Seed Starting Sticky! Please post your questions and answers here! - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 111 Old 01-07-2009, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
texmati's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,865
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I've just been noticing that there are a lot of questions about seed starting lately. (I know I'm partly to blame!) The compost sticky has been a great resource for me, esp since I know any questions I have will most likely be answered there.

I was hoping that we could begin posting our seed starting questions, answers and experiences here on this thread. Later, we could lobby to have this thread promoted to a sticky.
:

So... any questions to start with?

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

texmati is offline  
#2 of 111 Old 01-07-2009, 07:16 PM
 
lmonter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: My own private Idaho
Posts: 6,382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just email one of the mods to sticky a thread I believe.

Wife to an amazing hubby, mother hen to four chicken3.gif 
(If you're curious, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, and yes, it's a busy house)
lmonter is offline  
#3 of 111 Old 01-07-2009, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
texmati's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,865
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
good idea. I'll ask her what she thinks about it. I don't know which thread we should sticky!

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

texmati is offline  
#4 of 111 Old 01-08-2009, 04:02 PM
 
FarmerCathy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Three Lakes, WI
Posts: 4,192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That is a great idea since we get lots of these same questions every year. Maybe we should start a new one.

Cathy toddler.gifMama to James(6)coolshine.gifand Maggie Mae (1)luxlove.gif Wife to Daveguitar.gif

And 3rdtri.gif with #3 bigeyes.gif Due in August 2013!!!

FarmerCathy is offline  
#5 of 111 Old 01-09-2009, 02:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
texmati's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,865
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
ok... So I pm'd a mod about this. But I think for now I'll changed the title and content of the OP, so that other people can post questions and answers here.

If it's not impolite, I'll also ask people to copy and paste (there own) posts that they might think were really useful (I know that both of you probably have a ton, Lmonter and Farmer Cathy). Otherwise I can go and search for them myself, and get permission. Whichever everyone feels is best.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

texmati is offline  
#6 of 111 Old 01-09-2009, 02:52 AM
 
FarmerCathy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Three Lakes, WI
Posts: 4,192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Also, when starting seeds inside have your lights come on for 16 hours and off for the rest. The seedlings need some dark to re-coup for the day. I use one of those light timers. They are great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerCathy View Post
Petting them or using an oscillating fan for 20 minutes a day work the best to keep them strong and from going leggy. Going leggy is more from the stems getting too high without strengthing by the wind pushing them back and forth than from light.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerCathy View Post
Hi gothnurse3,

Yes, pinch off the largest and smallest and leave the healthiest medium sized plant in each. You will need to transplant them into bigger pots. Wait until they have thier second set of leaves if they don't have them already before transplanting. This is what I'm using this year. It's cheap and easy.

http://farminginsuburbia.blogspot.co...ot-making.html

http://farminginsuburbia.blogspot.co...ot-making.html

Put a fan on them or pet them to keep them strong and from going spindly too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerCathy View Post
Also a good seed starting mix and an osolating fan will help. Hahahaha, I spelled that wrong. : I do a mix of 1/3 worm castings, 1/3 good potting soil or compost, 1/3 perlite. I'm using this soiless mix to start with this year since I'm planting densely (is that a word ) and then transplanting into the mix above. I'm putting them in 4" pots at 4 weeks.

Cathy toddler.gifMama to James(6)coolshine.gifand Maggie Mae (1)luxlove.gif Wife to Daveguitar.gif

And 3rdtri.gif with #3 bigeyes.gif Due in August 2013!!!

FarmerCathy is offline  
#7 of 111 Old 01-09-2009, 04:48 AM
 
lmonter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: My own private Idaho
Posts: 6,382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just tell me what you want me to repost here and I'll come back and edit.

I am keeping my garden and seed starting entries on my blog open. I know I like browsing through what other people have, so I attempt to return the favor.

Wife to an amazing hubby, mother hen to four chicken3.gif 
(If you're curious, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, and yes, it's a busy house)
lmonter is offline  
#8 of 111 Old 01-10-2009, 01:22 AM
 
eirual's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: GTA, Canada
Posts: 4,418
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is my first year trying to get a real head start, so a newbie question:

Which seeds/plants should I start indoors??

