2014 Seed Starting, part 2

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

We came from here:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1344533/

Sharing methods and experiences in starting all kinds of seeds. Please join in, all are welcome!

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I spent most of the day yesterday and some time today adding another tray and potting up Asclepias and Lupines, which both had roots trailing out of the 2 1/2" tall x 3 1/2" deep" pots they were in. My one A incarnata and one of the Lupines were huge, so I put them in 5" pots. The rest went into 4". To my surprise, a few of the Aslepias tuberosa had much smaller root systems, not even taking up half the space. They were in MG Seed Starting Mix, which seemd very soggy and heavy. Everything is now in Self Watering Container Mix from Gardener's Supply, which should give them better drainage. Where the roots were sticking way out. I trimmed them. Today they seem happy, I hope they stay that way, lol.
I also got Germinating Mix from GS, which looks like all peat and vermiculite. I punched a few holes in 3 oz drink cups and sowed a bunch of stuff in those and put them under the dome:

Nicotiana mutabilis Marshmallow- pink, lavender and white on the same plant, 4'
Nicotiana tabacum Red Russian- bright red, 5-7'
Nicotiana glutinosa- Peach Screamer, 3'
Nicotiana langsdorfii x alata- green, blue pollen 3'
Leonotis nepetaefolia Klip Dagga- Orange, 4' (bonus packet from Daggawalla.com, where I got the new nicotianas)
Verbena Bonariensis

One last try with the new mix, no pre-treatment, the last small batch of seeds in both cases:
Aquilegia Maggie Mae
Platycodon double pink,

I put the Deno baggies of Asclepias incarnata Rosa and Stachys macrantha back in the freezer.
Last but not least, I started soaking another batch of S macrantha in Hand Hot Water. That's it for today!

Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg
Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

My Maggie Mae took 19 days to germinate...thought I'ld let you know..lol....

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Oh, good to know! As you know, mine did nothing two years in a row. But with this new mix I thought it would be worth trying again the way you do it, no pre-treatment. I think because I use the self-watering system, certain things get too wet in regular planting mixes. I know your method uses much less water than mine, maybe this will be the solution.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Oh, good to know! As you know, mine did nothing two years in a row. But with this new mix I thought it would be worth trying again the way you do it, no pre-treatment. I think because I use the self-watering system, certain things get too wet in regular planting mixes. I know your method uses much less water than mine, maybe this will be the solution.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

LOL, double answering huh....must of hit th button 2x.... If you can't get them to germinate let me know I'll put a plant for you in your box this spring. Just looked and so far I have ten babies....and more seed in the pot tho not sure if they will sprout. From the catalogs I've seen the past few years I haven't seen the seed available. If I send you a plant I'll try to find one of them that was planted last fall so it should bloom this season. Kathy

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

How strange, the double post, I have no idea how that happened!

I got a surprise gift today, red Lupines and red poppies, probably P somniferum. I know what to do with the Lupines, but what is the best way to get the poppies going? Kathy, how does your method work for them? Any special treatment needed?

(Becky), Lipan, TX(Zone 7b)

Checking in again :D

Been way busy but everything's off to a happy start so far. Whipped the fungus/mold issue my tomatoes were having with one light sprinkle of cinnamon at first evidence, then watered with a 4:1 water, hydrogen peroxide dilute. Happy campers now and looking to up into drinking cups this weekend. Peppers are going strong too, but I'll be happy when all the veggies are outside so I can see prettier things all day! They really are quite boring now that they're content..

Wow Karen, you are a lucky girl to score all those seeds! And your list of garden plants had me oohing and aahing and pausing to look up a few I'd never heard of before! I think I'm going to have to get some of that golden jubilee agastache, that chartreuse foliage against those electric flowers is ridiculous! And that salvia plumosa, WOW!

Kathy, I so wish I had your kind of space! To make sure I get the most out of the space I do have, I've prioritized the order in which seeds get germinated by wintersown first, veggies next, then all my other 'must haves', I'm sure some of the seeds are going to wait a bit longer than I'd like but I'll get to them all sooner or later! LOL

Celene, I never would have thought to shop etsy for seeds, tbh I haven't been on there in a while, I should go check it out. Or not. Maybe after after I get a grip on what I already have. And that really sucks about someone stealing your plants! I'd be planting cacti in and around your favorites! Hehehe steal from me, do ya??!!

Susie, love your hothouse! I've thought about incorporating the rope lights into my germination station, how are they performing for you?

(Becky), Lipan, TX(Zone 7b)

Pam your babies are looking good! How soon after sprouting do you use the maxicrop? My buddy is always raving about it but I couldn't find it in my travels recently so I went with some superthrive instead. Now I'm too chicken to use it on my healthy seeding as I don't want to murder them, but I sure would like to give them a boost!

