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Topic by MsDebbieP posted 2039 days ago 13398 views 1 time favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2574 days
hardiness zone 5b

2039 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: seeds starting seedlings tip trick gateway propagation winter sow

The following discussions are tips/tricks re: starting seeds

And check out our “tags”

Projects Blogs Forums Also See:

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)



View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 2452 days
hardiness zone 9

2032 days ago

Looking forward to reading and learning from this thread!!!

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

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MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2574 days
hardiness zone 5b

2031 days ago

#1. Read the package and follow the instructions for your Zone.

If it says “start 6 weeks before frost” then don’t get so excited that you start them 12 weeks before frost. Your plants won’t be thanking you.

2. talk to the seedlings. They love the attention!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Steelmum

9 posts in 2085 days
hardiness zone 7b

2031 days ago

Always water your seedlings from the bottom. That keeps them in place and doesn’t drown them. Remember, moist is NOT wet.

-- Berta, NC

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2354 days
hardiness zone 5a

2030 days ago

Seeds can be started sooner in trays but will have to be transplanted into small individual pots like peat pots or them little plastic ones the garden centres use.This gives you a bigger and stronger plant.But they still gotta wait till May 24 week end here to be planted outdoors.Always read up on your seeds before planting them.Some need refrigeration like Deb said.Mostly perennials.Some have to be sown direct in the spring like poppies for eg.Others have to be soaked over night in warm water.Etc. etc.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

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MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2574 days
hardiness zone 5b

2030 days ago

last year I bought those pots that look like they are made from coconut fibres (can’t remember what they are made from) anyway, last fall the plants were still sitting in those little pots… they just don’t break down fast enough, in my opinion

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 2452 days
hardiness zone 9

2029 days ago

I am thinking that this year I want to start my seeds in paper cups … is there a certain type of dirt I should be using. Would the “miracle grow dirt” be good? Remember, this is only my second attempt at starting plants from seeds … last year I had some success but started too late and really needed more light. But was pleased that at least most of the plants sprouted for me. Took that and ran with it … onto trial #2 with fingers crossed.

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

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Greenthumb

2287 posts in 2394 days

2028 days ago

I sometimes place seeds on a paper towel or two, dampen the paper towel and then place the seeds on it, cover it with another paper towel or two and use a “squeeze the trigger spray bottle” to dampen the paper towel. I usaully seethe seeds sproating and then use tweezers to transfer the sproat to a container with soil.

I’ve had great luck with miracle grow potting soil and found that the best prices are at Costco.

As a kid I had a neighbor who was dutch and just an awesome gardener. I think he won a few Canadian garden awards anyheeew. he took seeder seeds and did the same thing as I do above only he kept them in total darkeness. Those cedar seedlings never saw the direct sun until they were old enough. The interesting thing he did was to fool the tree into living through several seasons in one year. He’ld put the sedlings in the fridge and lower the temp, then put them in a deep freezer and then reverse the process…......and repeat.

His gardens were stunning.

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

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GrandmaT

5389 posts in 2452 days
hardiness zone 9

2028 days ago

Thanks for the comment on Miracle Grow Potting Soil Roman … might try the paper towel you suggest.

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View Josh's profile

Josh

42 posts in 2027 days

2027 days ago

I start all my seeds in jugs outside. I take milk jugs and cut them in half. (leave 1 inch and fold over) I cut drain holes and then fill the bottom with Miracle grow.(make sure it is wet) Then sow the seeds in the jug. Tape the lid back on and set it outside. The jug will act like a mini green house. The temp inside the juggs is about 20 degrees warmer then outside the jugs. The plants will start growing outside even though temps are to cold. You just have to make sure the jugs don’t dry out or get to hot on sunny days. The plants you start this way will be some of the toughest plants you ever had. They are born in the cold so they can take the cold better. The cold nights will also kill off the weaker plants. This leaves you with healthy plants that are less likely to get sick. Also since they are born outside there is no need to harden them off. Once it is time to plant, these plants will be a little smaller then what you can buy at a box store. But once you get them in the ground these bad boys take right off.

I should add that I live in northern illinois. I have seen my jugs covered in feet of snow. This is a fool proof way of starting seeds. All you do is watch and wait. They will need no water till you start cutting tops off. I have done as many as 150 jugs. Hopefully this year no more then 50. The success rate is close to 90%.

Make sure you mark your jugs well.

This is a great way to get kids involved in the garden. They get to play with dirt in the winter. And they gain a respect for the plants as they watch them grow from seed to flower.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5047 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

2027 days ago

I have done this, Josh. Winter sowing works really well. Makes for tough plants. That is how I got most of my plants started here.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 2452 days
hardiness zone 9

2027 days ago

Very interesting Josh … when do you begin your process? I live in southeast Michigan; so our timing would be about the same I would think. As I said above I am new to “seeds” but have been gardening for a long time now. Normally bought starts of what I wanted or got divisions. Collected quite a bit of seed last fall and am quite excited about seeing if I can get them to sprout and be healthy.