Does it matter what your light source is??
I am getting a seed-starting shelving unit from my brother. It looks like it has large flourescent lights in it. Certainly they shouldn't be run-of-the-mill flourescent lights?

Laurie, wife to guitar.gifDH (Aug/04), mom tobikenew.gifDS1 (Nov/05) and bfinfant.gifDS2 (June/12).

 

eirual is offline  
#9 of 111 Old 01-10-2009, 03:11 AM
 
FarmerCathy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Three Lakes, WI
Posts: 4,192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by eirual View Post
This is my first year trying to get a real head start, so a newbie question:

Which seeds/plants should I start indoors??

Does it matter what your light source is??
I am getting a seed-starting shelving unit from my brother. It looks like it has large flourescent lights in it. Certainly they shouldn't be run-of-the-mill flourescent lights?
Veggies: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, broccoli,

Veggies that don't have to be, but I do anyway: basil, onion,

Flowers so they will bloom the same year: sweet william, rudbeckia, snapdragon and to give them a head start butterfly bush, ageratum, gomphrena, and celosia. Just in case you wanted to know.

Please anyone add to my list, I know its not complete, but I can't think.

Yes, regular flourescents will work just fine.

Cathy toddler.gifMama to James(6)coolshine.gifand Maggie Mae (1)luxlove.gif Wife to Daveguitar.gif

And 3rdtri.gif with #3 bigeyes.gif Due in August 2013!!!

FarmerCathy is offline  
#10 of 111 Old 01-10-2009, 10:35 PM
 
Belleweather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Heart of the Heartland
Posts: 3,249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Could we make a sort of "shopping list" for seed starting?

As a beginner, it sounds like I would needto buy or find:

-Flats
-Pots/something to hold seedlings
-seeds
-a light fixture (which can be raised or lowered as seedlngs grow?)
-a light timer
-a heating pad
-a fan
-seed starting potting mix

Anything else?
Belleweather is offline  
#11 of 111 Old 01-11-2009, 11:25 AM
 
purplegirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: down by the river.....
Posts: 5,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'll be glad to add a sticky! This thread?

afro.jpg
purplegirl is offline  
#12 of 111 Old 01-11-2009, 04:50 PM
 
FarmerCathy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Three Lakes, WI
Posts: 4,192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplegirl View Post
I'll be glad to add a sticky! This thread?
Yep! Thanks!

Cathy toddler.gifMama to James(6)coolshine.gifand Maggie Mae (1)luxlove.gif Wife to Daveguitar.gif

And 3rdtri.gif with #3 bigeyes.gif Due in August 2013!!!

FarmerCathy is offline  
#13 of 111 Old 01-12-2009, 01:04 PM
 
Audreysmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: IL
Posts: 404
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am in zone 5, and we try to get our plants in the ground bt Memorial Day and I am wondering when to start tomatoes and peppers inside. Thanks!
Audreysmama is offline  
#14 of 111 Old 01-12-2009, 01:10 PM
 
chrissy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: north carolina
Posts: 5,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
so, would you start cucumbers directly outside?

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
chrissy is offline  
#15 of 111 Old 01-12-2009, 04:46 PM
 
Ruthiegirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Feet in the mud, head in the clouds
Posts: 3,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrissy View Post
so, would you start cucumbers directly outside?
I am in Maryland and start my cukes directly in the garden. Well, not completely true -- I always sow a few indoors because I am impatient, transplant them to the garden where the promptly die. My direct sewn seeds flourish though and we eat mountains of cucumbers.

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

Ruthiegirl is offline  
#16 of 111 Old 01-12-2009, 07:54 PM
 
lmonter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: My own private Idaho
Posts: 6,382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audreysmama View Post
I am in zone 5, and we try to get our plants in the ground bt Memorial Day and I am wondering when to start tomatoes and peppers inside. Thanks!
March. Early March if you have enough room for them to grow, mid-March if you don't have so much room inside for 'em.

