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Preferred Seed Starting Method

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#1 alphajam

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 07:55 PM

Last year, I used peat pellets(Germination was good, but I feel like the roots are a little stunted).

 

This year, I did things differently:

 

I started in December using small seed cell starter trays and commercial seed starter mix. I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN! I used "Miracle" Gro seed starter (I found that the "miracle" is that anything grows in it) - BUGS BUGS BUGS. Aphids to be exact. I started seeds in doors under my grow light for warmth. Germination rate was excellent. Started having aphid trouble about week 4. I used cotton swabs until I couldn't control them any more. Used Organocide. Took care of the aphids, but the seedlings weren't very strong and suffered greatly. Most of them died, or were so unhealthy that a fresh start was better than trying to nurse them back to health.

 

I got rid of all my stuff(better safe than sorry). That left me getting a late start and:

 

My new preferred method BY FAR. Solo cups with 70% ProMix HP(expensive I know) and 30% compost/manure blend. I really believe that the seedlings benefit from a larger starting container, and decent growing medium. I am off to a late start and have a severely reduced range of variety(some of my first round of seedlings were the only seeds I had), but I have a long growing season and i am hopeful. I now have some stuff in the ground and they are doing great!

 

What is your preferred method?

 

P.S. I know this is covered 100 times over, but I felt like sharing my experience on a fresh thread.(Please dont shoot the sharer)



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#2 Suezotiger

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 08:03 PM

What MG mix were you using?  I've noticed that the stuff in the yellow bags tends to have bugs (or at least reviews that mention bugs) while the stuff in the blue bags does not.  I'm not sure if there's a yellow bag of seed starting mix, however, and it might have just been good/bad luck for one of us.

This year I used this MG mix and had good results, no bugs.

http://www.miraclegr...40#BVRRWidgetID



#3 moruga welder

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 08:20 PM

first lesson i learned was never use MIRACLE GROW  ANYTHING !  always microwave you soil in a big bowl 90 sec. before planting in , kills eggs ,critters,etc.    :onfire:


Edited by moruga welder, 20 April 2015 - 08:21 PM.


#4 juanitos

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 08:26 PM

i use commercial potting mix that my local nursery uses, if its good enough for them then it will be good enough for me. They order it fresh every year in Big pallets so i know they aren't messing around.

 

But my preferred germination method is in tupperwear containers with a piece of paper(news paper, paper towel, coffee filter, cardboard all work). 

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#5 Phil

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 08:29 PM

I like the seed starting cell trays.... medium is not important, to me...


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#6 mikeg

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 08:32 PM

I heat-sterilize seedling soils, wash pots/trays with warm soapy water, sterilize them with a 10% beach + 90% water solution, then rinse. Fussy? Yeah... i was lax about it this spring -- nothing but damped-off dead seedlings.

Do as i say... not as i screw up. Cleanliness is good for seeds/seedlings. Raising soil temperatures to about 170° or 180°F is a real good idea too.

#7 alphajam

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 08:54 PM

What MG mix were you using?  I've noticed that the stuff in the yellow bags tends to have bugs (or at least reviews that mention bugs) while the stuff in the blue bags does not.  I'm not sure if there's a yellow bag of seed starting mix, however, and it might have just been good/bad luck for one of us.

This year I used this MG mix and had good results, no bugs.

http://www.miraclegr...40#BVRRWidgetID

 

That is the exact stuff I got from Home Depot!

 

 

juanitos - how/when do you handle planting the seedlings from your tupperware/paper method? And, what medium do you put them in?


I like the seed starting cell trays.... medium is not important, to me...

 

How early do you transplant? I ran into trouble where I waited too long and i feel like the roots were slightly stunted. THat's why I am using solo cups now.



#8 Spicy Mushroom

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 08:58 PM

Raising soil temperatures to about 170° or 180°F is a real good idea too.

 

Wow. That hot? Really? 


But my preferred germination method is in tupperwear containers with a piece of paper(news paper, paper towel, coffee filter, cardboard all work). 

 

 

This method, and ones like it always intrigued me, but I am unsure on the method and timing of moving them to their first soil-based home.


Edited by Spicy Mushroom, 20 April 2015 - 08:58 PM.