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I got my Maxicrop from Amazon. I think the powdered form is the most economical. 1 teaspoon per gallon, once a week is what's recommended.

Since I use a self-watering system, which also means it's continuous, I dilute it a lot more than that to fill the trays. I usually mix full strength - 1/2 tsp in a 1/2 gallon container, along with 1 drop of SuperThrive for the roots and 5 or 6 oz of peroxide, and pour some into each tray. Then I fill them up the rest of the way without adding more Maxicrop to the mix. So far, after only a couple of weeks the results are impressive. I had some pretty pathetic Campanulas which are finally putting on some growth, and everything else is thriving.

Newly germinated seedlings don't need fertilizer until they develop their true leaves. I haven't had new babies since I started using it, but I will soon, and because of my system they'll get it anyway. I don't think it will be a problem, though. I think they just don't use what they don't need.

I love that A Golden Jubilee too. I got a few seeds in the robin, hope they do something for me!

(Becky), Lipan, TX(Zone 7b)

Ok Pam, you convinced me, I think I'll stop being chicken and use the superthrive on my mater seedlings then. And order the maxicrop online, unless someone here has tried another seaweed fertilizer from chain stores and has had results. Idk if my hub will let me spend another 30 bucks for the maxicrop right now. I just dropped $500 on rainwater collection system and veggie garden materials. That was what my portion of our tax refund went to.. My priorities have def changed in the last few years since I started playing in the dirt LOL!!!

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Stillplayswithdirt....How appropriate your name....lol.. that's what I like to do play in the dirt... Yes, I'm grateful for having soo much land to play with. It's been quite the experience changing it from feild grasses to gardens. I claim more area each year and will be interesting to see what it will become 5 years from now when the trees and shrubs have become established and the flowers have filled in. Til then I just keep on planting.... Should be a good year for all the Iris and so many of my new babies from last season, including sooo many wonderful trades too. This will be the first time for the Foxgloves (most of which are biennial), I must have planted hundreds....and Aquilegias also. Only a couple of months til I get to see things begin blooming. Yeah!!!!

Pam you can start them inside (wait til April) or throw the seed when you get home. I would do it early so they get some cold temps..or maybe do both if you feel ambitious...lol. I know you don't have enough to do...lol. Just joking. The gal I got the red Lupine from also let her seed drop in the garden and it made a beautiful patch...they were mixed with a dark purple too, so hope the seed is all red for you, it's the plants they were taken from..... thought the reds might look nice in your new blue garden. Both should be a true deep dark red, with no hints of orange or yellow. Good reds are harder to find outside of the rose family or annuals. I know they are there somewhere waiting to grace my garden, I'm still looking for many to include as they have eluded me for years (mostly I have peonies and Alcea, one clem , zinnias and some Lilies).... I planted alot of Lobeilia cardialis last summer, I'm hoping they like my climate. I'm like you...I have mostly blues, purples, whites and pink...

Columbus, OH

An update on the Etsy seeds--the petunia exserta have all germinated, every last seed. Can't ask for better than that. I also got some marigolds and other easy stuff from the same vendor, but haven't sowed them yet, not for 3 weeks or so.

I personally like SuperThrive. Some folks in the local garden scene practically come to blows over its relative usefulness, so I just quietly drop it in my watering can.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I just came across some notes I copied from an old DG thread, where someone uses Maxicrop and peroxide in the soaking water for seeds and got great germination. I had remembered about using Maxicrop to feed seedlings, but had completely forgotten that part. I'm going to mix some up this morning and spray all my I germinated seeds, including the Deno baggies. The only thing I don't like is that it's dark, making the seeds harder to see. But it's worth it to get more sprouts!

(Becky), Lipan, TX(Zone 7b)

Lol Kathy, yes it is very appropriate.. I have a dirt layer as a type, but alas, mommy doesn't rate a shower until the kiddos are fed, clean and happy! :) I have seeds for about 6 diff foxglove varieties but no room to plant them so I guess they will wait until next year. I wanted to wintersown them but I think I read they won't germ that way.. Never doing this many tomatoes again.. They have really eaten up all my space! I have too many seeds I want to grow to not have room to start them, it really is torture! Lol

Celene, next time I'm on etsy I'll have to pick up a pack of seeds just because. I love that site so much! And I value your opinion on the superthrive, also I understand the conflict of opinion on such things. My gardener buddy who got me hooked on this hobby to begin with, has advised me against certain things, but I just politely nod and decide for myself. To each their own, and if we all did the same things it would take the learning out of the experience, and IMHO, that's half the fun :D

