seed starting woes

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Anne58, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Anne58

    Anne58 Active Member

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    Location:
    Burnaby, BC
    Well, this growing season started out well. . . . I got my tomato, pepper, and zucchini seeds pre sprouted just fine and now that they have been planted into little pots they are just sitting there doing nothing.

    I'm not sure if the cool March weather we have been having is causing the seedlings to sit dormant or not - I generally move the plants into the light by the south facing living room windows when they are potted. I'm beginning to think that I'll have to stop in at the garden shop and see if they have any heating mats that I can use to keep the soil warm.

    Last year I had no problems but March was warmer and sunny so the little plants had plenty of warmth coming in through the windows. It will be a nuiscance it I have to restart everything next month :o(

    Anne
     
  2. Sabine

    Sabine Active Member

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    Most of mine don't seem to be doing much either. I'm just using window light as well, but it has been so dang cloudy! I know, I know, go get grow lights then, except I don't have the budget or space for that this year.

    My marigolds got all leggy and flopped over, so they're a bit of a loss. Oh well, I'll probably just sow those directly into the garden once the soil warms up.

    One good note is my sage is coming up extremely well. The little thing already has quite a thick hairy stem! (for a seedling)
     
  3. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Location:
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    http://chazaf.notlong.com/ 31 January 2008 Starting tomato seeds. Pictures of method.
    I use this procedure for all my seed starting and it appears to promote germination without further care until sprouted.

    The soil mixture is my own which consists of compost,peat moss, sand and some garden soil, which is mixed with the small rototiller in the summer and stored for next years use in five gallon containers, basically the same as the garden soil but a little lighter.

    Probably humidity does more to encourage germination than soil moisture, and since the seeds are close to the soil surface, the seeds tend to dry out rather quickly if not in a high humidity environment. The top of the clear plastic covers are opened when the seedlings are about one or two inches high.

    Jiffy pots have their uses, but when used the pot is placed in a plastic container and covered with earth to prevent the pot from acting like a wick and drawing moisture form the seedling. Generally I avoid their use, in favour of the clear plastic bag method over a plastic pot. The expandable slugs are avoided also, since they dry out too quickly.

    I now use a window facing South for germination, since the basement is too cold, and the light from the sun is far more than the grow lights-even on a dull day. When the temperature is sufficient the plants are placed in a little green house, or placed outside during the day for the sun light if it is warm enough.
     
  4. Anne58

    Anne58 Active Member

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    Thanks for the tips Durgan. I use a mix of compost and garden soil, sterilized to get rid of the molds and fungus. I've never had any luck with the peat pots (jiffy pots).

    I'll probably try again when the temperatures have warmed a bit more and there is moresunshine in the forcast.

    Anne
     
  5. marinka

    marinka Member

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    Location:
    richmond bc Canada
    I used the pluggs for my tomato seed - and now transplanted them into 4in pots. The ones I planted in mid Feb. now have the second true leaves on them and are doing great. The ones sowed at the end of Feb early Mar. have 2 true leaves.
    I have a small greenhouse - and I guess its why all are doing so well.
    My yellow zuchinis are in jiffy pots and just sprouted. I intend to plant them in containers outside later on. I quite like the plugs and the jiffy pots - although you do need to keep an eye on moisture.
    question.......do I need to feed the tomatoes yet??? also how large do they need to be before transplanted into their final container???
    I also am trying - bell peppers - which I would like to grow in containers in the greenhouse- can anyone tell me the size of containers to use and type of soil??
    Its my first time experimenting with veg. in the greenhouse...any suggestions are sooooo much appreciated
     
  6. Sabine

    Sabine Active Member

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    I am also wondering about transplanting... I am growing lots of seedlings in the cell pack style seedling trays, and have been reading I should transplant them when about 2 inches high and 2 sets of true leaves. However, just the other day at the garden center I bought a 6 pack of violas that were in cell packs the exact same size as mine. These were decent sized little plants and I set them right out into the garden.

    Does this mean I can put plants right from my cell pack trays into the garden, or do I have to move them up from the cell pack into a 4inch pot or so, and then into their final container? There just seems to be so much conflicting stuff out there for gardeners sometimes.
     

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