"Watering from the top will damage the root system"
Wha..? I'm curious, never heard this before. So how does nature
manage this? If I have plants in trouble I water from the top for
immediate relief, otherwise I bottom water. Just never heard that top-
down does damage.
Friar, if you are flying solo and relying on the internet for expert
help, do yourself a favor and go get a gardening book or two. I can
recommend the New Victory Garden, it has excellent step-by-step info
with a monthly planting guide. Starting indoors in zone 5 can take a
little patience - I keep rushing my tomato seedlings out before the
last official frost, assuming that I can manage to keep the frost at
bay, and 3 years running haven't managed to.. This year I'm really
going to try holding off until May before planting them out! Even if
the things threaten to walk out on their own, I'll try to keep them
Seriously, you want decent light for your developing seedlings, I use
flourescent workshop lights (2 tubes/light) and keep them as close to
the plants as I can (heat is minimal). Turn, reposition plants every
couple days to get good exposure (fl. tubes give off less light at the
ends than the middle). My basement feels dang cold to me, but the
seedlings don't seem to mind. They go from a heating pad upstairs to
a cold basement, and seem to do fine. I don't recommend this for
everyone, just reporting how mine seem to do ok with this system.
It's ok if the seedlings dry out a little - standing in damp soil
_all_ the time doesn't do much for them. Of course if you don't watch
out, they can wilt. Heat on for two days dries mine right out in the
Good luck with the tomatoes, etc.!
Another Zone 5 denizen