Seeds forum: Indoor seed starting

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Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Feb 19, 2012 12:13 PM CST

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Have you started any seeds? I started rosemary and lisianthus on January 1, my artichokes on Feb. 1, and hope to get my leeks and onion seeds started this weekend.

My rosemary is only about 1" tall, and the lisianthus are just getting their 1st set of leaves. It's unbelievable how slowly these grow. Certainly not the seeds to sow if you are an impatient gardener.
[Last edited by mom2goldens - Feb 20, 2012 7:08 AM (+)]
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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Feb 19, 2012 6:25 PM CST

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yep agastache, geraniums, coleus, primrose, and stock.. since I didn't start the stock early enough last year.. figured it was worth another try earlier
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Feb 19, 2012 6:30 PM CST

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I've only sown a few begonias, now trying to develop first true leaf. Still miniscule.

Karen
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Feb 19, 2012 7:14 PM CST

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they are not a rewarding seedling.. way too slow.. hate those kind
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Feb 19, 2012 7:42 PM CST

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Onewish1 said:they are not a rewarding seedling.. way too slow.. hate those kind


That's a good description Allison "not a rewarding seedling". I'll tell them that tomorrow.

Karen
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Feb 19, 2012 7:56 PM CST

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Rolling on the floor laughing that's why I love 4 o'clocks.. they make up for those lazy ones!!!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 19, 2012 8:45 PM CST
Other than my wintersowing experiments, I planted onion seeds on 2/16 and they are already popping up! For some reason, although I've been starting onion plants from seed for at least 4 yrs now I never have confidence in it working... (and despite starting all kinds of other plants from seed for many years). At any rate, it's just nice to see something growing!!
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Name: Dee
Ladoga, IN
DeeS
Feb 19, 2012 10:07 PM CST
I sowed my first flat of impatiens tonight.I ran out of seed starter, so I will have to finish those up tomorrow.Have any of you grown Torenia fournieri (wishbone flower), from seed. I am curious, as to wether they are a slow starter or not. I just love the little faces on those. Guess I should start another thread about them.
Dee
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Feb 20, 2012 5:00 AM CST

Moderator

Dee, another, separate thread is an excellent idea, and your question will get more attention.

Karen
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Feb 20, 2012 6:42 PM CST
I saw a photo of Lisianthus and fell in love. Then I heard how hard they are to start, and get to flower!

My first adventure with "unrewarding" seeds was with Penstemon. Patience my patootie! Watching paint dry would be like NASCAR, or downhill skiing, by comparison to starting Penstemon from seed.
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Feb 20, 2012 6:51 PM CST

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Rick: Lisianthus are not really hard to start....they just take forever to grow. I've found germination to be fairly easy. But, once they sprout, it takes a while to get the first true set of leaves. Once they've got the first set of leaves, it takes a good 3 months before they are "seedling size". If you start early, it's really not difficult to grow these.

If you want to order seedlings, (although they will still need a little time before ready to plant outdoors), I recommend tsflowers.com. I ordered seedlings from Teresa for several years before deciding to grow my own, and I still purchase my seeds from her.
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Feb 20, 2012 7:31 PM CST

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I agree with the penstemon.. some of mine didn't bloom for 3 years
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
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Ridesredmule
Feb 22, 2012 10:30 AM CST
I have some tomatoe seed start, some came up but some had "dampoff" had to drag out Chamomile tea and cinnamon
This is why I don't like planting seed.
Wonder could I get better results in a milkjug, I'm using those little peat pellets. Never have very good luck with those things....
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Feb 22, 2012 12:08 PM CST
I had some lisianthus seed pods that got left out in the GH last year, so on a whim I sprinkled them over a seed tray sometime in late January, and LO! I see teeeeeeny little green things in that tray this morning! Have no idea what color the parent plant was and of course it died on me so this should be interesting.

Charleen, I have never had any luck with those silly little peat pellets either.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
Walk in Peace / I'm Charley's Mom.
Miniature Gardening Mules Tip Photographer I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 2 Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Birds Region: Georgia
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Ridesredmule
Feb 22, 2012 12:11 PM CST
Woofie, this is last year. I had some nice Black tomato seed Maybe two or three came up. when sign gets right will plant them in a pot of soil .
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Feb 22, 2012 12:13 PM CST
When I killed tray after tray of seeds, I blamed overwatering and soiless mix that held too much water and not enough air, especially on the surface. Maybe "peat" needs to have much loger fibers, or LOTS or Perlite and grit to "open it up". Soiless mixes that I buy seem to be mostly powdered peat, which has the consistency and aeration of pudding when damp.

Then I started adding lots of shredded, screened pine bark (mulch) and some grit to my seed starting mix. Excess water drains away quckly, the surface dries out much faster, and I have NO damping off any more. My theory is that the roots need air, and if the soiless mix has no gaps for air space, the roots drown.

(Or I could learn how to avoid overwatering. I haven't mastered THAT after 3-4 years of trying. But laying down some cotton flannel on the bottom of the tray (for pots & cells to sit on) helps me to overwater LESS. It wicks excess water out the bottom of cells, and carries some water to the bottom of cells that started to dry out first.)

However, small seeds like petunias seemed to fall down into the gaps between the bark, and fail to sprout. This year, I'll use a finer top layer (like vermiculite) for the very smallest seeds.
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
Walk in Peace / I'm Charley's Mom.
Miniature Gardening Mules Tip Photographer I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 2 Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Birds Region: Georgia
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Ridesredmule
Feb 22, 2012 12:15 PM CST
Do you mist the tiny seed after you plant them Rick??? I'd probably drown the little fellas...
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 22, 2012 1:14 PM CST
Yes. I pre-moisten the mix SOMEWHAT before packing it into cells, and then water it until water comes out before adding seeds.

I use a spray bottle to mist after sowing seeds, to settle tiny seeds down onto the surface.

For bigger buried seeds, I'll use a mustard squeeze bottle to drip water to settle the soil mix around the buried seeds. I want good contact, and just firming it down with a spoon might not be enough.

So I need a seeding mix that drains well. When I used powdered peat, it seemed that no matter how much water I added, nothing ever drained out. And then of course it stayed much too wet forever, and the roots drowned.

How can you water if water never drains out the bottom? Isn't that almost the definition of salinizing soil? Like having no drainage holes at all.


And yet straight, commercial fine-peat sponge-soiless mix is the most widely used seed starting mix of all. Clearly, I'm doing something wrong.

Until I change whatever that is, pine bark and grit work great for me.
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
Walk in Peace / I'm Charley's Mom.
Miniature Gardening Mules Tip Photographer I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 2 Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Birds Region: Georgia
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Ridesredmule
Feb 22, 2012 2:13 PM CST
Great Answer, Thanks...
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Feb 22, 2012 4:02 PM CST

Moderator

I won't use peat pellets after they all molded up on me from being too wet.. don't like em

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