What seeds have you started under lights?

tomatobob_va7(z7 VA)February 3, 2007

I think it would be interesting to learn what and when gardeners in our state start their seeds indoors. If you're interested, let us know as you start your seeds.

Let's avoid postings that tell members they are wrong to do what they do.

To get things rolling, I started leeks (Giant Musselburgh) thickly sown in 4" deep flats last weekend, and my wife started two kinds of artichokes in 24 cells three days ago.

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harryvetch(Cent.VA/ Zone 7)

Henrico County here.....
I actually start my "Early" tomatoes inside on Christmas day, these I hope to have in the garden around St Patrick's Day protected from the still month of frosty weather to come by Wall-O-Waters. I usually remove the WOWs in late April and have roughly 12-18 inch plants that I then prune to a single stem (yank the suckers off!). From these, I usually pick my first ripe Sun Gold in early June, a good 3 weeks or so before my "main" season crops.
My "Main" season tomatoes, I start on Feb 1 as well as my pepper seeds. The main tomatoes I try & get into the garden by May the 1st, a little earlier if weather is warm, and my peppers I like to plant by around May 15th.
The 12-13 weeks (Feb 1-May 1) that I allow my seedlings to grow before being transplanted is considerably longer than the 8 weeks or so that is commonly suggested, but my house is a good 20-30 degrees colder than the 75 degrees that is the ideal growing temperature needed for these plants.
Maybe when I eventually gut the walls and put some insullation up, I won't have to start them so early, until then, I'll just go around wearing sweatshirts and look at my breath!..

Harry V,
Glen Allen

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 1:21PM
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So far, I've started a couple of bowls of greens (arugula and spinach), parsley and (on Sunday) coleus under lights in my basement. But I've got others lined up for planting during this month, including peas (for planting out), sweet peas (for planting out), Red Robin tomato (a container variety), and pelargonium........In late March I'll pot up my caladium tubers and elephant's ears---to give 'em a good start near my warm furnace. In April I'll launch moonflower and hyacinth bean vines under lights...........I've got quite a few leftover seed packets from the last couple of years of sowing-fever, so I'll probably dig through those, too, and plant whatever strikes my fancy!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 9:16AM
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tomatobob_va7(z7 VA)

Kathi, I'm interested to hear that you start peas indoors. Please give us information on how you do this successfully, and how many plants you will set out. Thanks. Tbob

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 10:24AM
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tomatobob_va7(z7 VA)

Here's what I've done lately:
February 4started "early, early" lettuces, 1 12-cell row of each, 2-3+ seeds in each cell. Wanted to see which does best so early. All seeds from CookÂs unless noted
Reine des Glaces 07 (2 rows)
Rouge dÂHiver organic 07
Winter Density 07
Green Ice 06
Winterwunder (Territorial) 06

Also started on this date a full flat of CookÂs Arugula from 05, 3-4 seeds in each cell

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 5:32PM
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ssfkat3(7/8 virginia)

uh oh, do I get the feeling I'm way too eager on my seeds this year? I've got a whole bunch planted, mostly flowers (perennials), but a few tomatoes have sprouted now. I've never tried tomatoes from seed before, heck, only tried growing them once, didn't do good with them either :(

I've got Burpee Super Beefsteak and Cherry supersweet tomatoes, burpee Big Dipper Peppers, some rosemary, parsley, chives, basil and oregano seeded. and a whole lot of flowers.

is this a "glad I kept seeds" from each one held back kind of thing?

ohhh well, hopefully I'll do ok here...shocked me that they sprouted so darn fast though, wasn't counting on that :D


    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 10:53PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

sssfkat - keep in mind that the above responses are coming from different zones. If I were in zone 8, no doubt I would have items similar to yours already started. But in my zone 6b, I have to balance the estimated date of the 'real' spring with how much work I am willing [or able] to do to take advantage of techniques for 'early' planting... and those techniques still often give me only an advantage that is equal to zone 8's 'real' spring. And none of us know for sure when the last frost date will occur or when the soil will be warm enough to plant. Holding back a few seeds is rather like taking "gas money" when going on a date... you probably won't need it, but you'll be darned glad you have it if it IS needed.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 9:09AM
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ssfkat3(7/8 virginia)

"gas money", I love that one!!! so true too. I'm pretty lucky where I'm at, so borderline on zones 7 and 8 it's not funny. Kind of reminds me of the time in Michigan when it snowed at the front of the house, and not a flake out back of the house...(ground covering snow too). Being as close to the water as I am, it's definately a plus in the winter (warmer) and well, a plus in the summer too, (cooler) than even five miles inland. Hopefully I'll do ok with the ones planted so far, if not, I've got to start a compost pile at some point right? :D

I'm just wishing I could be outside now. It's been a long dreary winter for me.

and, if all grows well, there's going to be plenty to freecycle around here :D and what better to share than veggies and flowers?

thanks :D


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 10:14PM
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tomatobob_va7(z7 VA)

Today I did my 2nd large seed start, though by my reckoning it's still early days for me. Ground still frozen this morning.
Here's what I planted:
February 24Started my early tomatoes to be set out a month before last frost. These will go into Wall o Waters:
2 each of Kosovo, Stupice, Wayahead, 4th of July, Jet Star, and SunSugar.
Also started a 2nd flat of approx 80 arugula and another flat of lettuce, half Winterwunder, and half Reine des Glaces.
Lettuce and arugula that I started in early February are doing well under lights in the garage, where the temps vary from 48-68.
I saw lots of little leaves on the elderberry in my patio today. Spring is coming!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 3:15PM
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little_country_gal(z7 VA)

Been winter sowing annuals/perennials since the REAL winter set in Hm! mid-January maybe. Gotta love it!