Pam, yes I have heard amazing things about maxicrop for so many different applications. I am definitely getting some soon. Once my wallet has fattened a bit ;)

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Becky, You're right about people having different ideas and opinions of how to do things. That's been the fun of this thread for me, trying out various techniques and seeing how they work for me in my conditions. And I've always loved playing in dirt :-)

Kathy, that deep red sounds gorgeous! There's an old azalea in the Blue Garden that is recovering from having been nearly smothered by a Hydrangea Petiolaris. It didn't bloom last year, but this year should be good. It's a peachy-coral color which I think the deep red will be beautiful with. I soaked and froze the seeds already, they are thawing now.

I did spray everything with the Maxicrop solution yesterday morning, and it didn't look as dark on the paper towel as I thought it would. I was gone overnight, didn't even get to look at anything until tonight. The first sprouts of Leonotis nepetaefolia are showing. That was quick :-)

Columbus, OH

I'm off to get Maxicrop today...

BELLEVILLE, IL(Zone 6b)

I just read through this entire thread haha yes (a pot of coffee and 2 hrs later...). I had seen some references about an Ice cube method and Iv really neglected my iris seeds. Everything else is under control downstairs and in the fridge. Im hoping its not too late for them.

I just want to make sure I have this right...

Soak in hand hot water over night
soak for 3 weeks and change out water daily
start deno method
put icecubes in the bag in the morning and evening, for a couple weeks (outside or inside fridge?)
then plant

Iv been soaking these for about *muffled sounds* weeks. (7) Idk, thoughts? Should I literally freeze them?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Something easy , but fun , A Zinnia , fourth day , There is a sprout in the middle of the pic .
Heat , heat , Heat , With these . for germination .

I think I have finally figured out how to sort these as seeds ,,lol
I will pic again when it gets it leaves up .

Thumbnail by juhur7
Columbus, OH

It's a little early for me to plant zinnias. I have many varieties, I love them so much.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I got my first Red Lupine sprout yesterday and planted it. The first batch of pink Lupines The chatelaine are getting big already.

Also the first Nicotianas- Russian Red and Peach Screamer- and the Leonotis from Daggawalla have sprouted in their little Dixie cups.

Waiting for a bunch more... As soon as there's room in the propagator, I'll start Petunias, Salvias, and Snapdragons.

Columbus, OH

I have a lot of petunias up now. Exserta, integrifolia, axillaris, and a new (to me) cultivar, Sparklers. I WS all of my Nicotianas, I've never heard of Russian Red or Peach Screamer. Now I have to go google them...

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I got them from Daggawalla.com. They have an amazing assortment, a fun site to look at. As well as the ornamental ones, they carry a lot of smoking tobacco varieties. Red Russian is one of those. I just couldn't resist 5-7' tall bright red flowers! Supposed to be a hummingbird magnet. Looooove that!

Litchfield, IL

Hi, I'm just joining you on this thread. I'm a beginner and have already learned a lot from these forums. I started one week ago with both the pod system and seeding in clear containers. I'm trying cherry tomatoes, beef steak tomatoes, peppers and various annuals. The tomatoes are up as are some flowers. Hoping they make it! I'm sure I will have a lot of questions.
Helen

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Hello all, Here are those zinnia today .
My peppers are giving me trouble germinating though , Only one old Cayenne so far ,
Bur Marigold one is up , for basket



Five days from seed .
Pics a little fuzzy

Thumbnail by juhur7
Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Welcome Helen... Just chime in anytime you hve a question...lol, just be prepared to decide which answer to use. Not that any of the different ways are wrong.. just could be a couple of ways to solve any dilema.. Kathy

Columbus, OH

Kathy's right, the diversity of approaches to seed-starting is so valuable!

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I've enjoyed trying different methods, especially for tricky perennials. All the suggestions have been great- not that I've used them all, lol... But my success rate has definitely gone up :-)

So ask away, we love it!

Columbus, OH

So, I have my Maxicrop powder, and it's one teaspoon per gallon. It smells awful. So...water in seeds with it? Soak seeds that require soaking?

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

This is what I copied from a DG post:

"I've been soaking seeds in a Maxicrop/water mix. "Maxicrop" is a fancy liquid seaweed. I've been using it for everything you can imagine, cuts, seeds, seedling etc.. It's awesome imo and I've found it raises germination rates bigtime on older seeds. The wife and I have done side by sides w/ the same seeds, some in water and the others in maxicrop. There was no comparison, maxicrop gave us 99% germ rates and much faster to sprout where the seeds in water were at best 50/50 w/ germ rates that varied a LOT. Now I use "superthrive" on them as soon as they pop up. It's a hormone that tells the plant to root hard NOW and worry about vegetative growth a little later. It's great stuff. I wouldn't be afraid of mixing that w/ the hydrogen peroxide solution either. IMO, some of the best liquid ferts I've used have a combo of H2O2 and fertilizer."

