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From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

Posted by najoba 8b (najoba@hotmail.com) on
Fri, Mar 28, 08 at 1:02

114 daylily seedlings, some of which are pictured below, evolved from unsprouted seeds to growing seedlings within 10 days.
Here are the steps I followed:

Feb. 1: Seeds were placed in a solution of distilled water and hydrogen peroxide.
(1/2 gallon distilled water to 6 tablespoons peroxide)
They were then placed in the refrigerator for six weeks.

Mar. 15: Container of seeds was removed from refrigerator and placed in a warm, dark area.

Mar. 16: First seeds sprouted and were immediately planted in 20-oz. foam cups filled with Miracle-Gro Seed Starter.
I punched holes in the bottom of the cups and set them in a pan of water. I misted the seeds twice a day
and kept the cups covered with loosely fitting plastic sandwich baggies.

Mar. 17: Many seeds sprouted and were immediately planted.

Mar. 18-20: Sprouting seeds continued to be planted daily and green shoots started appearing.

Mar. 21-23: Seedlings were coming up.

Mar. 24: Seedlings were first placed on porch in sunlight.

Mar. 25: Picture of seedlings taken.

Photobucket

I still have two cups in the process of sending up green shoots. (All remaining unsprouted seeds were returned to refrigerator for 4 more weeks of chilling.)

Last summer, I also planted seeds that had only been out of the pods for 2-3 days. There was no need to soak them.
I planted them directly into the cups, with very good results.

Nancy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

Beautiful Nancy!
I also planted daylilies seeds on 3/17! I didn't soak my seeds, however, I just planted them in moist jiffy mix in a clear plastic container with a lid, so only have 1 sdlg as big as yours, the rest are coming along tho. It will be interesting to watch & compare our sdlgs growing up *grin* Marea


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

I could have planted them on Feb. 1st, and had the same results or better. Six weeks soaking could have been nearly 6 weeks growing since most seeds germinate in about 14 days.


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as a matter of fact.

I will plant a couple of cups in the basement today, and take a photo after 6 weeks. Then another after another 10 days.


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

Wonderful, Bambi! You are so fortunate to have a place to get your seeds started early. Alas, I have no basement and no grow lights. Just three north windows with light -- as the rest of our home is surrounded by a 12' porch and shade trees.

As soon as these babies put out their second set of leaves, they are going in the ground.

Marea, that would be fun, let's do that! But I'm certain that wonderful climate in Oregon will cause your seedlings to outdistance mine in no time. The weather here in Texas turns hot and dry very quickly.

Nancy


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

I think to sate my inquisitive nature....I will pick 6 plump seeds from my storage bins some from hard dormant parents,and some from evergreen parents. I'm going to plant them in my regular potting mix (no pre-soaking)and record how long it takes them to germinate. Then I will compare the growth rates to my seedlings which were started by soaking method with an average germination time of 24 hrs to 7 days. I have photo documented at 2 week intervals my seedlings that are under the grow lights,which (the oldest ones) are now 11 weeks old. Once these recently planted seeds germinate, I'm certain the growth rate under lights will be comparable to my other seedlings. I'm just curious about how fast they will come up out of the soil. Anyway I will take pictures of the seeds before planting, again when they are potted, and again when they put up green. If they are all up and growing in 3 - 5 days, and grow to a comparable size as my other seedlings(at 6 weeks) I will no longer bother to pre-soak my seeds. I would like to add that I will not vary the conditions or handling of the seeds from that of my already growing seedlings. I won't put the cups in the furnace room or use a heating pad. The conditions will be identical in every way with the exception of soaking the seeds.

I do wonder why Nancy soaks her seeds for 6 weeks. My seeds were fresh from last summer and stored dry in baggies in my fridge for 3 to 6 weeks prior to soaking in either wet toweling or just baggies of distilled water and peroxide solution (room temperature)with seeds typically germinating in 24 hrs to 5 days and there were a few crosses that took 7 to 10. The seeds I started in damp toweling did require more time to germinate than the seeds I put in solution. I'll post results of direct sow to potting soil in cup.

Linda


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

Uh, excuse me, but this is someone that usually starts their seed outdoors in April and May for the same reasons. I also do not soak my seeds, when you began soaking them, you began the germination process. I have had seed germinate in the refridgerator.

I planted 6 pots 3 dips & 3 tets they are.

