I have bought some seeds that I wish to grow indoors.
I have only ever tried to grow coriander before and although it starte
to grow - lots of wee flies were coming out of the compost. I have no
recently been told that you need to sterilise compost for indoor use?
My first question is how do you get started with the seeds. Do yo
germinate them first? What is the best way to do this? I remember bac
at school we germinated seeds in dishes with paper and put them in
I have a hot boiler cupboard that would do the trick. How do I ge
Secondly. Compost sterilising? How do you go about doing this?
Also the compost I have seems very spacious - by that I mean ther
seems to be a lot of pockets of air between the soil particles - do yo
need to compress this down or am I best using a different thing fo
growing in altogether?
thanks in advance. I look forward to a response :
I've tried growing herbs indoors at work under the fluorescent lights.
Everything bolted and got leggy.
If you are going to try this, you will need some good grow lights in
order for it to work.
Best way to sterilize compost is to pressure cook it for 20 minutes.
Alternately, you can bake it but I can't recall the temp off the top of
my head to sterilize it. You could probably google for that. :-)
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Forget growing chiles inside unless you are prepared to buy some heavy
duty growlight$. In which case you could probably get them cheaper from
an organic market.
Why would anybody want to sterilize compost, providing it had gone
through hot composting to begin with? Is this homemade compost or bagged
I don't know what he is using, but the only reason I'd ever sterilize
compost is if I was going to use it to grow mushrooms. It's recommended
even for Oyster Mushroom starts even when using mostly nitrogen enriched
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Some seeds are better sown directly as the seedlings don't transplant well,
others you can start in seed trays and transplant. In your case I wouldn't
mess about, plant them where you want them to grow. They don't want to be
hot, warm is fine.
Don't bother. Microbes are good. What is the source of this compost?
firm it down a bit before planting but not heavily.
As others have said you will need *really* good lighting to grow these.
Unless they are in a window getting sun some of the day with supplementary
artificial light, or very high powered artficial light they will not prosper.
Starting seeds is a tricky business (not) - ha ha. The seeds WANT to
germinate, it's in their genes. You need to provide the right
conditions: usually moisture and a moderate warmth. Some seeds like
it cool (ie, spinach) but in general, all my plants start great on the
heating pad. It took 3 days to get lettuce germinated in 4inch pots
I use a sterile potting soil for starting seeds. I find that watering
the mix when planting compacts it enough, no need to pack it before
putting seeds in. Do of course press the seed into the mix for good
seed/soil contact, but again, no need to compress significantly. If
you don't have a source of heat, you can use hot - but not boiling -
water to wet the mix before seeding. You should put a thermometer in
your cupboard - if the temp is 70F or under, your're fine. Just
remember to check your seeds every day!
You may have to work a little to find the right timing - some plants
started too soon will get leggy, esp. lettuce. I've never had
problems with tomatoes started in Feb/March (Zone 5) b/c by the time
the plant wants to really start growing, I'm setting them out during
the day for at least a few hours, and they get pretty stocky.
The looseness of your starting mix is a good thing, because plants
need air and the developing roots will find it no burden to stretch
out and grow! Which leads to the care and feeding of the young plant
- keep an eye on your seedlings, they can suck it up at stages of
development. Water when needed, but don't drown them! I like to "pot
on" some plants - tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, spinach. Seeds of
these plants started en masse in 4in pots can be transplanted when you
see the first true leaves on the plants.
After you get seedlings, they will want light - as much as you can
give them. I use plain 'ol flourescent shop lights. Set the plants
right up to the lights, unless you are lucky enough to have big
window. I visit seedlings daily, to make sure they are not drying
out, and to rotate the plants around the lights (dimmer at the ends).
After all this, I make sure to harden the plants off before setting
them outside. Even if you are going from GH to outdoors, you should
take the 3-4 extra days to harden the plants off and get them used to
the rough world/full sun.
Can't speak to the compost question, as I never have enough to bring
inside. Remember that even plants that are not recommended to
transplant can do just fine if handled with care. For example, I
start my sweet corn indoors and transplant - the only problems I've
ever had is when I used peat pots (b/c you can plant the whole pot).
Big mistake, I won't do that again! And chinese cabbage never seems
to give me problems when I TP it :shrug:
Most of this info is already out there - you can google seed starting
or starting seed and have a couple lifetimes of reading to do :)
Good luck to ya, and don't forget to go through your seed packets
BEFORE you order new ones :D
On Thu, 6 Mar 2008 21:03:06 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Good post, but I will add one thing......peppers require a higher
temperature for germination. I have found that 80-85F results in
faster and higher germination. Lower temps will reduce and prolong
germination with peppers.
I usually set my germination flat of peppers in the closet on top of
the water heater, where it remains close to these temps and move them
to the garage and lights when they have popped thru.
I started a couple of Texas Chilpequins (pronounced chile peteen in Texas)
the other day. I've got them in little cups in a pan over a heating pad.
Stuck a thermometer in the soil this morning & it read 90. I understand
that these are a bit slow to germinate, so hope that temp is good. I think
it'll do OK.
<Charlie> wrote in message
Lots of little black flies?? I've had that problem with house plant
myself. I've found the best thing to do is use a soil based insecticid
that kills the eggs. If you are using shop-bought compost it should b
free of these annoying little beasts (that i've heard referred to a
fungus gnats), they tend to lay eggs in the compost after potting up
This combined with some flypaper hung up close to the pots should clea
the problem up (worked for me). Hope i've helped
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