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View Josh's profile

Josh

42 posts in 2027 days

2027 days ago

Thanks for the welcome.

Grandma, I start putting jugs out at the end of the month. There is no magic start date. When you have time you can start filling jugs. I put them in the shade and keep them off the ground. I put a lot of seeds in each jug and then plant clumps. Like Jroot this is how i started most of the plants in my yard.

There is a whole community of people on the web that winter sow. There was also an article in Mother Earth News discussing winter sowing. I enjoy it because it is dirt cheap.:>) All you need is some dirt and a jug, ziplock, carry out box, anything fairly clear will work.

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GrandmaT

5389 posts in 2452 days
hardiness zone 9

2027 days ago

Thanks Josh …

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2574 days
hardiness zone 5b

2027 days ago

that descriptions makes you think it is the ONLY way to start plants! Cool… or cold haha

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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GrandmaT

5389 posts in 2452 days
hardiness zone 9

2027 days ago

Found this cool site for winter sowing … full of lots of information. Think I will be saving my milk jugs and trying this along with doing the same seeds under lights. Be interesting to see the difference.

http://wintersown.org/

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View Horsetail's profile

Horsetail

38 posts in 2031 days
hardiness zone 6b

2026 days ago

I agree with jr and Josh, winter sowing is very good but there are suggested months for different seeds which you can get info on at “wintersown.org”
I tried being environmentally helpful by using my “Tim” cups as seed pots but won’t do this again as I found the roots stuck to the sides when planting out damaging them somwhat.
One other thing I discovered is that the sooner you can get the seedlings into the ground the faster they take off rather than leaving them in the pots.

View jangnim's profile

jangnim

9 posts in 2029 days
hardiness zone 7

2026 days ago

So what zone am I in? Oh I guess that is zone 7 but I’m not sure of the a or b.

-- jangnim

View jroot's profile

jroot

5047 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

2026 days ago

Horsetail, try lining the cup with newsprint. When planting time comes, tip the plant and newsprint out, and then plant the newsprint and the soil with the plant. The newsprint decomposes and the roots are not disturbed. Works for me. :)

jangnim, I can’t figure out your zone, because you haven’t included information in your profile about where exactly you are located. With more information, we MIGHT be able to help. I see that you are South Central PA. Check out: http://www.demesne.info/Garden-Help/US-Plant-Hardiness/US-Plant-Hardiness-NE.htm
It may be of some help.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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jangnim

9 posts in 2029 days
hardiness zone 7

2026 days ago

jangnim, I can’t figure out your zone, because you haven’t included information in your profile about where exactly you are located. With more information, we MIGHT be able to help. I see that you are South Central PA.

Thanks jroot the link helped. The site I hit said I am in 7 but the one you gave me is 6b. I live in a rural area 20 miles out of Harrisburg, PA. Just seemed simpler to say South Central PA.

**

-- jangnim

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jroot

5047 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

2025 days ago

Some rural areas are lower, dependent upon the amount of wind / wind resistance. Where I am is colder on cold days than other areas in the same village. It is also hotter on some days than other areas in the same village. ... living with nature … LOL

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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Iris43

3799 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

2023 days ago

I think each of our properties has their own mini-climate. Even in my own yard, the front yard is very different from the backyard which is very protected and has more shade.

Speaking of seed starting, I have started seeds in one of those sterilite containers that you get salad or pastry in. I plant the seed in a moistened potting mixture in the container as directed. Close the lid, and sit it on top of my gas fireplace where it stays warm, with high humidity and one temp. until it germinates. Works very well unless I forget, and turn the fireplace on———-then it might get alittle too warm. :-)

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View Joanne's profile

Joanne

1 post in 1978 days
hardiness zone 4a

1978 days ago

Hi! I’m new to this site and just wanted to add a tip that I got from my neighbor that I’ve used and have had great results. I’m not sure if this tip has been posted already. Plants the seeds in a large paper cup (about 16 oz size) and lets it stay in it until ready to plant. Cut off the bottom of the cup and spreads out the roots. Put bothe the cup and plant in the ground with the cup above the soil line about an inch. The roots will grow out the bottom and with the lip of the cup above the ground no insects can get to the plant to do damage. Hope this helps someone.

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2574 days
hardiness zone 5b

1978 days ago

I like it.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Eklectic's profile

Eklectic

1824 posts in 2374 days
hardiness zone 5a

1978 days ago

Lots of interesting tips here! I might just try some of them. I really like the milk jug one!!

-- Eklectic, Follow my Bliss, South East Ontario 5a

View jroot's profile

jroot

5047 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

1978 days ago

That will definitely work, Joanne. Thanks.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 2452 days
hardiness zone 9

1977 days ago

Might just have to try that technique this year with my seeds. Sure sounds simple enough. Thanks Joanne!!

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View Lulu's profile

Lulu

4 posts in 2364 days

1964 days ago

Firstly, in order to help germination, I put my flats in the oven, and leave the oven light on. Sure helps germination along.

I mostly use peat pots or pellets, but, when the going gets tough, I use the larger yogurt containers and margarine containers, coffee cups, plastic cups,,whatever I can find.

