Guide Youre not broke, you have a seed

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Trays should be kept covered with dome lids after the seeds are planted, before sprouting. The lids help keep in moisture and warmth, assisting in germination. Some seed starting trays come with dome lids, or you can purchase them separately. The trays can even carry bricks without bending. Most other types we have used in the past crack and break easily, creating unnecessary waste. I ran into a really annoying issue with some of our flimsier ones this year too. This created problems and a big mess when we went to water the seedlings from below by filling their trays explained more later.

They leaked all over, and some inside the house! On this homestead, we utilize several types and sizes of containers, depending on what we are growing. In that case, we generally start them in little 6-pack cell trays to save space. You can imagine how many pots or containers would be needed and how much space it would take up to start dozens and dozens of baby kales, lettuce, and bok choy in their own individual little cups!

Some have fairly small individual cells, like 1. We have found these are totally adequate for growing flowers, greens, herbs. They are also good for other plants you would get out of those cells fairly quick, either by potting up or transplanting out. We love these super durable BPA free 6-packs.

For some medium size plants like broccoli or cauliflower, we like to give them a tad more space for roots, and room to grow into with time. For these, we use large-cell 6-packs about 2.

The ones we have now are somewhat flimsy. We are continuing to get good use out them for many years, but some are starting to crack so I may not want to recommend them. If I find something better, I will add them here! On the other hand, for the larger crops that we intend to grow fewer of , like tomatoes or squash, we usually start them in slightly bigger individual mini-pots.

I am not talking huge pots here! Just a tad bigger than petite 6-packs. See, you never want your seedlings to be soggy and drowning. Things like tomatoes are probably going to get larger faster, with the potential to get root-bound sooner. Giving them a little extra space from the get-go means they can live happily in this size for several weeks or longer after sprouting. Which leads us to the next point.

This equals less hassle. If you intend to plant out seedlings fairly small and soon after sprouting, they may not need to be potted up at all. Biodegradable cups are great in theory, but it depends on the thickness and how long they take to degrade.

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This has been our personal experience. On the other hand, some are too flimsy and could degrade too quickly like toilet paper rolls. Also, many biodegradable pots are made from peat, which receives some criticism for being not very sustainable. Some people love them though, and no judgment if you do! Whatever works for you. Especially if you invest in ones that last. These are our preferences, but as always, I encourage you to experiment and see what works best for you!

It is very important to start with fresh, sterile, bagged seedling starting mix. Avoid using old soil from your garden! It may have diseases or pests! You do not need any fertilizer in the soil that the seeds are started in! On the contrary, you want to avoid it — fertilizer can burn fragile seeds and seedlings, inhibiting or killing growth. Seeds themselves are amazing little things! They contain all of the nutrients needed to allow the seed to germinate sprout and grow its new baby plant for at least the first two weeks of life!

We generally use a majority organic bagged seedling mix, and mix in just a little potting soil and worm castings. Over the years, we have experimented with many different brands. You will want something that you can mark your seedling containers with, to keep track of what is what. For labels, there are tons of options out there, from using plastic forks to painting on rocks. We have found inexpensive plastic tags that we like to use.

This is particularly true when you are preparing for you spring or summer garden, starting seeds during the short-day winter months.

Taller seedlings do not equal healthier, better seedlings! This growth pattern will make them weak, susceptible to toppling and breaking. The shorter and stockier you can keep them, the better! The colors also gave me a headache. It is recommended to use eye protection around LED lights, particularly the colored versions. Do some research to see what is out there.

We switched back to our preferred T-5 high-output fluorescent bulbs this year. Note: Many lights can be ordered with cool white light for vegetative growth , which is what you want for seedlings. That, or full-spectrum. Using wider styles of lights with reflectors will give your seedlings maximum coverage and light exposure. The wider the better, really. They will each want their time in the spotlight.

The ones left on the fringe outside of the direct light too long will start to stretch. How long should I keep my grow lights on? Veggie seedlings need at least 12 hours of light, and at least 8 hours of dark. We generally turn them on when we get up the in the morning, and turn them off before bed. For most light types, keeping the lights low and close just a few inches above the seedlings! Note, if you have LED lights, read their specific recommendations. Lights should be hung in a manner that can be adjusted easily, raising them as the seedlings grow. Many people starting seedlings indoors do so by using a shelving unit where they can hang the lights from the underside of the shelf below.

The grow lights we provide are meant to be complementary to the natural sun provided. In winter months when the days are already short, our greenhouse gets much more shade. It is located in our side yard, but it does still get at least 5 hours of good bright natural light a day. Therefore, we opt for skinnier styles that the sun can still peek around.

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You're Not Broke! You Have a Seed! by Leroy Thompson | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble®

Oh, the great debate about chlorinated or dechlorinated water , and its impact on plants. There are dozens of studies out there arguing whether or not it harms your plants. They will not turn over and die. This means seedlings can be a little more chlorine-sensitive than mature plants in larger volumes of soil.

My suggestion would be to use dechlorinated if possible. It could make the difference between living plants and thriving plants. We use captured rainwater for our seedlings. If using water in the kitchen, you could run it through a brita-type carbon filter first. For outdoor hoses, we really like to use these hose carbon filters. Some plants like lettuce prefer cooler soil to germinate. Most seeds can sprout in the s, though slower and with less success.

This could include the top of a refrigerator or next to a sunny but not cold and drafty window.

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We use a seedling heat mat in combination with a thermostat gauge. It has a little probe that goes into the soil and only turns on when the soil needs heat. When the greenhouse heats up in the daytime, it will turn off the heat mats. As the temperature drops in the evening, it kicks back on. This can sterilize and kill them.


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Our greenhouse is not heated. Yes, you read that right. I like to sit down with a glass of wine the night before we are going to sow seeds, sort through seed packets, choose what we want to start, and create the labels ahead of time. You could totally switch it up and do this later. Personally, I have found it super helpful to have all the labels ready and waiting instead of needing to stop and write labels in the middle of juggling seeds and soil.

Especially if you are starting many plants! This way, after we finish filling our containers with seedling start mix step 4 , we can grab the labels and corresponding seed packets we want to plant for a given tray, add the labels in first, and then use that as our guide for where to sow which seeds. Aim for the consistency of a wrung out sponge — damp, but not sopping.

10 Leroy Thompson - Never Underestimate The Power Of Your Seed [Part 5]

This is a good idea for many reasons.