Hello again, I just surfaced sown 3 packets of impatiens in Ferry Morse seed starting mix. I took 3 parts mix and stirred in 1 part very warm water.
And then I filled my 72 cell and topped the top of the mix with a little perlite.
I then used a toothpick to sow 2 seeds per cell and then I misted them.
I then took the flat and a 1/2 of newly planted seeds with the domes on top and set them on my industrial shelf under 4 cool white fluorescent tubes.
My question is this, I don't own a heat mat and I just set the flats under the 4 tubes, a day later I checked the soil temp and it was at 85f! I was worried maybe I would accidently put them into dormant mode? I checked them just now after raising and turning off 2 of the tubes with now only 2 tubes with the lights a few inches from the flats with the domes over them and it is now 78f soil temp. Have I already messed up with the temps in the beggining with merely over 85f??? And is the fluctuating temps really messing it up? I never done annual flowers from seed just vegetables. I hope I am doing this well enough to get a very good germination rate but I really am not sure if I will?
Please Please critique me!!!!
Impatiens are easy to germinate. The temps difference that you mentioned won't make any difference-they are both warm enough to germinate the seed. You just want to make sure that the seed doesn't dry out. I sow mine on top of the soiless medium that I use ( and is wet) and then cover the flats with plastic, after misting the seeds and the inside of the plastic. Every am, I uncover and mist the seeds and the inside of the plastic and then cover. When over 50% show germination, I leave uncovered and mist twice a day. It usually takes about 7 days to get them all to germinate. I usually transplant about 3 wks after they germinate.
Garden6, Great information!
Thanks so much for your help, I did get almost 100% germination! Yay! I also started one more flat of impatiens. I just hope they will Germinate as fast and well as the last. I had the dome in place until almost 75% started germinating I then propped the lid up a couple inches and by the next day removed the dome completely. So for right now so far so good!
Does anyone know when is the best time to fertilize, and with what, or what strength??
In regards to fertilizing, I start to fert anywhere from right after I transplant the seedlings to a week after, depending on when I do them. The grhouses get fertilized once a week, and everything in them gets hit with fert. If the plants are really small, then they just go over the pots once or twice quickly, and that would be about 100 ppm of 20-10-20.
Thanks on the info, It sure helps me alot!
Do you transplant with its first, second or third leaves? I have mine in a 72 cell flat, so I really don't know when to begin the transplant, and fertilize steps??
Jenepat, No I haven't done that before, It seems it would work fine though, as long as the seeds stay pretty warm (70-75f) and not dried out. I must say starting them in the flats with a dome was super easier than i thought! It took only 5-days!
I would say try it, and you could always try a couple of seeds. Since mine started in less than a week I would say don't wait longer than a week for them to germinate, but again the packet states 21days till germination. For me it didn't nearly take that long at all, thank goodness! Good luck!
If you have them in 72 cell flats (liner flats), then you can hold them there for awhile. I move mine from plug sheets (288 cells) as soon as I start to see the first true leaves opening. Use the other end of a paint brush to pop them out when you are ready to move them. I use 3.5" pots to grow them out (1801's , 18 pots/flat) and I pinch them back a few times as well, the first time when they are a few inches high. Full sun in the grhouse and keep on the dry side will both encourage blooms and keep them from getting leggy. I start to send them out the first wk of May.
If you don't have the room to transplant into pots for awhile, you can hold them in the 72 cell liners for at least a month after germ. You can also pinch them back while they are in there. I always pinch back low to the soil so they start to branch lower. I try to pinch back just above one node where there are leaves starting to come out.
Not sure how to tell you about fert without talking ppm, but whatever you use as full strength, just start with 1/3 of that and water it once over for a few wks, then move up to 1/2 strength. Keep on eye on the greeness of the leaves-that will tell you what strength to use. If the leaves are yellowish, then increase a bit. Weaker is safer than stronger as you can burn them if too strong.
Thank you so much for the step by step explaning of everything. It sounds alot less scary now that you explained it.
Here is a picture of my seedling as of yesterday. I hope they are doing okay, to me they look healthy although I am no expert. And if anyone sees anything wrong or can tell me how to improve please don't hesitate to tell me.
I think I am going to try your advice in pinching them later (Not yet being they still even haven't their true leaves yet).
And so I should fert.once with 1/3 strength and again after three weeks with 1/2 strength from the first application?
Oh' Do you think my impatiens can be started on fish emusion or maybe somthing like seaweed/kelp fert? I heard these are less burning toward plants? Or maybe what do you use?