My seed starting method….(Plantdoctor)

Home Forums Gardening All About Seeds My seed starting method….(Plantdoctor)

This topic contains 78 replies, has 31 voices, and was last updated by  barkey 10 months ago.

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  • #360339 Report Abuse
    plantdoctorzn4
    plantdoctorzn4
    Participant

    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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    #4524544 Report Abuse
    Kathy
    Kathy
    Participant

    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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    #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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    #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


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    #4524499 Report Abuse

    bugman18
    Participant

    They look AMAZING.

     


    #4524500 Report Abuse
    Donna
    Donna
    Participant

    Charlene, thank you very much for your overview of how you take care of your seedlings from germination to growing plants. I agree with you about the 100 people, everyone finds their way of growing. You start by following what someone says then you find the way that suits you. Just like cooking, someone does this or that and you find your own way of doing it.

    I know it took a lot of time for you to prepare this and I would like to thank you for your time. I love seeing what others do.

    Take care and thanks for sharing

    Donna


    Donna_Canada_Z_5

    #4524501 Report Abuse
    SunshineNY6
    SunshineNY6
    Participant

    I really enjoyed this post Charlene.  The pics with the step-by-step details is wonderful and one I am sure will be referring back to and rereading again.

     

    On the post about transplanting on the dining room table, you mentioned a transplant mat.  Is there something special about it or does it just protect the table?


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    #4524502 Report Abuse
    growingranny_va_z7
    growingranny_va_z7
    Participant

    A wonderful “tutorial” for people to refer to. I can’t imagine me doing all of that in the house, I am such a messy person. But this shows why you are “The Smartest Woman in the World” you have found a way to do things and we know from the many pictures of your garden how well this works. I think people can use this and any of the other ideas they get from others on here to find their own way of starting seeds and growing them on. I thought I got my exericise walking between the house and the greenhouse, you get yours going up and down stairs. But you have the best results possible for what is available for you and have done a bang up job with it. I know a lot of people are going to get good ideas from these pictures and your directions.


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    #4524503 Report Abuse
    woodlandgal_WI_zn4
    woodlandgal_WI_zn4
    Participant

    Charlene, thank you for posting all those pics of how you do your plants.

    I have a question……from those little round things that you first plant your seeds into, do you transplant them into the cell packs?  It doesn’t seem like that would give them much more room than they had.  I noticed that some plants are in cups, so are they transplanted twice then? 

    I must find one of those racks for mine.  I love how deep they are compared to regular wire shelving.


    Pat ~ West Central WI

    #4524504 Report Abuse
    Kathy
    Kathy
    Participant

    That was interesting to see how others do their seeds. I do mine pretty much like you do except instead of going to a window (I don’t have good light from the windows here) they go to another table with higher lights. I am now running out of room or I should say, tables and lights. I may go this week to Walmart and pick up a long folding table and a couple more lights…..Kathy


    Kathy zone4

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    #4524506 Report Abuse

    flowerpowerzone5
    Participant

    Wow what an awsome set up and pictures.


    #4524507 Report Abuse
    iris43
    iris43
    Participant

    Excellent, Charlene!


    #4524508 Report Abuse

    mcjughead
    Participant

    Charlene, 

    Thanks for taking the time to show others how to start their seeds. I know this took some time on your part , photos, and such,  but it was well worth it.  : ) 

    Always enjoy your posts here on the gardening forums.

    Jane


    #4524509 Report Abuse
    akajoan
    akajoan
    Participant

    Look how green everything is, (I-don’t-do-indoor-seeds,…).  I bet you can smell the warm soil everytime you water (I-don’t-do-indoor-seeds, …)  , and so organized, too, it doesn’t look like it takes up too much space  (I-don’t-do-indoor-seeds, …)  This chant just isn’t working very well anymore, (sigh).  Will show you my Cobea when they germinate.   Thanks for this tutorial,

    Joan


    Joan (west of Ottawa)
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    #4524510 Report Abuse
    luvmyb_b
    luvmyb_b
    Participant

    I, too, really enjoyed this post, Charlene.  You put a ton of time and effort into it!  Thank you.  It is always great to see how others do their seed starting.  I always learn something new. 

    Several years ago, I started out using two card tables with a small light on each table.  The second year I did my seed starting, DH so sweetly offered to bring in an 8′ cafeteria style table so I could have even more space to work with.  That works out fine but the table is behind our sofa and runs the length of the sofa, which makes watering and rotating complicated.  I love what I do so I don’t mind but when he started helping me with the plants when I went to the hospital DH decided it was a painfully difficult set up and he now wants to move the family room around so it will be easier to get to things.  I guess there is nothing like a little first hand experience! 

       


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    Karen
    NW Ohio
    Zn5

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