In some areas of life I just feel fortunate (this is one of them). I do
just fine without heat pads. I put my seed starting kits on folding TV
trays above the floor heat registers and all of my south side windows
have heat registers in front of them. Seems to work just fine.
I do not have grow lights just designed for plants. What I do have is
two ott natural reading 18w lamps. I just love those lamps, so much
easier on the eyes when reading. So on cloudy days I puts the lamps over
some of the seed kits. Unknown If this truly helps the plants?
I usually end up killing my plants during transplanting :(
As for the high cost of seed starting -- I am finding the cost of just
driving my car to the supermarket cost as much as a good tossed salad.
I cant wait until I can get a good meal from walking into my own back
Enjoy Life ........ Dan
Email "dan lehr at comcast dot net". Text only or goes to trash automatically.
Unfortunately, I have no floor head register, but wall mounted forced
air ducts. I am going to be stingy about using my heating pads next
year. As soon as I see sprouts, I'm either going to turn down or turn
off the heating pads. It never gets that cold in my crawl space.
I use two shop lites each with a regular florescent and a grow light, to give
the most broad spectrum of light.
Now there I have no problem. You should carefully pry up the plants trying
to retain as much original growing media, as possible. Plant your spindly
deep, as they will generate new roots. Not sure exactly what is your problem
Handle seedlings by the cotyledons (seed leaves), not by the stem. It's
too easy to accidentally crush the stem of a seedling.
That's one of the most common causes of seedling death.
If your seedlings came up in a clump, lift the clump, and try to pull
seedlings off by sort of lightly shaking and pulling two seedlings
apart. Or lay the clump down after lightly shaking off all the soil
you can, and tease the clump apart with a couple of pot labels.
If you are vastly overpotting your seedlings, you have to be *very*
careful with watering, especially at first. Soggy soil that doesn't
have roots in it tends to turn acidic from bacterial and fungal metabolism,
and then when the roots try to grow into the acidic soil, they often
die back. 2" pot is probably the maximum size for most of us growing
tomatoes from seed and transplanting at the 2-true-leaf stage. If
they get crowded in the 2" pot, you can shift them to a 4" pot later.
Also, always transplant into slightly moist soil. Water ASAP after
Kay, what would you think of lying the seedlings on a surface and using
a light spray (and I mean light, maybe a squirt bottle) of water to wash
away any soil that may be binding the roots together? Then, carefully,
replant with fresh potting soil.
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
Now here's an example of someone in good faith trying too hard to be
grammatically correct. Why the lie/lay problem is so intractable, I
fail to understand. I notice even good writers, especially younger
ones who never learned grammar, get confused.
There are two separate verbs, so don't make them work so hard.
EacH one has a different job to do.
"Lie" is intransitive- meaning it does NOT take a direct object.
I LIE down to sleep.
I LAY ME down to sleep. This transitive verb does take a direct
I LAY the WREATH at the gravesite. Object is "Wreath"
and, in this post,
You LAY the seedlings on a surface...
Here's where the fun begins -- in the past tense.
Intransitive verb TO LIE does not take an object
Present: I LIE down to sleep.
Past: I LAY down to sleep.
(incorrect: I LAID down to sleep.)
Transitive verb TO LAY does take an object
Present: I LAY the wreath at the gravesite.
Past: I LAID the wreath at the grave.
Easy to see how the confusion arises. But once learned,
the rule becomes second nature both in writing and speaking.
(Whew! Wipes brow in utter exhaustion...)
the seedlings on a surface and using
I'm inclined to agree with you;-) You sound as if you could use a really
good lay down:-O I hope someone learned from my mistake. I shouldn't
get in such a hurry. Well, I hope that's been laid to rest. But, I
suspect that I'm prone to do it again.
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (bad jokes, free of charge)
I tried that once... all it got was severely tangled roots. Ditto my
attempts to wash the germination medium off the soil in a bowl of water.
I find the "grab a cotyledon on each of two plants and shake them gently
apart" method works the best for me, and it's what I've seen "pro"
greenhouse folks do when planting (at my best, I could never keep up
with the pros in seedling transplanting.)
I have gotten much better over the years at sowing seeds in seedpans
in nice straight lines with some space between the seedlings. We shall
not mention the year I sneezed and blew about 1000 petunia seeds into
about 4 square inches of soil. That was Not Fun to disentangle.
I'll "reprint" my old summary of how I start stuff from seed in a separate
The term that's used for "getting right onto the job of growing" is
"vigor". Seedling vigor is one of those terms that everyone thinks they
what it means, but no one's ever been able to put a test number on to
quantify. If that sort of thing interests you, you might want to poke
around in Agricola for "vigor testing".
Then there are the species and cultivars that you expect to have a certain
percentage of stunted seedlings that go nowhere...
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