Seeds forum: 2019 Indoor Seed Starts

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Name: Bruce (Vancouver Isl
BC (Zone 8a)
Region: Canadian Lilies Bulbs Annuals Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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Lily_Lover
Feb 14, 2019 6:41 PM CST
This is a list of my indoor seed starts for 2019. They were all planted on February 7 in a combination of Potting Soil / Peat Moss / Compost and Worm Castings. I have fluorescent lights which are on for 16 hours per day. Almost all of these are new for me so I am experimenting to see how long they take to germinate, how fast they grow, which ones I have to re-pot and which I can put outside in my poly-tunnel (and when). It should be an interesting experience.

Here's whats up:
Petunia grandiflora
Tagetes tenuifolia (Marigold)
Dianthus chinensis
Callistephus chinensis (Aster)
Dianthus caryophyllus (Carnation)
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Tagetes erecta (Marigold)

Basil
Beet
Cabbage
Cucumber
Kohlrabi
Lettuce
Melon
Oregano
Thyme
Tomato
Turnip

And here's what's not:
Aquilegia vulgaris (2) (Columbines)
Monarda didyma
Delphinium elatum
Leek
Onion
Parsley

What are you starting indoors this year and how are they doing?
Name: Ronnie (Veronica)
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
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luvsgrtdanes
Feb 14, 2019 7:52 PM CST
I just started my coleus and impatiens yesterday and today. I did begonias last week.
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
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thommesM
Feb 15, 2019 5:48 AM CST
When I read your post it was like I was looking in the mirror. Except for a few of the seeds you actually started, I'm doing the same. I've started from seed before, but this year everything is being started from seed indoor and then transplanted. It's going to be an early spring. (I could really use some support on that last statement.)
Everyone has something they can teach; everyone has something they can learn.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Leftwood
Feb 15, 2019 7:58 AM CST
Root vegetables are never started indoors as transplanted. But since you have already done it, try an experiment:

- Plant the transplants in the garden at the proper time.
- Plant the same seeds in the garden at the proper time (1-3 weeks earlier).

When you compare the harvest, you'll see why.

FYI, kohlrabi, leeks and onions are not root vegetables. The part you eat on these is the stem and/or leaves.

edited for grammar
[Last edited by Leftwood - Feb 15, 2019 8:25 AM (+)]
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Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
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ZenMan
Feb 15, 2019 9:12 AM CST
Hi Thomas,

" It's going to be an early spring. (I could really use some support on that last statement.) "

I think that famous Groundhog back East predicted an early Spring. I don't know what the local Woolly Worms are saying. Rolling my eyes. Last year we had a late Spring here in east central Kansas. That delayed my gardening by more than a month and my corn refused to germinate in cold ground. My pole beans were also very disappointing. So far we are having a much colder than average Winter. Several inches of snow are predicted here for today.

My son has recently started several varieties of peppers indoors under T8 fluorescent lights. I have an indoor zinnia project in progress, also under T8 fluorescents.
Thumb of 2019-02-15/ZenMan/9b2373 Thumb of 2019-02-15/ZenMan/865991
I grow zinnias to maturity indoors, in support of my zinnia breeding hobby. I plan to plant most of my veggies in-ground in the Spring after the soil warms up. I may start a few tomatoes indoors to get an early start. Our predicted snow just started falling. The Weather Guys got that one right.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Bruce (Vancouver Isl
BC (Zone 8a)
Region: Canadian Lilies Bulbs Annuals Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Critters Allowed Beavers Birds Bee Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Lily_Lover
Feb 15, 2019 1:29 PM CST
Leftwood said:Root vegetables are never started indoors as transplanted. But since you have already done it, try an experiment:

- Plant the transplants in the garden at the proper time.
- Plant the same seeds in the garden at the proper time (1-3 weeks earlier).

When you compare the harvest, you'll see why.

