Seed starter people?

bluetruck99(z8)April 7, 2005

how many of you start your own seeds every year? i am sitting here in my dorm room looking at about 250 veggie plants i started from seed. i know a lot of peopl would rather just buy started plants than mess with it. if you do start from seed do you have a light rack or anything? anyone in the knoxville or cookeville area who wants a ligth rack i will gladly help you build one. but back to the topic of this thread, how many of you are hardcore seed starters? ~Ryan

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I am surely not hard core, but I did start some seeds this year, Ryan. Verey simple things really like marigolds, petunias and tomatoes. I have a tiny house so all I could spare was one shelf in a somewhat sunny window. But I also have a tiny screened in porch, so I staple plastic to it and used it as a kind of cold frame.

The seeds in the window got spindly and leggy way too fast, but I transfered them to the porch where they did better.

I used small seedling packs and starter dirt. The packs were way to small really. Next time I will just go with trays or regular pots. After the plants seemed too large and crowded for their original packs, I transpanted them to regulat clay pots where they did much better. As soon as it was warm enough I set them out in a shady spot, then gradually gave them a few minutes in the sun. After a few days they got strong and could stay out all day and only come in at night. Last week I planted the seedlings in the garden. Most of them are doing really well.

There's something satisfying about growing your own plants, though for small quantities or ordinary things it probably makes more sense to just purchase them.

One thing about homegrown seedlings is that you can put them exactly where you want them so easily. If you have a bad back like me and hard clay it sure is easier to dig a couple of inches than to try to shovel out a bigger hole. Also, the plants that have grown up right in the environment they will live in seem to be more adaptive to me.

One problem is too many plants. I can't bear to kill anything and sometimes you get more plants than you want. Another problem is birds and critters. They love tender seedlings, so it's necessary to plant more than you will need to replace what the critters have taken. Once a plant is larger they tend ignore it.

It's good of you to be so willing to experiment. I intend to keep on starting perennial seeds throught the early summer.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 7:15AM
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SmokyMist(7 East TN)

I wintersowed about 10 containers this year and they are bursting with green right now. I wish I had a light rack Ryan, maybe you can yelp me build one for next fall/winter.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 7:30AM
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tomatoguy(6B TN)

Yes, I start all of my own seeds. They are limited to tomato and pepper seeds at present but I have about 30 under the lights right now.

Go here for details:
My Light Box


    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 2:08PM
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maternut(7 west tn)

I start all of my tomato, pepper, onions, cukes, melons etc.
Have a poor man's greenhouse ( home made ) that is my play
house. I like to spend my winter days in there. Trouble is
I get carried away and plant to many tomato's. Have a problem giving them away.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 3:26PM
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Soeur(z6b TN)

I have lights in my basement. At the moment I have: 5 kinds of tomatoes, 10 kinds of bell pepper (I'm gonna find one that performs well here or bust!), 5 varieties of jalapenos, Platycodon, Malva, Salvia transylvanica, Scabiosa, Digitalis 'Pam's Choice', Liatris aspera, Euphorbia ch. v wulfenii, Verbascum 'Southern Charm' and a coupla more things I can't recollect off the top of my head. The melon and eggplant seed go under the lights this weekend.

I'd do more cuz seeds are so incredibly easy, but lack a)more lights, and b) a good place to grow more on to planting out size. Actually, I think what I lack is a greenhouse. :)


    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 9:31PM
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Figs_Galore(6 TN)

There is no reason not to have a greenhouse if you have room for one. Very simple to build one out of plastic pipe and cover with clear plastic and add a space heater. Prolly no more than $30. Easy to put up and take down. Just need new plastic cover each year and depending on the size maybe every other year. Shouldn't cost any more than what you're saving by planting seeds instead of plants. I graduated to a metal pipe one when I got a cover for my boat. The boat is still uncovered. Mother Nature just saw a better use for it. ":>( A friend in MS is now using it for her greenhouse this Winter. MN is wanting a real one now. Brick and glass and all that stuff.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 10:15PM
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Soeur(z6b TN)


What would be the largest dimensions one could get away with for one of those greenhouses? I've been thinking about it... how do you attach the pipe into the ground? Rebar? What do you recommend for covering the ends? And do you have some sort of wood sill along the bottom to staple the plastic to, or use some other method of attachment?

Thanks for any tips you can give!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 11:07PM
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Jan_Hobbs(z6a TN, USA)

We start most of our seeds by Winter sowing...have peppers, maters, and several kinds of summer and winter squash busting a gut in their containers waiting for me to plant them out... I even start okra winter sowing...will start cukes that way, too.

Even started some artichoke winter sowing...all are doing good...can't afford to buy plants.

With winter sowing you don't have to worry about dampening off, or worry about lights...or the electricity to run them.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 2:19PM
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rizzir(z7b TN)

Can someone define "winter sowing" for me?


    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 3:10PM
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Here's the link! Jan is a devoted Winter Sower....very VERY nice lady too.


Here is a link that might be useful: WS FAQs

    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 10:41AM
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rizzir(z7b TN)

Thanks, great link! That is definitely what I will try this year. It sounds so much easier and would create stronger seedlings, too.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 4:24PM
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Trudi! How cool to see ya here again. You need to pop over more often. (coming back to the Swap would be nice too)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 6:15PM
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Could anyone tell me what is the easiest and most effective way to grow seeds, of any type and how to do it, please?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 1:05AM
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frenchkitty1984 wrote: "Could anyone tell me what the easiest and most effective way to grow seeds, of any type and how to do it, please?"

That's kind of a broad statement but I will tell you that my seedlings and potted plants definitely seemed to do much better this year when I started using coco-coir as a soil replacement.

I'm interested in creating those little indoor mini-greenhouses in my new garage this year. This spring everything was done on the kitchen stove in my little one-bedroom apartment and the wifey was more than a little preturbed at times, lol...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 3:58PM
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