This is fresh seed from 2007

H. citrina x CLEOPATRA
H. hakuunesis X PARADE OF PEACOCKS
H. hakuunesis x PRAGUE SPRING

This is seed from 2006, that has been sitting on my desk. I sold it, and it was never paid for. They look like raisins.

ELEGANTISSIMA X DESTINED TO SEE
RASPBERRY FANTASY X ART GALLERY FRINGE
FAIRY FILAGREE X LARRY GRACE


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

Wonderful Oregon weather, hmmm... snowing again here today and it's so damp that lots of my daylilies have moss growing around them, i think I do too...

I have read alot of posts where folks recommend soaking & re-refrigerating the stragglers like you did, Nancy, but I have such limited space I decieded to just be prepared for a longer wait using my tiny 8" x 11" "greenhouse".

What fun, I'm glad Bambi and Linda are going to join the experiment! Will be very interesting to see how yours do too.

The seeds I started were all Tets:
Magic Amethyst x Tet Lavender Blue Baby
Jesus Arose x Create Your Dream
Victorian Lace x Create Your Dream
Linda Beck x Bobby Martin
and 1 Debbie Smith x (Chance Encounter x Bella Sera) ~ green showing on 10th day


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

I kept them soaking in the refrigerator for six weeks because I thought it might take that long for the dormants. (I read somewhere on the net that dormants needed six weeks of cold soaking.)

Other than maybe 2 or 3 seeds, I don't think the ones I put back in the refrigerator are viable. I will give them one more chance, before I put them in the ground.

I did learn last September not to give up on sprouted seeds that show no sign of growth for weeks. After planting all the seedlings and emptying the left-over potting soil from the cups onto the flower bed, up jumped 8-10 unexpected new seedlings from the ground!

I have two brand new sets of seeds that just arrived today in the mail -- they look lovely, round and plump and ready to start growing. I put them in solution in a dark closet and skipped the refrigerator bit. I will report on their progress. I am expecting more seeds any day.

Nancy


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

Nancy,My experience with some dormants has been that they do take more time to germinate. I had a cross of Autumn Wood that I dried for several weeks because I forgot about the seed (don't even remember who the pollen parent was). The result of mindless dabbing. I started those in damp toweling in early January, and out of 15 seeds only 3 germinated by the end of February. I put the remaining seeds in a baggie with distilled water and peroxide and the rest germinated in about a week. Maybe by that time the remainder were just ready to do their thing, but I couldn't believe how long that cross took to finally get going. I have crosses that involve Pufferfish, Braided Lightning, and Ultimate Weapon that have also taken a much longer time than most to germinate. Which is why I wanted to include seed from dormant parents in the cup of seeds I'm planting without presoaking. I'm very interested in comparing the germination rate for these pufferfish and Ultimate Weapon crosses when they aren't presoaked.

Linda


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

Nancy,
I am sorry if I offended you. Here is my point, probably a little clearer now. Most seeds will germinate in 10 to 14 days if you just plant them, (unless they are older), even if it took 3 weeks, those seedlings could easily be 4 weeks ahead of where they are now. Another possible problem with soaking then for so long is the possibility of ruining them. Unless you were checking them on a rgeular basis, a couple of bad seeds could have led to disaster. I have had this happen with purchased seed that was not properly dried, I went to plant some and they had all either sprouted in the refridgerator and died, or been ruined by the mould that formed by the ones that did. I make it a point to dry all purchased seed for two weeks before storing it now.

The upside is now we will see what is possible in 7 weeks when seed is planted in a normal manner.

I gave up starting seed indoors about 8 years ago, space was one problem, then there were the fungus gnats (the wife hated those), followed by damping off problems. It really didn't make that big of a difference in when the seedlings bloomed for the first time, it still took most of them 2 or 3 years. I could proabably deal with the last 2 problems now, but space is still a problem with all Bromeliads, Clivias, and Succulents we have now, I had to put a light over my parrots cage for those 6 pots, and she can't use her cage top play pen for awhile, but thats ok she likes to come upstairs more anyway.

John


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

Oh, John, I wasn't offended. I understand exactly what you are saying about direct sowing. If I had fresh seeds, I'd do the same. I am still experimenting, you see? Last summer, I soaked seeds, and I planted some directly into the cups. (It's too wild out here in the woods to plant directly in the ground, I think.) The fresh seeds sprouted readily, and grew very well, better, I think, than the ones that I soaked. But I think when they have dried considerably, it might be better to soak them.