Wife to an amazing hubby, mother hen to four chicken3.gif 
(If you're curious, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, and yes, it's a busy house)
lmonter is offline  
#17 of 111 Old 01-13-2009, 06:50 PM
 
Blooming's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,902
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just ordered all my seeds from Baker Creek, does anyone know how long they usually take? Can you tell I'm a little excited?
Blooming is offline  
#18 of 111 Old 01-13-2009, 10:12 PM
 
Jennifer3141's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Traverse City, MI
Posts: 4,266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ordered from Baker on January 1 and I'm still waiting!! I did email them today about it and if I get an update; I'll let you know, Blooming.

secular classical-ish mama to an incredible 5 year old DS and an amazing 6 year old DD.
Jennifer3141 is offline  
#19 of 111 Old 01-14-2009, 04:30 PM
 
Blooming's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,902
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks Jennifer. I thought it might be a long wait, here's hoping it's not too long...
Blooming is offline  
#20 of 111 Old 01-14-2009, 09:19 PM
 
Smokering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,610
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
FarmerCathy: Which veggie were you talking about when you said to remove the biggest and smallest seedlings and leave a medium-sized one? I've always left the biggest seedling of whatever I've planted... was that wrong?

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

Smokering is offline  
#21 of 111 Old 01-14-2009, 09:34 PM
 
lmonter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: My own private Idaho
Posts: 6,382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd hazard a guess that Baker Creek had a giant flood of orders right after their new catalog came out. Last year I think I got orders from them within a week or so, but the economy hadn't tanked as much at that point...

Wife to an amazing hubby, mother hen to four chicken3.gif 
(If you're curious, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, and yes, it's a busy house)
lmonter is offline  
#22 of 111 Old 01-14-2009, 11:08 PM
 
purplegirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: down by the river.....
Posts: 5,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
stuck

afro.jpg
purplegirl is offline  
#23 of 111 Old 01-16-2009, 12:58 PM
 
Jennifer3141's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Traverse City, MI
Posts: 4,266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Blooming, the order that I placed on January 1 came on January 15. So not quite 3-7 business days but still not too bad. And I got freebies!

secular classical-ish mama to an incredible 5 year old DS and an amazing 6 year old DD.
Jennifer3141 is offline  
#24 of 111 Old 01-18-2009, 05:46 PM
 
greenthumb3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerCathy View Post
Veggies: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, broccoli,

Veggies that don't have to be, but I do anyway: basil, onion,

Flowers so they will bloom the same year: sweet william, rudbeckia, snapdragon and to give them a head start butterfly bush, ageratum, gomphrena, and celosia. Just in case you wanted to know.

Please anyone add to my list, I know its not complete, but I can't think.

Yes, regular flourescents will work just fine.
I live in zone 9. I am thinking I might need to plant my seeds in the garden instead of start them indoors--heirloomseeds.com has a 28 wait on the orders right now-yikes! Anyone had good luck starting broccoli in the garden, from seed? Or should I just wait until the next cold season? Any ideas?

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We stillheart.gif Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
mdcblog5.gif

greenthumb3 is offline  
#25 of 111 Old 01-19-2009, 01:05 PM
 
Blooming's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,902
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer3141 View Post
Blooming, the order that I placed on January 1 came on January 15. So not quite 3-7 business days but still not too bad. And I got freebies!
Thanks Jennifer, I'm glad you got your seeds. I can't wait to get my hands on those little packages! Hopefully they'll show up soon.

Yesterday DH ordered a shelf to start the seeds on. We deceided to go with a shelf that was semi-attractive as the seeds are going to have to live either in the living room or our bedroom. We figured we could bring it down in the basement to store the produce we can for the fall, winter...

Next stop...lights!

