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Issues with starting seed indoors... I22gcj10Issues with starting seed indoors... 14dhcg10

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Issues with starting seed indoors... Toplef10Issues with starting seed indoors... 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Issues with starting seed indoors... I22gcj10Issues with starting seed indoors... 14dhcg10

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Issues with starting seed indoors...

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Issues with starting seed indoors... Empty Issues with starting seed indoors...

Post  Hawgwild 2/21/2022, 10:09 pm

I do have a fair stand of seedlings started in my seed trays but some seeds seem to have trouble germinating...This is really my first time starting seed indoors and sure much of the problem could be with me. Many of the seeds come right up in a few days and then nothing with some of the other cells.

I have two 72 cell trays with heat mats and the felt wicking system. I'm really not new to gardening as I've had a traditional row garden most of my 73 yearsl

I'm using Jiffy Seed Starting mix that I wet down then put the moisten mix in the tray. Then add the seeds, cover lightly, then moisten the top of the cell with a spray bottle. Don't think I'm putting too much mix on the seeds either.

Now some I have replanted and have started misting those cells daily thinking they weren't getting enough moisture on the seed to germinate.

Could have got a batch of bad seeds but probably more "user error" than anything.

Any suggestions?
Scottie
Hawgwild
Hawgwild

Male Posts : 101
Join date : 2022-01-12
Age : 74
Location : Northwest Louisiana

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Issues with starting seed indoors... Empty Re: Issues with starting seed indoors...

Post  OhioGardener 2/22/2022, 7:56 am

Could be one of any number of problems. Too much moisture will cause the seeds to rot instead of germinate. Or, the soil too cool, or too warm, for the type of seed will cause it to "hibernate" until the temp is correct. Or, the seed being too deep if it needs light to germinate.  The felt wicking system may be interfering with the heat map being able to warm the soil, or the heat mat may be causing the wicking system to "steam" the soil. But, the felt wicking system should not be needed until the seeds are well established.

I place the pots or cell trays in the 1020 tray and cover the tray with the clear plastic dome before sitting it on the heat mat. I don't touch the trays again until the seeds are germinated and the dome needs to be removed. 

One trick I learned many years ago from an old Amish farmer is to cover the seeds with medium vermiculite instead of soil, and then mist the vermiculite to ensure it is completely moist. The vermiculite does not mat over the seeds like soil can, and it allows more air to the seeds.  I do this regardless of if I am starting seeds indoors, or plant directly into the garden soil. Of course, your mileage may vary.

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Issues with starting seed indoors... Empty Good advice

Post  Hawgwild 2/22/2022, 12:02 pm

Thanks OhioGardener....Most of the seedlings that are up are ready to be transplanted to some peat pots. After that I will remove that wicking pad and place the trays directly above the heating pad which is below the lower tray. That pad does seem a little cool to the touch.

That medium vermiculite  may do the trick also.

Thanks,
Scottie
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Issues with starting seed indoors... Empty Starting seeds

Post  tjconnelly 2/23/2022, 4:48 pm

Hawgwild wrote:I do have a fair stand of seedlings started in my seed trays but some seeds seem to have trouble germinating...This is really my first time starting seed indoors and sure much of the problem could be with me. Many of the seeds come right up in a few days and then nothing with some of the other cells.

I have two 72 cell trays with heat mats and the felt wicking system. I'm really not new to gardening as I've had a traditional row garden most of my 73 yearsl

I'm using Jiffy Seed Starting mix that I wet down then put the moisten mix in the tray. Then add the seeds, cover lightly, then moisten the top of the cell with a spray bottle. Don't think I'm putting too much mix on the seeds either.

Now some I have replanted and have started misting those cells daily thinking they weren't getting enough moisture on the seed to germinate.

Could have got a batch of bad seeds but probably more "user error" than anything.