Last fall, it was getting too late to start the remaining seeds that I harvested, so I just stuck them all in the refrigerator in plastic ziplock bags for the winter.

I did have one seed germinate during the six weeks of cold soak. I figured it might not grow, but sure enough, it is doing fine, so far.

It will be interesting to see the results of everyone's efforts. It is good to have enough of one cross to better evaluate the outcomes, but then, there are a lot of genetic differences between siblings, even from the same pod.

All in all, the seedlings we planted last fall are all doing very well, but here's what puzzles me: we planted them six inches apart in the field bed. Thinking they were getting too crowded, and having added more bed space, we moved about half of them and planted them at 2' on centers.
The seedlings that remained in the section that we left untouched, where the seedlings are so close together still, are heads above all the rest.

I'm concluding that either they didn't like being transplanted again, even if it was to a much better place, or --- they, like animals and humans, thrive better with competition. It's really amazing how much bigger and stronger the crowded seedlings are in comparison to the ones that were transplanted to a better environment.

Nancy


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

I could have written John's post. He is absolutely correct in all he said. I, too tried just about every way possible to start seeds when I first started out about 10 years ago. I believed everything I read on the forums and then tried my own experiments.

Planting directly in the ground as nature intended is the best way to get strong seedlings that are not set back by transplanting. Still, I realize it is fun to try new things.


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

Please just keep one thing n mind, the seeds from the H. hakuuensis crosses were VERY small, probably the smallest daylily seeds I have ever seen, so the seedlings will be like grass. The good part though is that I should get some nice mini spiders, well I hope! I also started about 150 Clivia seeds so far, and I am out of room down stairs.

I may try the on the rocks method, that looks like a really good way to keep an eye on things. I also think that would work really well with Clivia seeds, and I have 200 more on the way, I may give it a try. I won't be germinating those until I can do it outside though.

Nancy,
I just had visions of someone reading your post and losing hundreds of dollars in purchased seeds because they didn't pay attention to what was going on while the seeds were soaking. I suspect you checked them on a regular basis, did you change the solution?

John


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

Absolutely, John, every day. I've only had one seed out of over 500 go bad. I guess I just live right. (smile)

Y'all need to jump up and down with joy if you don't have fire ants that carry seeds off to their mounds!

Nancy


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April 5th Update

On March 28 and 31, I began soaking a total of 47 seeds purchased from the Lily Auction, from the following crosses:

Ultimate Fantasy x Jelly Maker
Vatican City x Feliz Navidad
Cindy Jones x Princess Diana
Eskimo Kisses x Hello Screamer
Ageless Beauty x Blue Hippo
Edge of Your Seat x Carol Todd

Each set of seeds arrived in a small clear plastic ziplock bag, with their I.D.'s clearly marked by the vendors with waterproof ink.

Upon arrival, the bags were filled to almost the top with the above-mentioned solution (1/2 gallon water + 6 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide). The seeds are checked daily. The solution is changed daily, and the soaking seeds are kept in a dark closet until they sprout.

At no time did any of the sprouting roots have the slightest tinge of brown on them. They were all white. I have lost no seeds to mold among this group.

44 out of the 47 seeds sprouted roots in an average time of 2 days. I still have 3 seeds soaking.

Inspected early every morning, the sprouted seeds are immediately planted in 20-oz. foam cups filled with pre-soaked Miracle-Gro Seed Starter. I cover them over with fine-ground vermiculite and mist them well with plain water. I write details on each cup with a Sharpie (waterproof). These cups, with holes punched in the bottoms, are then placed inside either Dixie plastic drinking cups or tin cans filled with water. These individual outer containers not only provide constant moisture, but also stability to the tippy foam cups.

I mist these potted seeds twice a day, and keep the cups loosely covered with plastic sandwich bags until the seeds show signs of green growth. I then remove the bags and place them in a north window for a few days. I stop misting them once they have sprouted.

I have not lost any seedlings to damp-off.

Weather permitting, after a few days of growth, I take them out of their external containers of water. I move the growing plants in their foam cups outside to our shaded porch. I place the cups together in an aluminum foil roasting pan filled with water, placed in partial sunlight.

