Growing from seeds

I have to say that I have tried to grow things from seeds with not much luck. Can someone please help me out? I have gotten the special seed mix medium. Covered them after with a lid. How long do you leave them with the lid on? How wet should the medium be? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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On Thu, 05 Feb 2004 18:13:17 +0000, DM wrote:

What seeds are you trying to grow?
What does it say on the package?
Seeds need the right temperature, moisture, humidity and light to germinate. Bury them at the wrong depth and they won't do their thing. Too much water and the wrong temperature will cause them to rot.
If you are in the US, contact your county extension specialist. They offer many solid tips on the how-to's of gardening. A good garden center will also have a knowledgable horticulturalist on its staff. Hort folks specialize in helping anyone who will listen to them.
Above all, don't give up. Consider this a momentary glitch on the road to becoming a gardener.
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I agree with all the suggestions made and also think that sometimes people over do in the garden dept. I have some flowers coming up now from seed and they are doing well. I just put them in peat pots, watered them in and left them alone. Here they are 6 and 10 days later sprouting like crazy.
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Vicky
www.woodshoppe.net
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This is my third season growing from seed. I started out with a few jiffy strips in a window sill and got leggy, weak seedlings some of which died from dampening off. I also planted them too early, guessing that the frost free date would be earlier than the "official" date. I guessed wrong and didn't get the plants in the ground until late May.
Last year I invested in some growlights and a seedling starter from Park Seed and got 40 robust plants and some weak, leggy seedlings that I couldn't fit under the lights. But my timing was off again--we got into our new house later than I expected and the plants went into the ground in June and July when I had grown them with a April-May planting date in mind. The plants were a little stunted from staying in little pots too long.
This season now that I am growing my seedlings in a basement, I have grow lights for everything I will plant and I am hoping I get a good result and I can get the planting date right.
mm

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mmarteen wrote:

When you start your seedlings, run a fan in the room so that air circulates. This will keep the humidity down at the interface between the plant stem and the soil and will help minimize damping off. The fan doesn't have to blow on the plants, just so the air gets stirred up and gets changed near the plants. When I was growing under lights, this decreased my damping off problems by 95%.
Seedlings get leggy because they're stretching toward the light. Provide more light and they will be happier. If you use the cheap shop-light fixtures, they're fairly thin and you can jam two of them together over one row of flats. Place the flats on a stack of newspaper as close to the lights as you can get them. As the plants grow, remove newspaper so the plants don't grow into the lights, but remain within a couple of inches. The newspaper also soaks up excess water.
I finally changed to a greenhouse and found that sunlight is much more effective than any of the lights I used to use. I still have to use a circulating fan. If you don't have a greenhouse, the south window is the best choice (assuming you're in the northern hemisphere above the tropic of cancer).
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I go one of two ways: Either I get a seed-starting tray (the kind that has 20, or more mini "pots" in them), or some small peat pots. Either way, I use Fertilome potting soil, put the seeds in it, and stick it in the window sill. If I'm using a seed tray, I leave one "pot" empty, so I can poor enough water into the bottom to keep the whole thing watered for a week. If I'm using peat pots, I put them in a plastic tray so I can poor enough water in to keep them wet for a week. When the water's low, I add more.
I know, it's a far cry from all of the specialized equipment and coddling that people tend to give their seeds, but of all of the plant varieties that *I* have tried to grow with this method, I've only found one or two that don't really sprout well. A few take a little longer to sprout than I would otherwise expect, but I've got plenty of time. That's why I'm starting them indoors, after all, to give myself all of the time I want.
steve
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Here's an old post of mine that may help: http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF - 8&oe=UTF-8&safetive&selm=slrna7890m.bvv.kay%40hub.fern.com
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See the article on my site under English / propagation
Regards Rene
http://members.home.nl/rene.blom/index.htm
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On Thu, 05 Feb 2004 18:13:17 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@dnet.net (DM) wrote:

More information would be required to answer your questions for sure, such as what were you trying to start, how old was the seed.. lettuce and parsnip seeds over one year old have never started for me. Of course I didn't try each and every lettuce seed, but germination rates are so low that I don't usually bother trying, I just get new seed from Le Jardin du Gourmet as their seed is only 35 cents a mini packet. I never need a large packet of seed that will not last.
I make small rings from newspaper made from strips of paper slightly narrower than the height of the container the rings will go into. Just gluing them works to keep their shape until you get them all in place in a container (seed flats, empty clear plastic left from salad bar goodies, whatever you want) filled with seed starting mix, dampen it down with heavy mists from a spray bottle until it's thoroughly moistened, then sow your seed at the depth recommended lightly cover either with the mix or a fine layer of vermiculite (you can push it through a strainer to break it up if it's too coarse) and lightly mist that and then lightly cover.. almost close the cover on the salad container if you've not cut the two pieces in half to use each side to plant, or poke some toothpicks or skewers broken off to elevate some plastic wrap an inch or so lightly over the top of the planted container. You want to reduce evaporation while you're away, but not shut out air circulation and encourage rot. Most garden seed comes up in a week, some in 4 days.
I wouldn't plant the rings with more than 2 seed, nor make the rings any bigger around than a toilet paper roll, but for plants you're going to set out quickly, they can be about the diameter of your thumb or index finger. Ones like lettuce. Get it up, a couple true leaves or three, then pop it into a prepared bed with the spacing recommended between plants in a row.. or 8 inches to a foot or so. I grew the best and most beautiful heads of lettuce I've ever seen this way.
I stopped using peat pots because to keep the pots from drying out, you almost have to over water everything. They wick moisture away from the plants, and once dry are very difficult to rewet. Most definitely tear the pot tops off so they do not protrude from the soil when you plant. If you don't they will wick moisture up from the ground and away from the roots of your plants.
Give your seeds moisture, warmth, darkness or light as required, and bottom heat like on top of the refrigerator or water heater for pepper, rosemary, etc just to get them up, and then into the light. If growing under lights, keep them around 2" from the growing point to make sturdy little plants. If you're growing by a window then turn 1/4 turn. a couple times a day at least, they lean you turn.
If you have questions about anything that's not clear, feel free to write, but I better shaddup here! ;-)
Janice
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