Should I start over??

bosewichte(7a/8b)March 30, 2012

I planted 4 flats of close to 200 seeds around 2 weeks ago on a heat mat in my basement. I planted all easy-grow annuals: cosmos, nasturtiums, etc. So far, I've only had 25% germination, and random plants from most groups. For example, I've got one strong, healthy nasturtium that's ready for transplanting, but not a single other one has even shown any green above the soil line.

I think I made a major mistake when I first started...I didn't 'soak' the soil but watered it from the top. Then I assumed that the condensation from the plastic dome was enough to keep them wet for a while...but when I really checked a few days after planting, most were wet on top and bone-dry the rest of the way down. Now they're nice and wet, but I'm worried that it might be too late and I should just replant. I've got plenty of seeds left.


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Have you tried germinating on paper towel inside a ziplock back? I was able to start dozens this way and it was very practical. A bit time consuming getting them into the starter cups, but the success rate was well over 95 %

Just a thought.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Growing Adventure

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 5:42PM
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dowbright(z6 in Missouri)

I'm sure you've started over by now. How did it go?

The paper towel method is really neat, but careful if you have tons to plant. It's time-consuming planting each one individually. I had to toss lots, because my plans were bigger than my time could manage. ;)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 1:04AM
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I did start over, in a way...I decided to re-plant about 50 seedlings. Instead of putting soil in the cups, then the seeds, then a bit more soil, and then watering, I dumped the soil in a bucket and made sure it was thoroughly moistened before planting. Unfortunately, in the two weeks since I did that, I've only gotten a few seedlings. I'm not sure if the soil is too wet or the heat mat is too hot? It's like a little steamy greenhouse under the plastic dome when I lift it up! Out of this whole "dress rehearsal" of trying this system using easy-grow annuals, I have gotten many viable seedlings, maybe 60 or so (out of close to 200 seeds planted), and I'm not giving up on the replanted seeds hasn't been enough time for some of the seeds to germinate.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:55AM
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