When they began to show second leaves, I add 1/4 teaspoon of Schultz's Expert Plant Food per gallon of water, and replace the water with this solution. I make up fresh solution about every three days, once the water begins to look murky.

As of today, I have 13 seedlings from this new group of seeds that are growing, all within 8 days of beginning the latest project.

The earlier seeds discussed at the beginning of this thread are just about ready to be transplanted to outdoor beds.

I am most appreciative of the daylily hybridizers and GW folks who have contributed their knowledge and suggestions to enable me to successfully get daylilies from blossom ---> cross-pollination ---> seed pod ---> seeds ---> sprouts ---> seedlings ---> maturing plants.


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

It is day 13, and I have 4 up in one pot, but remember my goal is to have good sized seedlings in 7 weeks and 3 days, showing that the 6 weeks soaking would have been better spent growing. I will post photos later.


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

You are probably right, John.

Group 2 seeds were bought from the Lily Auction. I did not refrigerate them, assuming that the vendors had done that. None of them are dormants, though. I just potted the last sprouted seed today. All were viable and I am waiting for them to show growth any day now.

Group 1 seedlings are ready to be moved to the outdoor beds. The rain today prevented us from getting them planted.

Here are the seedlings of Group 1:

Photobucket


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

I took a photo, but it won't upload to photobucket! I'll take more later, and hopefully post them. They are from the H. citrina X CLEOPATRA cross, and they are tiny scrawney ltiile things. They must have been up for a couple of days, but the way the tub they are in is on top of the parrot cage I didn't see them right away.


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

Seedling are continueing to pop up. I am sorry for the delay on posting, but I got busy. The first photo I took just would not upload to my photobucket account. These were taken about a half hour ago.

The tallest seedling is 4.25 inches tall and first noticed on 4/10 judging on how the later ones are growing I would guess that the first 2 came up on 4/8. That would be 11 days, but many are still not gerninated in the other pots.

H. citrina x CLEOPATRA

This second pot had 2 up yesterday and is ELEGANTISSIMA X DESTINED TO SEE, there is a 2 more poking out now. The first 2 would have been at 15 days. This is seed that has been laying on my desk since last spring!

I see one leaf tip in the RASPBERRY FANTASY X ART GALLERY FRINGE pot.

I am surprised I have not seen any of the H. hakuunesis seedlings yet.


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

The first group of seeds (above) that were pre-soaked in the refrigerator for six weeks not only sprouted fast (roots) but grew quickly (green shoots). These were all seeds from my garden last fall. We will be transplanting them to outdoor beds this week.

The second group (not pre-soaked for 6 weeks), which I purchased at the Lily Auction, did likewise. They are not yet ready to transplant, but should be soon.

The third group (not pre-soaked for 6 weeks), was also purchased at the Lily Auction. While these seeds sprouted roots quickly, they have been very slow to show any green growth after being potted.

I have one more group of Lily Auction seeds due to arrive probably this week. This will be the last seeds that I will sow until the seed pods from our garden mature.

John, are you using any grow lights or just natural light from windows?

Nancy


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

I was using normal cool whites.

I am bringing this back for a follow up. I did have larger seedlings by planting directly in soil at the end of 7 weeks and 3 days, in all of the pots I planted except for the H. hakuuensis crosses, I planted them on March 28th, and they have just started to germinate! I spotted the first 2 comming up Saturday June 8th 71 days after I planted them! There are 4 more up now between the 2 pots, and this was seed from the 2007 crop that had been chilled for months, not seed from the 2006 crop that laid around on my desk for a year.

The H. citrina seed from the 2007 crop germinated just like it should have, and the seedlings are robust like the momma, and not wimpy excuses for plants like the daddy CLEOPATRA. I figure the eyes will be rescessive, so this will be a rather long term project. I will have to do sib crosses since I don't want to use CLEOPATRA with them and risk losing the better plant habit.

It is important not to write off any unsprouted seeds as bad, I will continue to watch them and will note when the last of these seedlings appear. I think we are looking at 80 days or more, possibly 90! I have had impatient seed customers insist that the seed they purchased was no good, but after another week or 2 had nearly 100% germination.

I still have plenty of seed from the same crosses, and I plan on soaking some and sowing some more into pots to see if it makes a difference. I will post those results here.