#9 Phil

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 09:09 PM

I don't transplant until the roots have established themselves enough to where the entire plug of dirt stays intact when I pull them out of the trays. By that time, the weather outside is warm enough to put them into their permanent homes.


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#10 hottoddy

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 09:23 PM

how-to-plant_lg.jpg


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#11 Phil

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 09:33 PM

how-to-plant_lg.jpg

 

Bingo. Don't over-complicate it. Think of nature, where there's nobody to harvest the pods. They dry on the plant, fall off, rot on the ground, releasing the seeds, the next generation starts on the dirt below. And man did not touch it.


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#12 hottoddy

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 10:24 PM

 

Bingo. Don't over-complicate it. Think of nature, where there's nobody to harvest the pods. They dry on the plant, fall off, rot on the ground, releasing the seeds, the next generation starts on the dirt below. And man did not touch it.

 

Thanks, I didn't mean to make light of the original post but like to keep it as simple as possible!

 

To answer alphajam, I use a simple germination station on a heating pad with seedling soil mix. Sometimes I use the warm/wet paper towel method on hard to germinate seeds. I pot up once (currently into 4 1/2 inch squares) with fertilized potting soil and add more liquid later. I get aphids too. This year I slowly released ladybugs in my greenhouse, which keeps them from leaving. They are doing well and laying lots of eggs!


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#13 filmost

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 11:13 PM

I use commercial seed starting mix, but I also live in Japan where MG doesn't exist. I just soak my seeds for a few hours in h2o2 mix or diluted chamomile tea, then straight into the seed starting mix in small poly pots. I have found this easier and less hassle than coffee filter / paper towel method.


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#14 AJ Drew

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 11:19 PM

The only thing I do out of the ordinary is use an egg incubator to get the temperature.


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#15 WichitaChief

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 11:42 PM

I use 606 jumbo's in 1020 trays on heat mats controlled by a thermostat set to 78 deg. I have used Jiffy Mix mixed with Fertilome seed starting mix and did good. This year I used Ocean Forrest mixed with plain ProMix. I transplant into 3 1/2" P86D when the roots reach the bottom of the cell and keeps the plug of dirt intact like Phil says. I've tried the paper towel method but I tend to not check often enough and I don't like the root to get long and stringy. That's not on the method but on me for not being diligent enough.  I forgot to add that 1st I soak overnight in a weak dilute water peroxide solution.


Edited by WichitaChief, 21 April 2015 - 09:31 AM.


#16 rghm1u20

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 02:08 AM

I am using seed starting cell trays too. Soil mix from supermarket (nothing special, but I like the texture), mixed with some sand and perlit (no precise percent). Fill the trays, put the seeds, cover with soil, wet, wait. This year I have used this a bit different, didn't covered the seeds at first, to see the germination (the try have a transparent cover, so the humidity was ok). No heating things, excepting the sun, when available (on windowsil).

This year I have used also another method, the paper towel. Much faster germination for peppers, maybe because I have used the TV receiver as heater, but I think the plants germinated in soil are more stronger. Maybe I didn't moved the germinated seeds in the right moment to the soil, dunno, but I am not sure will use this method again.


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#17 newril

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 04:15 AM

how-to-plant_lg.jpg

 

 

i'm using this method :)



#18 Spicy Mushroom

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 04:54 AM

how-to-plant_lg.jpg

 

Just for the hell of it I just made 10 cups with 10 different varieties and put them outside. Late in the game of course but that's alright I have other peppers that have been growing. This image says poke holes. Poke holes in the bottom of the cups....or does it assume use of Saran Wrap and holes to be poked in that?



#19 Datil

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 07:15 AM

My plan this year:

 

- Soak some coir pellets

- Place a seed or two in each (no seed pre-soak)

- Place the pellets in a portable greenhouse

 

So far so good! I've more seedlings than i need already :D

 

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#20 willard3

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 07:21 AM

Get a zip lock bag and a paper towel

 

IMG_8543.jpg

 

 

distribute seeds on towel and fold over

 

 

IMG_8544.jpg

 

 

Wet  seeds.....wet, not soppy,........put towel in baggie and seal. Put where it is 85F (measure, don't guess).  Wait

 

IMG_8545.jpg

 

 


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