When dealing with anything resistant to transplanting, I will put a coffee filter or cupcake paper liner in the container first; both will decompose, and it reduces transplant shock considerably, and removing the plant intact, is much easier.

For plant markers, I use the cut up slats from a mini blind, with indelible ink to mark the names.

In the house, I have a mini plastic greenhouse, a clothes rack, and a wooden shelf, to hold the various stages of plants. Outside, I have a 6×8 greenhouse, with grow lites, however, I cannot get to it, yet, because of deep snow. Once I can, I will be starting more seeds, and moving my larger plants out of the cold storage, where they have been somewhat dormant.

Chompin at the bit, here in zone 4!

-- Lulu; zone 4b wannabe

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2574 days
hardiness zone 5b

1964 days ago

love the cupcake liner idea!!!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Cyndibelle's profile

Cyndibelle

51 posts in 1973 days
hardiness zone 4

1959 days ago

I’ve heard of people using egg cartons, cereal boxes, dixie cups, etc… and now there are even molds (I guess thats what you’d call them) to make your own pots. You use newspaper that you basically just mold around what looks to be a cup. I don’t know why you couldn’t just do that yourself?

Anyway, I have also heard of farmers selling manure in pot form….really! My boyfriend is a farmer and brought this to my attention as he has manure in great amounts readily available to me (gross!). Here is a link that just demonstrates the concept a bit.

http://www.cleanairgardening.com/cow-pots.html

-- Cyndibelle- Burlington, WI

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 2452 days
hardiness zone 9

1959 days ago

Yes, I had heard of this on a tv show … How It Is Made … or something like that. Initially I though “ewwww” but why not?

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View DebC's profile

DebC

11 posts in 2014 days
hardiness zone 4b

1958 days ago

I have found so many tips and ideas from you all. I have started seeds in the house and now will move onto planting outside using the milk jugs. I’m excited to see how it works. I always look forward to reading new updates. Thank you.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5047 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

1958 days ago

me too, DebC.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View chococrazy's profile

chococrazy

5 posts in 1971 days
hardiness zone 6a

1953 days ago

I have just started some veggie and herb seeds using both peat pots and the paper towel method on Sunday. Last night I could see some of the seeds germinating on the paper towel. I’m eager to go home and see what’s been happening the last 24 hours :) Next winter I will try the 2L plastic bottle method (already started saving them up).

-- Toronto, Ontario

View Cyndibelle's profile

Cyndibelle

51 posts in 1973 days
hardiness zone 4

1951 days ago

I am growing a wide variety of plants this spring. I am starting everything off by this weekend. I bought oregano, lemon basil, cherry tomatos, and garlic chives. I would like to try the method some people suggested of starting seeds in paper towel. Has anyone tried starting herb seed in paper towel? Initially I was going to by some plug trays and a standard 1020 tray, and start the seeds in the plug trays with some standard potting mix (which I have found is generally mixed with sphagnum peat moss).

I am also growing wave petunia and lobelia from seed. The wave petunia is a pelleted seed and the lobelia is not (infact comes in a pack of like 1000 seeds). Anyway, if anyone has any experience or ideas how to grow these two, or at least best way of starting off these seeds, please chime in!

I’m very excited….first step in my elaborate plan to start my own business!!!

-- Cyndibelle- Burlington, WI

View CraftyGardener's profile

CraftyGardener

124 posts in 2440 days

1949 days ago

I think the most important thing is not to get too excited and start your seeds too early (as already mentioned). I use a spray bottle to water them as well, but if you have to use a water can etc. be sure to water from the bottom so the seeds don’t get washed away.

I also do my own form of winter sowing, just like Mother Nature does. I sprinkle seeds around the base of the main plant (either in the fall or very early spring) and the seedling will grow. When big enough you can transplant. I even go out and put seeds in some containers earlier than the last frost day, and the seeds always seem to grow okay. If I get worried about a really cold snap, I put an inverted plastic container over them in the overnight for some added protection. Just remember to remove it during the daylight hours. Those seeds that drop (an even those odd little tomatoes) in the garden in the fall always seem to sprout their own seedlings in the spring.

-- Stop by and visit my homepage at http://www.craftygardener.ca or my blog at http://craftygardener.blogspot.com/ Thanks, Linda aka Crafty Gardener

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2574 days
hardiness zone 5b

849 days ago

here’s a good blog re: starting seeds

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View jroot's profile

jroot

5047 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

849 days ago

A very good blog, MsDebbieP.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2574 days
hardiness zone 5b

816 days ago

Video by Alys Fowler talking about starting seeds in trays and then putting them into plugs.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View scapeblogger's profile

scapeblogger

1 post in 687 days

687 days ago

For growing potatoes you don’t even need to start from seeds, just chop up some potatoes in to small little nubs and plant as if they were seeds. That growing potatoes page also says you can just drop em in a large bag instead of a planter or open ground and harvest your potatoes right out of a bag!

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2574 days
hardiness zone 5b

551 days ago

a handy site to calculate when you should start your seeds in the spring. LINK

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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