Oh what do others planr their seeds in? Do I really have to buy little plastic cells? The one thing I know is that I don't want to use the ones that break down. We have never had a good realtionship. Thanks!
Blooming is offline  
#26 of 111 Old 01-19-2009, 07:22 PM
 
lmonter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: My own private Idaho
Posts: 6,382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blooming View Post
Oh what do others plant their seeds in? Do I really have to buy little plastic cells? The one thing I know is that I don't want to use the ones that break down. We have never had a good relationship. Thanks!
Do you have a friend at the farmer's market or a local nursery? They can't reuse those 4" pots that you can fit like 18 of in an 11x22" flat. I've gotten lots of groovy and multi-sized square and round pots from my tomato lady - she can't reuse them, and was just going to toss them. I need to go see her this year (last year I was a bit too waddly) and maybe get my hands on some more...

I am lazy and don't really do much besides shake out what I can from the used pots, but I haven't had any weird fungus or mold problems from the pots (now I did get green mold from seed-starting mix that stayed too damp, but that's a whole different problem).

Or I know my lavender lady has something like cocoa fiber or rice pots or something - they're brown, rigid, durable, and will apparently eventually break down/compost at some point. She only had them in rounds though - not as efficient as squares for me. And they're pricey.

Wife to an amazing hubby, mother hen to four chicken3.gif 
(If you're curious, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, and yes, it's a busy house)
lmonter is offline  
#27 of 111 Old 01-19-2009, 10:08 PM
 
eirual's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: GTA, Canada
Posts: 4,418
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do you really need seed-starting soil?

Do you transfer your seed-starting soil into the garden or remove just the plant and root systemto the garden?

Laurie, wife to guitar.gifDH (Aug/04), mom tobikenew.gifDS1 (Nov/05) and bfinfant.gifDS2 (June/12).

 

eirual is offline  
#28 of 111 Old 01-20-2009, 05:06 AM
 
lmonter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: My own private Idaho
Posts: 6,382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by eirual View Post
Do you really need seed-starting soil?

Do you transfer your seed-starting soil into the garden or remove just the plant and root system to the garden?
Depends, and all of it goes in.

Last year I used the Black Gold seedling mix, and wasn't impressed. It stayed too wet to where I even had a little mold type problem. I was happier with my homemade stuff, which wasn't too difficult. I used compost, some fluffed up peat moss and a handful or two of vermiculite for a 4-5 gallon bucket of homemade seed starting mix. And just mixed and added until I got the light fluffy consistency that I wanted.

When I plant stuff, I flip out the plant (upside down), shake loose the roots in case they've done that little root-bound thing on the edges, plant, and then I use the seed starting mix on top of the garden soil. Gives me a little edge on the weeds (like an extra day or seven before weeds germinate through the new soil), and adding more stuff to the garden isn't a bad thing.

Wife to an amazing hubby, mother hen to four chicken3.gif 
(If you're curious, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, and yes, it's a busy house)
lmonter is offline  
#29 of 111 Old 01-20-2009, 11:47 PM
 
Blooming's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,902
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmonter View Post
Do you have a friend at the farmer's market or a local nursery? They can't reuse those 4" pots that you can fit like 18 of in an 11x22" flat. I've gotten lots of groovy and multi-sized square and round pots from my tomato lady - she can't reuse them, and was just going to toss them. I need to go see her this year (last year I was a bit too waddly) and maybe get my hands on some more...

I am lazy and don't really do much besides shake out what I can from the used pots, but I haven't had any weird fungus or mold problems from the pots (now I did get green mold from seed-starting mix that stayed too damp, but that's a whole different problem).

Or I know my lavender lady has something like cocoa fiber or rice pots or something - they're brown, rigid, durable, and will apparently eventually break down/compost at some point. She only had them in rounds though - not as efficient as squares for me. And they're pricey.

Thanks lmonter, I don't think I have someone to get free pots from. I think I mught end up ordering flats.

Or perhaps I will just save every container I can get my hands on. Anyone tried yogurt containers?
Blooming is offline  
#30 of 111 Old 01-21-2009, 01:27 AM
 
edamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 77
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How productive (or whatever) are old seeds? I have some from 2005, is it worth it to plant them?

As a newbie, how do you pick which variety? There are so many kinds of tomatoes, peppers, corn, etc. And having no real experience with any, I have no idea which to choose or which company to get them from.

TIA

familybed1.gif planning a : h20homebirth.gif 6.2011

edamama is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off