FYI, kohlrabi, leeks and onions are not root vegetables. The part you eat on these is the stem and/or leaves.

edited for grammar


Thanks for the info @Leftwood! I used to think that root vegetables could not be transplanted but I have seen so many videos on the net showing people successfully sowing root vegetables indoors and transplanting them out later that I thought I would give it a try. Here are my planned schedules for beets, turnips and radishes.

Beets: February 1 (indoors), and March 1, April 1, August 1, September 1 (outdoors)
Turnips: February 1, Match 1 (indoors), and April 1, August 1, September 1, October 1 (outdoors) [Overwinter?]
Radishes: March 1, April 1, August 1, September 1, October 1 (outdoors)
I know radishes get bitter and hot if they are disturbed so I have no plans to try them indoors.

I have similar plans for all my other smaller vegetables. Melons, Cucumbers and Tomatoes I always start indoor in February because I have very limited sun exposure and our growing season is short.
Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
Composter
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thommesM
Feb 15, 2019 1:55 PM CST
I'm actually starting carrots as well. They will be in the ground within two weeks of sprouting.
Everyone has something they can teach; everyone has something they can learn.
Name: Bruce (Vancouver Isl
BC (Zone 8a)
Region: Canadian Lilies Bulbs Annuals Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Critters Allowed Beavers Birds Bee Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Lily_Lover
Feb 15, 2019 2:05 PM CST
Monarda didyma and Leeks are up today!
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Leftwood
Feb 15, 2019 2:10 PM CST
Thomas, you ought to do a comparison planting, too. With carrots especially, roots tend to be disfigured from transplanting. Be very gentle with the tap root end when handling.

It's very gratifying, educational and fun to experiment with different methods. You both will find what works best for you. Thumbs up
West Central Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Rubi
Feb 18, 2019 12:15 AM CST
Leftwood said:Thomas, you ought to do a comparison planting, too. With carrots especially, roots tend to be disfigured from transplanting. Be very gentle with the tap root end when handling.

It's very gratifying, educational and fun to experiment with different methods. You both will find what works best for you. Thumbs up



I agree, Rick. When it comes time to thin the root crops I always try to transplant some into the spots in the row that the critters dug up, or nothing germinated. Sometimes the vegetation looks alright, but there's never a good root.


Bingo1961
Feb 21, 2019 6:01 PM CST
Questions about starting zinnia seeds. This is my first time trying to grow anything from seeds. I have the Ferry-Morse 72-cell seed tray with the peat pellets. Should i use one seed or more per pellet pod? If i use 2 seeds per pod and both come up, can i leave them both or clip one off? Should i use a heat mat or not? I was thinking about getting 2 Sansi 15w grow lights for these and some jiffy 3" pots. The zinnias i was going to try are Magellan, Dreamland, a few Benary's, and a few Zahara and Profusion for some pots. Thanks for any information and i enjoy reading in the forum.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Feb 25, 2019 7:17 PM CST

Moderator

Welcome!

I'm sorry, I have no experience with either the Jiffy pellets or those lights. I hope someone will come along soon who is more helpful than I. Smiling Just wanted to welcome you.

Karen
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Feb 25, 2019 8:48 PM CST
Bingo1961 said:Questions about starting zinnia seeds. This is my first time trying to grow anything from seeds. I have the Ferry-Morse 72-cell seed tray with the peat pellets.

Hi Bingo, Welcome!
Welcome to the National Gardening Association and these Forums.

" Should i use one seed or more per pellet pod? "
If you have a surplus of seeds, or if you think you may get poor germination, then yes.

" If i use 2 seeds per pod and both come up, can i leave them both or clip one off? "
Leaving both or clipping one is up to you. I plant my zinnias in 3.25-inch pots, which give them considerably more root space than your "pellet pods", so with older seed I plant more than one per pot. For seed that is several years old, I plant as many as 4 or even 5 per pot. If I think I have too many in a pot, I keep only the best looking seedlings and snip the rest.

" Should i use a heat mat or not? "
Probably. My basement utility room has no vents from our furnace and runs cool in cold weather, so I use heat mats for all my zinnia seeds.

