The Q&A Archives: Plants From Seeds

Question: Each year I start vegetable seeds but have very poor results. I have thought about using an old aquarium for this. My question is what type of light would I use and when would be a good time to start the seedlings?

Answer: I would be concerned about growing seedlings in an aquarium. Mainly I am thinking of soil drainage. Containers for seed starting need to have drainage holes and I am not sure how you would accomplish this with an aquarium. Also, you want good circulation around your growing seedlings to help prevent disease problems. <br><br>What sort of problems have you encountered in the past? Poor germination or problems such as damping off (when tiny seedlings mysteriously flop over and die)? A common problem is planting seeds in garden soil, rather than a sterile seed starting mix. If you want to post another question via the website with some details on the challenges you have faced previously we will certainly try to help. <br><br>Regarding lighting, seedlingslike to have a light source from above. A fluorescent light suspended so it is 1-2" above the seedlings works well. You'll need a system where you can adjust the height of the lights as the seedlings grow. <br><br>When to start depends a lot on what you want to grow. Most vegetable and flower seeds are started 6-8 wks. prior to the last frost date for your area...there are, of course, exceptions.

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