Started my EARLY veggies inside in Parks Bio-Dome thingies (ran out of the replacement plugs - too cheap to re-order, been stuffin' 'em with dirt for a while now) in December/January, but messed up. New conclusion: It's better to drive to town and get a bag of good dirt than try to start anything in cocoa-peat!!

Started veggies again 2/20-ish (same method - omit cocoa-peat) seran wrapped the little buggers and put 'em on a SW window sill near the heat register. (This location usually works like a champ for me!) Also replanted anything salvagable from the last "learning experience" after brushing off as much cocoa-peat as I could.

To date (2/28/2007):

Not even a single green leaf from any of the 50+ Winter Sown milk jugs (probably a good thing!)

2 patio tomato plants making an excellent come-back from near death by cocoa-peat (December planting)

3 Early Harvest tomato
3 Early Girl tomato
1 broccoli
1 Jelly Bean tomato
also making a come-back from near death by cocoa-peat first true leaves emerging (pathetic I know!)

3 broc
2 bell peppers
almost dead - still in cocoa-peat no true leaves (sorry guys, I ran out of dirt!) Sort of using these as a control in the whole cocoa-peat experiment.

Planted last week in good dirt and rapidly catching up with last month failures:

90% germination of Mortgage Lifter tomato plants. (my current favorite and a staple in my garden) Just like a Brandywine but better yields and less green shoulders. Yum!

20% germination of Jelly Bean tomato plants. The seran wrap is off, but I think more seeds will still come up. (my current staple for the pick 'em and eat 'em tomato, but I'm also auditioning for replacements)

Also germinated are 2 of each of the following tomatoes:
Lemon Boy
Red Star
Big Zac
Sun Sugar

And the following herbs:

Also the Dolce Petunias (OK! I know they aren't veggies, but the little seeds are so small, and I just love these things. I baby them and raise them inside too!)

No signs from the peppers - Just give them time! (They should be up within the week!)

Sorry, but true to the post title I actually don't have anything under the lights this year! I've got a great setup in the basement with 3 shelves/ timers/ heater and fans, but since I discovered Winter Sowing 3 years ago I've mainly abandoned the lights. I grow all of my annuals/perenials and I even tried onions this year in Winter Sown cut off milk jugs, punch a few holes in the bottom, plant and put the top back on by wedging it inside the bottom of the milk jug. Label on the bottom with a perminant marker. Works great for me and the top collects lots of rain water this way. I would use it for everything except that I like to start my own tomatoes early. I use the Parks Bio-Domes (well sort of) on window sills for those.

Hope that gives you some ideas and encouragement!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 11:37AM
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tomatobob_va7(z7 VA)

CountryGirl, not to worry about posting your wintersowing ventures. I was interested to hear of them.
Here's what I started under lights today, March 1st:
Broccoli: Southern Comet, Umpqua, Green Goliath, and Pieracicaba (a new Calebrese type)
also started Champion Collards and Gigante Kohlrabi
I plan to start tomatoes in 2 weeks.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 3:32PM
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I started bib and romaine lettuce and leeks about two weeks ago (late Feb.). They are under lights. Plan to start to the toms and peppers in the next week or so (early/mid March).

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 2:02PM
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lost_in_boston(5/6 MA)

I'll be potting up about 75 randomly-pollinated daylilly seeds this weekend -- they will have completed three weeks of cold wet storage (after several months of cold dry storage), and should be ready to go. They'll go under a bank of four fluorescents on a light cart for germination. Heaven only knows what they'll turn out like, but we've decided we need several hundred plants for the Patrick County place, and this seems like a good (and inexpensive) way to start.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 4:27PM
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tomatobob_va7(z7 VA)

Seet starting under lights continues:
March 7th:
Started 124 tomatoes, various varieties of heirlooms, Ops, and hybrids, to be potted up one time before setting out, 75 to be sold. 24 basil plants to be potted up and sold as indoor plants until they can go outside maybe in June.

March 8th:
Started 24 tomatoes, mostly cherries, a dozen eggplants, and a dozen sweet peppers.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 7:24PM
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I started some heirloom tomatoes: Black Krim; Besser; Bonny; Big Red and Green Zebra. This was about 3 weeks ago and they are doing well.

I also have some herbs I started a week ago.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 12:25PM
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We recently moved, so I was late getting started on planting my seeds indoors. Last night, I started 72 tomatoe plants, mostly heirlooms, such as Mortgage Lifter, Brandywine, Jubilee, Marglobe, and a few others. Plus 5 kinds of cherry tomatoes, some yellow pear tomatoes, and Roma's. I also started cucumbers, an heirloom variety that I forget the name of right now, and bell peppers. I'll start perennials inside today, and will sow the rest directly into the ground once the garden has been tilled.

We will have 4 kinds of corn, including popcorn, red potatoes, all kinds of herbs, peas are already going, lima's, and I can't remember what else! Next year we'll add blueberries, strawberries, and fruit and nut trees.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 10:38AM
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