started doing veggies/greens since 2007. I use recycled gal. jugs, 20 oz water bottles, and even bigger cottage cheese, sour cream containers. Cool season veggies/greens like Broccoli, Mustard, Chard, Collard, Peas I start sowing in March/April and warm season veggies like Tomatoes, Corn, melon and Beans in mid April to mid May. The idea with tomatoes is to be sure to use an early maturing type here in the north because with this method they will mature a few weeks later. I've had good results with Brandywine Pink, Zapotec Pleated, Tiger-like, Black Cherry and Oregon Spring.
    Anyone needing to know more about this method can find out more on the Winter Sowing forum at Gardenweb.com or at wintersown.org; Trudi author of wintersown.org also moderates the forum.
    A few pics of containers :)

    BTW there's only one thing I still prefer to do indoors....peppers. My Golden Habanero and Bolivian Rainbow are wintered-over, but any other peppers are seed sown each year indoors :)
     

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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  8. Momos

    Momos Member

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    I liked your pics, Vera. I have saved milk cartons, and would like to try using them as you have. I have several of the peat pellets ready to plant, too.
    I am just getting into a greenhouse that my husband just finished for me, and I'm curious if you are using a greenhouse with the milk cartons, etc?
    Momos
     
  9. Vera eastern wa

    Vera eastern wa Active Member

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    Thanks and Nope! No greenhouse here! All the containers go straight outside as soon as they are sown until they are transplanted. That is the ease of the winter sow method :)
    Most of my perennials and hardy annuals are sown starting in December, but had a late start this year. Now any of the more tender annuals/veggies don't get sown until mid April into early May, but all my cool season stuff like lettuce, broccoli, chard, mustard, turnip, ect. will be sown between now and April 1st.
    For more winter sowing information visit:
    http://www.wintersown.org/
    The sister forum is located at Gardenweb.com and moderated by the author of the website above. Just above the forum topics you can view the FAQ and get a load of beginner information to read and or print out :)
    http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/wtrsow/

    Vera
     
  10. SunnyDay

    SunnyDay Member

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    Hi Vera,

    I am so glad I found your winter-sowing posts. I live in a very small house with no room to start seeds indoors and no green house. (Too costly to build one/time consuming etc).
    I've also been reluctant to start seeds indoors because the hardening off/putting plants out a few hours a day increasing time over several weeks/moving them around indoors and out seems like such a huge HASSLE!

    Thank you for the link to the gardenwebs forums, but they are a bit hard to search through - although the wintersown.org site was helpful.

    What zone did you say you live in? When you say Eastern WA, do you mean on the east coast? I think I am in zone 7, west coast of Canada in BC. Is it too late to WS in little containers or should I just plant seeds straight into my garden at this point?

    I am adding a topping of compost to the raised veggie garden today and plan to plant radish, peas and lettuce. New to gardening.
     

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