How do you start you're Seedlings?

Sky351(5Maine)March 26, 2005

Good Morning...

Thought I would share my first two years of seed starting ideas! The first year was in my kitchen, just bought a shelving unit and had my husband hard wire the lights for me. I donÂt use special bulbs; and it seems to work fine.

This year I knew I needed more room *Smile*! Still being a newbie I didnÂt want to build a greenhouse. So I figured would use the second bay in our garage. We have an oil furnace as a back up and a barrel wood stove for heat. So this is what I came up with. I really think it will be more than adequate for what I want.

Would love to see what the rest of you have come up withÂ

Be Well


Last Year

This Year

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maineman(z5a ME)


In your bottom picture it looks like most of the light is coming from a window. Is that an illusion, or do you have a sunlit window? Our plants are currently in the kitchen area, although I am insulating our breezeway preparatory to moving our plant stands out there. I will try to post some pictures in a later message.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 12:25PM
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Yes there are window's in the garage door but only the one panel. We also have plastic on the outside of the garage door, and we open it and get alot more natural sunlight in. It just wasn't opened when I took the picture. Can't wait to see you're pic's.

Be Well

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 12:40PM
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lilyroseviolet(Maine 4and 5)

I am very spoiled and have actual greenhouses complete with monitored controlled heat and water. I could easily grow year round if My Groom would stay and winter in Maine instead of being a heat seeker to Warmer country parts.

The few years I was able to grow year round I still used artifical light to help the process. Actually even a simple 60 watt bulb worked and higherwattage worked well too.

I have used the long florescent light set on coffee cans for a few years as well, especially when winter days are dark by 3:30pm. (glad those days are past and spring is finally here!)

Sky, I really like your set up. Can you wheel your plants outside for tolerable temps days?

I found that greenhouse growing had to be placed on the side which got the most sun for the day or the plants seemed to get too leggy, even plants like aloevera and shady plants needed the warmest and sunnest side of the greenhouse to respond the best, until the days grew longer and the sun more intense. Then those plants that need more shade would be moved to more protection. Its definitely an art or a dance with plants. :)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 12:11AM
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No I can't wheel them out.. All manual labor here! But if you noticed it's set up next to the garage door. I just push the button and the garage door opens; when it get's warm enough we can carry them out. I just got a couple of real nice shelving unit from Lowes, 72"H x 36"W x 24"D
Ventilated 5-Shelf Unit
"Quick Assembly" , No tools required
Strong, yet lightweight
Will hold up to 200 lbs. per shelf $39.95

With the set up I have once the weather is more predictable, I can move the whole thing out on the deck, and they'll get all the sun they want. And if necessary; I can still put my little electric furnace in there for heat. Plus I have a retractable awning if they need a break from the sun!

Last year was probably beginners luck, but everything did just great!

Yes you are most definitely blessed! Greenhouse and Warm winters! Where do you winter?

Weather here sure has been wonderful this last week and half! I heard near 50 come Wednesday!

Be Well

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 7:25AM
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lilyroseviolet(Maine 4and 5)

Arizona has been our winter retreat, Bev.

Thanks for asking.

Yes, it seems there may yet be a Spring...lets cross our fingers for a good season.

Cheers- Sue

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 9:48PM
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Cindy_T(z4-5 ME)

Wow, great looking set up. What have you got started?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 5:58AM
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Oh how nice Sue.. It must be exciting comparing their gardens to ours! Do you do gardens there as well?
Be Well

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 6:26AM
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Cindy T > Not very fancy, but serves the purpose quite nicely. Here's what I've planted so far probably forgot a couple...

Southern Charm
English Lavender
Lobelia Cascading
Marigold Snowball
White Snapdragons
Yellow Snapdragons
Maroon Snapdragons
Bells of Ireland
Chinese foxglove
Crown Of Snow Obedience Plant
Party Girl Sidalcea
Red Salvia My seeds
Yellow Flower in Canada Dry Planter
Four O'clock
Redabeckia (Single Flower)
Asters White Center
Pink by the rock
Ornamental Millet
Daisy Cape
Buttercup Marigold
Pink Monarch
Morning Glory
Bunny Cotton Tails
Verbena Brazilian
Rudbeckia (Goldilocks)
Lobelia Cascade of Color
Old Fashion Climbing Petunia (Blue)

TomatoÂs that I saved from last year :)
PeteÂs Pumpkin Seeds
Green Peppers
Vegetable Marrow
Cucumber Little Dillicious
Brussels sprouts
Pepper Chile (Pepperoncini Greek)

Most everything is up and growing like weeds! I'am still banking on a early planting season with this rain we should lose quite a bit of snow, and last full moon is May 23rd. Keeping my fingers crossed! :)

Be Well

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 2:18PM
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Cindy_T(z4-5 ME)

Bev, you're going to have enough flowers to beautify the entire state! :-) Did the lavender germinate well for you? I've never had very good results with it from seed.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 6:37AM
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Yes they did Cindy T... surprisingly. But as to date I haven't had much luck growing lavendar plants. Have you? If so maybe I should start them; and you should grow them! :)

Too lazy to go back and look have you started anything? What kinda of program do you have?

Be Well

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 6:53AM
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lilyroseviolet(Maine 4and 5)

I dont grow in Arizona, however, probably will in years to come during winters. FOr now I only grow in Maine.

Like Cindy,I like your list of plants, Sky. I have not had much luck growing bellis as perennials here...I read they were zone 5 but I didnt think they preformed that well` more like zone 6.

My lavender always seems to come out of dormancy rather slowly...just when I want to throw it out I wait...I have been pleasantly surprised especially last year which was a hard year for perennials in my area. I grow munstead and hidecote lavender, is the english the less hardy variety grown as an annual? What do you use your lavender for if anything?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 11:10PM
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Cindy_T(z4-5 ME)

Last spring, after that AWFUL open winter, I was sure my lavender was dead. I went to pull it our and was shocked to find new leaves! It was planted in a very sandy area and I think that has to be what saved it. It didn't do a lot last summer, as it spent most of the season recovering from its near death experience, but it has certainly had good snow cover this year!

We have a greenhouse and I have a bunch of stuff started. The most interesting thing is that I started some clemtis from seed. I bought some species seed from Gardens North and a couple of the 'easy germinators' are up. Some types of clematis seed can take a year or more to germinate.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 6:44AM
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kennebunker(5, s. ME)

well, ya know...if you start your seeds on your deck out under your retractable awning this March, you're guaranteed to have no seedlings any time soon.

By the way, here's something I've used in the past to help the seedlings grow right...mirrors. I bought a package of those mirror tiles at Walmart one year, and set them around the plant trays to allow the light from the lamps and or windows reflect back onto the seedlings from the other side. They seemed to enjoy it, no more spindly stems leaning towards the light.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 3:50PM
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maineman(z5a ME)


The Wal-Mart mirror tiles thing sounds like it might be worth a try. However, somewhere I read that a good white paint is almost as good at reflecting back light on the plants.

I use overdriven T8 fluorescents to provide a lot of light and I don't have spindly seedlings even without any kind of reflectors. But reflectors might help and I may give them a try.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 9:45PM
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