Any suggestions?
Scottie
 Hawgwild - I have had and occassionally continue to have challenges starting some seeds.  there are some variety's of peppers that I like that you typically can't get in plants, so I do the seedlings so I can have these varieties.  I took an online course on seed starting from joegardener that was very helpful.  I would highly recommend it.  He showed me that alot of stuff I was doing that I thought was right, was indeed causing many of the problems I was experiencing.

My first encouragement was is to be patient.  Some seeds take a while to sprout, particularly if you happen to plant them a little deep.  Some of the peppers that I grow can take 10 days, even with a heat mat at 85 degrees.

Here is a quick summary on germination that I learned and am trying this year, so far with pretty good success.
1. place seed starting mix in cells and wet until it can't hold any more.
2. Place seeds in cells and cover lightly with soil.  I like the idea that was posted of covering with medium vermiculte, I will try that next time.
3. Place on heat mat with thermostat in one of the cells.  Check seed packages or web for ideal seed sprounting temperatures.  If you have more than one type of seed, try to separate them into groups by the ideal temperatures and use different heat maps, or set to the lower temperature and accept that some will take longer.
4.  Cover the trays using a clear dome or you can even use plastic wrap.  You want something relatively clear so that some light can pass through.  At this point, you don't need any additional water, so no felt mat.  The cover will hold in the moisture so that they can sprout.
5.  As soon as the seeds start to sprout, remove the cover from the tray or move the cell to another tray that is uncovered.  At this point you can start to use the felt mat for watering, but you want air circulation around the seed to avoid the damping off fungus.  the course recommends a small fan on low setting to ensure the air circulation
6.  From this point forward you transition to using lights to help the seedlings grow until ready for transplanting.

This is a brief summary, but hopefully you find something helpful in here.
tjconnelly
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Issues with starting seed indoors... Empty Re: Issues with starting seed indoors...

Post  Hawgwild 2/23/2022, 9:34 pm

Thanks tjconnelly...didn't get to them today but will be transplanting most of the plants that are up and ready for transplant to larger peat pots tomorrow...Got to try some of those cow pots I read about on here also...


Do plan on removing the wicking mat and and placing tray directly on the lower tray which is just over the heat mat.  Then replant some of the seeds that didn't come up and try the vermiculite trick on those.


One thing I hadn't done is use the plastic dome..the little wooden marking sticks/tags I use are just too tall to place the dome over the plants properly. Will remedy that with either making them shorter or use the plastic wrap. Also need to place a fan somewhat near for more air circulation on the plants.


Really appreciate the info and advice and thanks,
Scottie
Hawgwild
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Issues with starting seed indoors... Empty Re: Issues with starting seed indoors...

Post  OhioGardener 2/24/2022, 7:47 am

Hawgwild wrote:One thing I hadn't done is use the plastic dome..the little wooden marking sticks/tags I use are just too tall to place the dome over the plants properly. Will remedy that with either making them shorter or use the plastic wrap. Also need to place a fan somewhat near for more air circulation on the plants.

These are the clear plastic domes I use. The provide plenty of room for the tags.

https://www.bootstrapfarmer.com/collections/1020-trays-and-flats/products/humidity-dome

Issues with starting seed indoors... Imag4511

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Issues with starting seed indoors... Empty Re: Issues with starting seed indoors...

Post  Hawgwild 2/24/2022, 3:28 pm

OhioGardener wrote:These are the clear plastic domes I use. The provide plenty of room for the tags.

https://www.bootstrapfarmer.com/collections/1020-trays-and-flats/products/humidity-dome


Thanks OhioGardener... I did cut my marking tags cut down and was able to position my clear dome over the tray...Will get some of those larger ones ordered as the one that came with my seed starting kit are pretty flimsy.  Also took out that wicking mat and places trays down on the holding tray with the heat pad under that.

After transplanting my seedlings to peat pots I didn't have as many veggies to replant after all. My tomatillos are just trying to be stubborn. Also potted some Zinnia seeds for my Lady, Giant Double Scarlet Flame..very nice. Used medium vermiculite to cover all.

Very nice seed starting setup you have also..
Scottie
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Location : Northwest Louisiana

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