what is your seed-starting method? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-15-2011, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just curious.  I am new at this and know there are tips out there that I could learn and make me a more successful gardener. 

 

I have seeds started, none germinating, and was watching some videos where some people wait till their seeds sprout before they put them in a sunny window or under ligths.  Some cover their seeds with plastic to keep in warmth and moisture.  Is this something I should be doing?  Especially with my peppers.  My seeds are in a sunny window and I am watering them when they look to need it.  Is that good enough? 

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#2 of 7 Old 04-15-2011, 03:42 PM
 
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That's probably sufficient.  Don't let the soil get dry between waterings, seeds need more constant moisture than established plants do.  Most veggie seeds don't need light until they poke their heads up above the soil surface, since the soil is blocking out light anyway. 

 

Peppers, in particular, need warmth to germinate, and I think more warmth makes them germinate faster.  The soil temperature is supposed to be at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and as high as 95.  They also usually take at least 10 days to germinate (and mine took over two weeks), so don't worry if they don't come up quickly.  If you have a warm place to put them (I put mine above our woodstove on a high shelf) they will probably do better until they germinate.  Then, once a lot of them have sprouted, put them where they'll get some light.  The covering with plastic thing can work for that, but I always end up getting algae on the surface if I cover, so I don't.  If you think they're too cold and don't have a warm place to put them, I used a hot water bottle underneath the flats in a previous year, and it seemed to work.  I learn more every year, and you will too - the great thing is that the plants really want to live and are pretty good at it if we manage to meet their basic needs.  Have fun!


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#3 of 7 Old 04-15-2011, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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THanks for your reply!  I have the seeds in a window, but it gets cold at night, so I will find a warm spot for them and wait till they germinate.  I really want these seeds to make it.  I started a few seeds last spring that sprouted but didn't make it to harvest for various reasons.  I want to get good at this.  I don't want to rely on buying plants.  I am hoping to learn to save seeds too.  Again, thanks for your reply.  I really have no one here to ask.  Most people I know just buy their plants.  I really appreciate your advice.

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#4 of 7 Old 04-15-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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smile.gif

 

Well, that makes me feel happy.  You'll get good at it, it sounds like you have determination.


On a farm with our kiddo (nearly 2), two dogs, two cats, ten goats, two donkeys, nine sheep, a bunch of chickens, and a husband (in the winters). We have another on the way!
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#5 of 7 Old 04-17-2011, 09:49 AM
 
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I've got tomatoes and alpine strawberries starting right now, and the seed cells are in a plastic bag and sitting on top of my furnace in the utility closet, for extra warmth. Once the sprout, they'll go into a window with supplemental lighting until it gets warm enough to harden them off and plant them outside. Warmth and moisture are definitely the two keys to seed starting.


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#6 of 7 Old 04-18-2011, 08:23 PM
 
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We had a good start on ours this year, but we got some really frustrating fungal gnats that we couldn't take care of in time..so we just threw out all of our seedlings as they were all dying from these lovely bugs.  And we just started a bunch new in wet paper towels.  We've never done this before, so I hope they turn out...and quickly, since now I feel behind!

 

Is there a reason for keeping them out of light until they sprout?  I'm a bit of a novice as well, here.  We just have a small patio space, so we are a limited space vertical garden type family.  Last year, we did not get very good fruition, so hopefully with some new tactics, we'll be more successful this year.


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#7 of 7 Old 04-19-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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It's not necessarily keeping them out of light, but keeping them warm. In a window that could be drafty, you want to make sure the soil temp is warm enough for germination. That's why a lot of people start them on top of the fridge, furnace, etc.


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