My seed starting method….(Plantdoctor)

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This topic contains 78 replies, has 31 voices, and was last updated by  barkey 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #360339 Report Abuse
    plantdoctorzn4
    plantdoctorzn4
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    This subject is not the normal copy and paste flower of the day.  I decided to do “my version” of seed starting.  Like we have talked before…ask 100 gardeners how to start seeds, and you will get 100 different answers.

    Molly and Bette have given us several pictures and good advice on seed starting.  They have both done this professionally and do a wonderful job.  I just want to share how I start seeds…a completely “self taught” system…and like all gardeners…I improvise…

    I have ALOT of pictures here, but I feel a picture is worth 1,000 words.

    Step #1

    I start with a tray…the seeds I choose to start…72 jiffy peat pellets…add 2 quarts warm water to the tray

    I let the pellets absorb the water for 1/2 hour and then I fluff up the soil.  I use a soil thermometor because it works good and that is what I have

    THEN…depending on the package directions, I put them where I want them to grow.  IF the plants require 60-70º to germinate, I place them in “my laboratory”  (a coat closet with a heat duct through it…accompanied by a trouble light with a 60 watt light bulb.)

    IF they require cool temps to germinate I put them in my back sun porch which gets down to 45º at night and warmer during the day

    IF they require bottom heat, they go to the heat mat in the bedroom.  The white organizer things serve a dual purpose…they keep the cats off of the trays and I use them for plants that need alternating heat (bottom heat for 12 hours and cool for 12 hours)

    Once they have germinated…they go to the basement under the lights until they develop their 2nd set of leaves.  The lights are on a timer…12 hours on and 12 hours off

    (the trays are normally under the lights, but they didn’t photograph well there)

    Once plants have gotten their 2nd set of leaves, I transplant them.  Depending on the size of the plant, I have 3 different size cells to transplant them to.  I do my transplanting on the dining room table and I have a transplant mat…and a couple of different size scoops…depending on the size of the plant. 

    After they are transplanted…they normally go to a south window.  If they are exceptionally small and look like they need more grow light, they go back to the basement.  My sunniest South window is the computer room upstairs…here is the set up:  (you can see I have other plants getting ready to go outside as well)

    Or they go to the Bedroom…here is that arrangement:

    Here are a few pics of some of my seedlings….

    Petunias and Red flax

    Abutilon and Asarina…

    Bacopa and African Daisies…

    Sunset Statice and miscellaneous marigolds and Lavatera

    AND…..if you start seeds too early…this is what happens…my imfamous Balsam, which I like to call “Buzy Lizzy” because I remember my Mom growing them years ago…

    I hope this didn’t bore you….I just wanted to share how I start my seeds and how I get my cardiovascular exercise every day…basement…main floor,,,upstairs….back to basement…etc.  Charlene

     

     


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    #4524547 Report Abuse
    plantdoctorzn4
    plantdoctorzn4
    Participant

    Wendy…you didn’t hijack my post….I just wanted to share my seed starting process and to let everyone know that there is always room to start seeds…and I got the wheels rolling in your mind, didn’t I?  I think those shelves look like a wonderful spot for plants.  You need to get a few “eye hooks” to hang the lights.  It is easy…simply pilot a small hole and hand screw them in.  The chains will let you adjust the height..  If you decide to use your heating pad down there you might want to fold a bath towel underneath the heating pad…you go girl!!  Charlene


     photo 100_1493.jpg

    #4524545 Report Abuse
    SunshineNY6
    SunshineNY6
    Participant

    Today there was wonderful sunshine coming in so that is probably why it appealed to me today.  Since most days are cloudy and overcast, I don’t think I’d want to be working down there too long.  But it is starting to warm up and next week we change the clocks for longer days. 

    There are several shop light fixtures attached with chaings and ‘s’ hooks  in various parts of the basement Kathy.  The previous owners set them up and they seem to be attached one to another iwth extension cords and I don’t know how safe they really are.

    Don’t know about a tv but I’m sure the puter will find it’s spot.  I hope Charlene doesn’t mind that I sorta hijacked her wonderful post. 


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    #4524544 Report Abuse
    Kathy
    Kathy
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    One reason I liked doing this in my basement is because it wasn’t finished and I set up tables and even big pieces of plywood on saw horses and then screwed in hooks to the beams and hung my shop lights with chains and s-hooks to the hooks. You could do the same under each shelf and then the top shelf attach light to ceiling beam for taller seedlings. Last year I spent so much time in the basement transplanting that I brought down a 19 inch t.v., unhooked one of the cable wires that ran from the basement to one of the upstairs room and hooked it up to the t.v…..Kathy


    Kathy zone4

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    #4524543 Report Abuse
    SunshineNY6
    SunshineNY6
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    Here is the spot I cleared.  I leave the part that is cropped out to your imagination.