I haven't done all that yet, and I couldn't swear to the increased germination, I'm just starting to use it. I don't think it smells bad, at least not so far. But certainly worth trying, don't you think?

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)



This message was edited Mar 9, 2015 10:07 AM

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Depending how that goes , I've been using ice on seeds to fluctuate temperature to activate germination for decades..
Even on slow annuals it will sometimes work .
Small ice packs (gel ice ) i have used if their handy ..

BELLEVILLE, IL(Zone 6b)

Thanks! Off to go get them going in the right direction!

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Good for you, badcat! Please eep us posted...

I have nothing new to report, except that all the Nicotiana are up, and the Verbena Bonariensis is starting to show a little green.

The new batch of Lupines are slow to germinate. I see the seed coats beginning to crack, but they don't change from day to day. Maybe another soak would get them going? Or I could just try to be patient. Not really my thing, lol...

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)



This message was edited Mar 9, 2015 10:07 AM

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Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

I wonder if the ice cube method would work for my Cephalaria seed? Tried warmth first, nothing. then put them on the porch for 3 wks, brought them in and about 2 wks now, still nothing?!!! Darn.

Where do you get the Maxicrop? So Maxicrop is just fish emulsion? (Maybe could use another brand?) I looked @ H.Depot and my local nursery and can't find. Did pick up a bottle of Superthrive, and rooting powder. (got a box of shrub and tree cuttings to work on, fingers are crossed!!!!).

Got my plastic up yesterday on the horse stall (back of the garage). Whew, just in time too, rain and snow are heading my direction today. So it should be warming up out there and ready for use in a few days. Wanna make sure the soil is warmed before putting anything out there just yet. Now I just need to get busy with potting things on. While at the nursery, did my dumpster diving for pots. Darn, just weren't that many yet. Should be able to find a gazillion later this month tho...... Time to also pick up another bale of Peat Moss, forgot when I was at H.D. Gotta try and find a bale that's not frozen. They are sooooo tough to break up when they are. Maybe I could get lucky and hit them when they get their spring shipment. Kathy

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I got mine from Amazon, the powdered form is easy to mix and the bag will last a long, long time. You only use 1 teaspoon per gallon, once a week. It was $18.99 free shipping because we have the Prime card. I think there are some cheaper sources on Amazon if you have to pay for shipping anyway.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Thinking about trying some these for a while now , the plant boosters ,,
Kathy Did you check out the Two for One seed sale H.D. is having nationally ,, ? lol
Like if you saw that , ? although that is question , he he ..

(Becky), Lipan, TX(Zone 7b)

Love the pics of everyone's seedlings, y'all keep me motivated!! Mine are so slow.. I am hoping my wintersown jugs will start to show me some green soon, I was getting pretty antsy waiting for them, but with these late freezes I'm actually glad they've been late to start.

I am still nursing the tomatoes along (I feel so bogged down with these tomatoes right now. Never again will I start this many, I swear! Lol!) along with some fish peppers, ghost peppers. Strawberry spinach chenopodium came up, siam queen basil is up as well. I over seeded that one BIG time! I must have 50 little sprouts in one cell I need to dump tomorrow and separate! Still waiting on germination from the ponderosa lemon, peperone de cuneo peppers, and mexican mint marigold. I realized I have way too much seed.. thank goodness for winter sowing (if it works me, that is) and will be direct sowing most of my herbs. Okay phone is gonna croak, good luck to all, will be back :)

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Juhur..lol, Nope, I think I need to stay out of there... LOL. Darn, I just picked up a few packets before the sale, some new Zinnas: Giant 'Scarlet Flame', 'Giant Violet Queen', and 'Giant Lavender Gem'. all top out at 2 1/2'. Like those tall ones!

Pam, is it just seaweed fert.? am thinking I've got some seaweed fert somewhere here, tho not that brand. Also have bat guanno. Tho so far have only been using a weak solution of Miracle Grow and Peroxide, both for misting and watering (misting 3-5x s a day). Seedlings are looking good so far.

Becky, so when do you get to plant those tomatoes outside...April? That's alot of veggies your growing. Not sure what all I'm going to plant this year, but did pick up some Rhubarb and Potatoes (Russet and Yukon Gold) from Walmart yesterday. Guess I should have picked up the onions also...

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