" I was thinking about getting 2 Sansi 15w grow lights for these and some jiffy 3" pots. "
That's not a lot of light, and a zinnia seedling can become rootbound fairly quickly in a 3-inch pot, particularly if there is more than one seedling per 3-inch pot. When do you think you will be setting your zinnia seedlings outdoors?

These are photos of some of my zinnia seedlings in 3.25-inch pots.
Thumb of 2019-02-26/ZenMan/d84475 Thumb of 2019-02-26/ZenMan/cedbb2
Many of my pots do have more than one seedling, and sometimes I let them come into bloom before culling the less desirable specimens. Zinnia breeding is a hobby of mine.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
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conniepr27
Mar 30, 2019 7:21 AM CST
I started some zinnia seeds a week ago, one packet in a ziplock bag with paper towel and a bit of water. A few roots are visible now.

Problem is, I now have to go away for four days to a funeral. Leaving April 4th, back home April 7th, so I'm concerned that if I pot them up now, they will dry out too much while I'm gone. Would it be okay if they stayed in the ziplock bag in the paper towel until after I'm home? Would be close to 3 weeks by that time.
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Mar 30, 2019 12:02 PM CST
Hi Connie,

" Would it be okay if they stayed in the ziplock bag in the paper towel until after I'm home? Would be close to 3 weeks by that time. "

I am sorry to say that your zinnia seedlings will not be alright on a paper towel in a Ziploc bag after 3 weeks. They will be trying to develop true leaves by then, and suffering from a lack of light as well. The Ziploc/paper towel thing is suitable for germination testing, but has serious disadvantages as a way of starting your plants. It is common for the roots to become embedded in the paper towel and you wind up trying to pot pieces of paper towel.

If you know someone who could babysit the pots, that would be one solution. Otherwise, set the pots in a pie pan of water, or a tray of water. If you have a tray, you could put it under a humidity dome to slow the evaporation of water from the pots.
Thumb of 2019-03-30/ZenMan/97fbb2
Since a single packet of zinnia seed is all that is at stake, you can always buy another packet of zinnia seed and start over after the funeral.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover Butterflies Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Daylilies Plays in the sandbox
Dragonflies Ferns Region: Canadian Peonies Bookworm Clematis
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conniepr27
Mar 30, 2019 2:20 PM CST
Thanks Zenman. True, I could buy another pkg. I think I'll pot these up and try the terrarium idea or something to keep them from drying out.
Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
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thommesM
Apr 1, 2019 8:24 AM CST
So before I lost most of my plants, I was lost most of my brassicas. I thought it was due to overwatering, but after reading some amazon reviews of a coco coir product I bought I grew concerned. Some of the reviews stated that the product needed to be rinsed before using as the product contained salt. From what I understand salt is common in coco coir but some companies rinse the coir before packaging. So the few remaining plants that I have left after losing them from being sick, the second sowing of brassica that pricked out are doing much better than the first batch. The second batch I did not use coco coir in the soil mix. Everything else remained constant. Other plants were doing fine in the coco coir but apparently brassicas are sensitive to salt or something else in the coir.
Everyone has something they can teach; everyone has something they can learn.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Leftwood
Apr 1, 2019 11:29 AM CST
I discovered that the hard way, too, when I tried to grow leaf lettuce in a coir. And on top of that, lettuce is more susceptible to salt, I found.

A complete disaster. Thumbs down
Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
Composter
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thommesM
Apr 1, 2019 11:40 AM CST
Most of my lettuces did well in the coir actually. The only issue I had with a "lettuce" was a mizuna. My first time growing mizuna and the seedlings were doing so well and then just keeled over. I'm not sure I'm giving up on coir. I'm going to rinse the product I have and try a germ test on some of the seedlings that had trouble to see if rinsing helps.
Everyone has something they can teach; everyone has something they can learn.
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Apr 2, 2019 12:15 PM CST
Hi Thomas,

" My first time growing mizuna and the seedlings were doing so well and then just keeled over. "

That could be Damping Off. And that infection could be from the seeds themselves, and not the growing medium.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.

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