     


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    #4524540 Report Abuse
    SunshineNY6
    SunshineNY6
    Participant

    [quote user="Kathy_in_SD_z4"]

    When I used my basement it was always between 45 to 55º down there. The seedlings did so much better down there then they did upstairs in a warmer room. I also started my seeds down there with no heat mat and it took longer for germination but I now have a full size electric blanket. I didn’t use the basement this winter but the dining room instead. I keep my furnace set at 60 during the day when I am gone and 67 when I am home and 60 again when I go to bed. I also keep the heat registers closed in the dining room……Kathy

    [/quote]

     

    Kathy, I need you to make a road trip and come over and help me hang the lights.


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    #4524541 Report Abuse
    plantdoctorzn4
    plantdoctorzn4
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    LOL…Wendy…we were posting at the same time and I guessed that you were cleaning your basement…It certainly sounds like that would be ideal for you.  I’m sure Dad will have some suggestions for hanging lights.  How is he doing?  Charlene


     photo 100_1493.jpg

    #4524542 Report Abuse
    SunshineNY6
    SunshineNY6
    Participant

    I went to choir practice Charlene.  HOWEVER, I did go down to check on the laundry first thing when I got back.  Well, you know the rest.

     

    Wait, I’ll go down and take a pic.  Then you can all share your thoughts and ideas with me.


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    #4524538 Report Abuse
    plantdoctorzn4
    plantdoctorzn4
    Participant

    Wendy is not responding…perhaps she is cleaning her basement and getting ready for her new adventure…LOL.  Charlene


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    #4524539 Report Abuse
    SunshineNY6
    SunshineNY6
    Participant

    [quote user="growingranny_va_z7"]

    Wendy, cooler temps make stockier plants because they aren’t growing too fast. I keep the greenhouse at 45-50 degrees nights, of course it gets hot in there on sunny days but cools off really fast once the sun starts going down.

    [/quote]

     

    Then this shoud be ideal.  Of course this was the warmest weekend we’ve had thus far, but I put a thermometer downstairs and it shows 58º now.  I just cleaned off two of the 8foot shelves.  They are about a foot and a half deep.  It even has a power strip attached to it.  Now I need to figure a way to remove the light fixtures from other parts of the basement and attach them somehow to the shelf above for the lower shelf.


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    #4524537 Report Abuse
    Kathy
    Kathy
    Participant

    When I used my basement it was always between 45 to 55º down there. The seedlings did so much better down there then they did upstairs in a warmer room. I also started my seeds down there with no heat mat and it took longer for germination but I now have a full size electric blanket. I didn’t use the basement this winter but the dining room instead. I keep my furnace set at 60 during the day when I am gone and 67 when I am home and 60 again when I go to bed. I also keep the heat registers closed in the dining room……Kathy


    Kathy zone4

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    #4524534 Report Abuse
    skippydel13zone6KY
    skippydel13zone6KY
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    It got up to a high of 50 today so when I took my yard stroll I opened the shut up greenhouse (I have 2 layers of plastic over the entire thing), the temp was 100 degrees.  So Kathy be SO glad you got those automatic window opener things on your new greenhouse, that would be great.  Gonna try tomorrow to take up all my seedlings in the cool upstairs and put a light on a timer for them and then fill the table with more seed trays. Its my goal at least, hopefully I can get that done before I go back to work Wednesday.

    -Deloris


    #4524535 Report Abuse
    carross
    carross
    Participant

    Charlene,  Thank you, you worked very hard doing this  and thinking of us.  Helping with all the questions and then answering them. I bet you have lost some weight with all that running upstairs, downstairs, etc.

    Thanks Carol


    #4524533 Report Abuse
    growingranny_va_z7
    growingranny_va_z7
    Participant

    Wendy, cooler temps make stockier plants because they aren’t growing too fast. I keep the greenhouse at 45-50 degrees nights, of course it gets hot in there on sunny days but cools off really fast once the sun starts going down.


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    #4524531 Report Abuse

    Gitti
    Participant

    Charlene, thank you very much for all the work you have done, to show as here. I enjoyed your post. I learnd a lot, I hope……..Gitti


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