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

The last group of my spring seedlings were outgrowing their styrofoam cups, so they were planted in 10-gallon pots last week. It is way too hot to put them out in the field bed now. The earlier ones have long since been transplanted there. Without hardly any rain, they haven't done much yet.

Transplanted to the field bed last fall, my 8-month old seedlings are blooming, producing seed pods, and a number of them have 6-7 fans now. They look really good.

Nancy


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

For those of us thinking to do some seeds and never did it before, I thought I would bump this up. Very interesting reading on methodologies and results.

Julia


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

In the end nearly all the H. hakuuensis germinated over the following week and there was nearly 100% gernination by July 17th 2008. I have no idea why thoses seeds took so long. The ones I planted outdoors later germinated in about 3 weeks.

I produced a lot of seed with H. hakuuensis seed again this year and I am going to try soaking some in water for a few days to see if it makes a difference.

I have to say that I am proud of the fact that I was able to start some seed indoors in April and had good sized seedlings to plant out in the garden in early June. I have had big problems with damping off and fungus gnats in the past. Maybe I'll see some blooms from them in 2009.


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

I have a question about the solution. When you mix the 1/2 gallon water/6 T peroxide......and it is said to change the solution the seeds are in daily, do you throw out the solution and make new daily, or can you mix water in a half gallon container, add the 6 T of peroxide and use this bottle of solution until it is gone?
Thanks.....
Judith


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Another post about seed starting

I had this booked marked but it doesn't bump up.hmmm, maybe its lost in cyber space.

Anyway, here is a link to another good post about seed starting.

Judith: Good question. I don't know the answer but perhaps someone else will post a response.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed Starter Chapter 2


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

Hi Judith -- I take an empty plastic one-gallon jug, fill it with 1/2 gallon of distilled water, and mark the level with a black permanent marker, writing on the bottle that it is not to be used for drinking water. Next, I pour in the 6 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide by way of a funnel, put the lid back on and shake well. I keep two of these jugs ready. Since they are marked, it is easy to refill them without having to measure out the 1/2 gallon of water.

I have gotten lazy since I first posted this, due to many seeds this year. Now, I just change the water about every three days.

I'm now in the process of transplanting the results -- 1,000 seedlings into our new field bed. I'm only about half-way through. They are responding almost immediately to their new environment.

BTW, when planting the sprouted seeds, I've had better luck by making a depression in the planting medium and placing the seeds on their sides with the emerging root facing downward without covering them. Once they start growing, I just add a pinch or two of loose potting soil to fill the depressions and cover any roots showing. It's working out much better than covering the seeds.

I think planting them directly into the ground is the way to go -- you eliminate all the back-breaking work of transplanting them. But I just can't bring myself to do that yet -- especially with seeds from valuable crosses. We have very hungry fire ants here, and they do like to carry seed back home to their nests. Besides, I like watching them sprout and grow -- great therapy for the empty-nest syndrome!

Nancy


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

What is the best method of getting the seedling out of the cup to plant in the ground when its time to transplant?
How deep should the seedlings be planted? Will the crown be as visible as it is when planting bareroot daylilies?

Thanks for the help.
Julia


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

I use 20-oz styrofoam cups because the seedlings tend to develop long roots. The red/yellow/blue 16-oz. plastic drinking cups work fine, too. It's just easier and quicker for me to poke holes in the styrofoam cups. The only thing I don't like about them is they are very tippy.

I just cup my hand over the daylily seedling to protect it as I turn the cup upside down and gently shake it. The entire contents slide out easily. Usually the bottom third or half of the potting soil comes loose, and then if you have more than one seedling, I just very gently divide the seedlings, slighly shaking them as I loosen them from each other.

When I plant them, I just "guesstimate' the depth, as they are pretty flexible at adjusting to the proper ground level, since they are still in their infancy. I've found by making a hole, and filling it a couple of handfuls of pre-moistened potting soil (instead of dr) before planting the seedlings, they don't suffer any setback from transplant. There isn't an immediate need to water them, since they are surrounded by the moist medium. I do turn on the sprinkler later in the day. They take off growing quickly like this. We've just planted over 600 this past week, and we haven't lost any of them.

Nancy


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RE: From Seeds to Seedlings in 10 Days

Thanks Nancy and great tip on the transplanting.

I'm in Zone 5, what would be the ideal time to start the seeds inside? Our last frost is typically end of May.

Julia


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