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Article: Seed Starting 101: Setting up Light Shelves for Starting Plants from Seed Indoors, Without a Greenhouse: Great information!

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Forum: Article: Seed Starting 101: Setting up Light Shelves for Starting Plants from Seed Indoors, Without a GreenhouseReplies: 12, Views: 93
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Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7b)

January 17, 2008
11:35 AM

Post #4413998

Thanks so much for the wonderful article. I'm going to make some changes to my current plans. Think we can use your advice and make things easier to set up. Thanks again.
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

January 17, 2008
8:08 PM

Post #4416060

Great information, and so clearly presented! Jill, you are a novice's dream of info!!

Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

January 17, 2008
8:54 PM

Post #4416243

good stuff :)
Necedah, WI
(Zone 4b)

January 18, 2008
12:01 AM

Post #4417180

Great article Critter- have to print out this one!
Claremore, OK

January 18, 2008
12:30 AM

Post #4417348

Bravo! Loved the photos, loved the links, loved the info.

I'm in the process of looking at seeds I want to start indoors. I could use another article on suggestions of things to plant, how and when to plant. Common boo-boos and pitfalls to avoid when raising seeds indoors.

I got some lights at a garage sale. I spend a lot of money on impatients and pansies I wonder if they do well from seed. Also, how fast does it take them to get up and blooming.

Fan Club Member for Jill
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

January 18, 2008
12:56 AM

Post #4417496

Impatiens need a good long running start (12 weeks or more) under the lights if you want them to be budding or blooming when you set them out... I sow mine in early to mid February and give them a warm start, 78'F on the heat mat. I transplant them to cell packs (I like the deep 2 inch ones that come 32 or 26 to a flat) when they have 2 or 4 true leaves. At that point, they move off the heat mat and are fine at 65'F or so.

I'm not the one to ask about pansies. I know a lot of folks grow them very successfully from seed, but somehow I haven't managed to quite figure them out. You might search for info (or ask) over in the propagation forum.

I like to start flats of some of my favorites from seed... It's wonderful to have loads of Alyssum, Lobelia, Torenia (also needs a 12 week start), Impatiens, small-leafed basils, etc. to use in borders and container. I know I'd never be willing to pay for flats of annuals, and I'd "make do" with one or two cell packs instead. By starting my own from seed, I'm only limited by how many lights I can put up!
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

January 18, 2008
3:12 AM

Post #4418249

Nice article, Critter. Thanks.
Claremore, OK

January 19, 2008
2:54 AM

Post #4423034

Thanks Jill. Is there a special potting soil you use for starting your seeds?

Is it true that if you run your hands over small seedlings it makes them stronger? The idea is that running your hands over them is suppose to be like exposing them to wind.
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

January 19, 2008
3:57 AM

Post #4423265

You're welcome, Deb. I like Pro Mix, but any good quality soil-less mix will work.

Yes, that's true, although I'm not sure how frequently you have to do it to see an effect. I've heard an oscillating fan can be similarly helpful. There's a fancy name for this, which escapes me at this hour. I remember reading that it was first observed that plants at the ends of rows in a greenhouse (by the walkway) were growing faster/taller/sturdier than other plants in the row. At first, it was thought that these plants were receiving extra attention, more water, more care in looking out for pests, etc. They finally determined that the cause was simply people brushing against the seedlings as they walked through the greenhouse to tend to the plants.
Claremore, OK

January 19, 2008
9:49 PM

Post #4426028

Thanks Jill a.k.a critterologist. Maybe that will be my science experiment this season.
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

January 19, 2008
10:25 PM

Post #4426132

Oh, a classroom experiment? That would be cool! You could have 2 experimental groups -- seedlings that were touched/brushed regularly & seedlings exposed to an oscillating fan -- and a control group protected from air currents or excessive handling. You could do both subjective gradings of "health" (on a scale from 1 to 10, how good do these seedlings look this week?) and objective measurements of height and stem diameter. I'll bet you'd get some neat results...

Sorry, I know I've gone way off the topic of light shelves... but science experiments get me all excited! LOL
Claremore, OK

January 20, 2008
2:07 AM

Post #4427125

Jill are you my long lost twin? LOL

I was wondering how I could get someone to help me grow plants while I'm on vacation with out paying them to come to my house and water. Thank you for the nice light bulb moment Jill. Aaaaaaaaah, looks like one of my teacher friends could do a classroom experiment that I help her set-up.

If I pull this off, I'll d-mail you the results with photos.
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

January 20, 2008
2:20 AM

Post #4427170

ROFL! Yes, a really comprehensive experiment would have to include several types of plants... say, basil, tomatoes, and your favorite flowering annual (better pick a sturdy one).

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Other Article: Seed Starting 101: Setting up Light Shelves for Starting Plants from Seed Indoors, Without a Greenhouse Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Great article! wind 9 Jan 17, 2008 8:35 PM
Wonderful! gloriag 1 Jan 17, 2008 9:51 PM
Thanks Critter! Seandor 3 Jan 21, 2008 5:28 PM
Planting Out Probs Jax4ever 3 Jan 18, 2008 12:40 PM
Starting columbine seeds xshoshin 1 Mar 2, 2008 1:32 AM

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