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1st time starting seeds indoors Toplef101st time starting seeds 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.

1st time starting seeds indoors I22gcj101st time starting seeds indoors 14dhcg10

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1st time starting seeds indoors

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Post  Daynannan 3/11/2010, 10:04 am

Here's my plan...

I have a 6 packs in a little plastic green house and I filled them with Mel's Mix. I'm going to soak my broccoli seeds for a while then plant 2 or 3 in each thingy.

Here's where I need help. Will my little green house keep my seeds warm enough? We only keep the house about 65°F and what I'm reading is that it needs 75° to 80° to germinate. I wanted to keep the green house out on my enclosed (not heated) sun porch out of the prying fingers of my children. What to do?
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Post  rob.emenaker 3/11/2010, 10:24 am

The sheer humidity alone created by having the lid on will raise the soil temperatures enough for them to germinate. However, if you really want strong roots along with germination, you might look into getting a seed heating mat. Amazon sells a single flat heater for like $20 or so. I have one and it's amazing! just remember to take it off the mat once the seeds germinate and break through the soil. Also take the lid off the seeds once they germinate.
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Post  boffer 3/11/2010, 11:38 am

Rob is spot on. Being the cheap frugal gardener that I am, I experimented with other heating methods I had available. I soon abandoned those methods for safety reasons. The heating mats are well worth the money.
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Post  plb 3/11/2010, 11:59 am

My broccoli (couple of different varieties) germinated in three to four days in my kitchen, with no propagator or heating mat - just covered in plastic. I keep the same temperature in my house as you do. Also, once they grow they don't really need heat - they just need a lot of light.
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Post  Daynannan 3/11/2010, 1:11 pm

Thanks for the tips.

There is not a place in my house where I can sit the plants that has good light, is heated & will not be destroyed by the kiddos. My kitchen is north facing.

I'm thinking about running up to Walmart and getting this heating pad. It says something wet or dry therapy so i'm assuming it can handle a bit of moisture (in case I spill while watering). That way I can put it out on my sun porch. I looked up the flat heater on Amazon and it $55.00. Plus I want it right away so I can get started.

Ekk, I'm so excited! (yes, I'm a dork)
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Post  rob.emenaker 3/11/2010, 1:13 pm

LOL! You are not a dork, you are just crazy about growing stuff. Okay...maybe we are all a little dorky Smile
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Post  plb 3/11/2010, 1:29 pm

You definitely don't need light to get the seeds to germinate; they will definitely germinate in the dark. You could put them in a cupboard if you wanted (just remember to check them regularly).
The light comes in play when they have already germinated. If you don't have any place with plenty of light once they have germinated, you're in trouble... The seedlings will get leggy and weak and will fall over as soon as they start having more leaves (I had to throw away my first batch because of this). You'd be better off putting them outside and protecting them (a cold frame or some fleece should help). Broccoli are quite hardy...

I'm a dork as well, since I'm hugely excited about growing veggies!!!!
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Post  Daynannan 3/11/2010, 1:41 pm

plb,

That is a great point. I can put them on top of my fridge until they sprout than move them to my enclosed porch for light. How cold is too cold once they are sprouted? I mean my porch is frost free...but not heated...do I need something extra at that point?
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Post  rob.emenaker 3/11/2010, 1:44 pm

Putting them on the fridge then moving them to your porch is no different than what I do by moving them to a cold frame. As long as it's frost-free you are good. It gets down in the 30's here in Indiana at night and my seedlings are growing great! Exposing them to colder temps and real sun will help harden them off as well. Also, once you move them out there, consider having a fan blow on them lightly. This will prepare them for the conditions outside as well.
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Post  Daynannan 3/11/2010, 2:14 pm

Ok here it is.

1st time starting seeds indoors Flat10

Cozy and warm (and safe from little fingers) on top of my fridge.

I did 12 plants...6 of them I soaked the seeds first but they were pain when they were wet. The stuck to my fingers and I couldn't drop them. So I did the other one w/ dry seeds from the pack. We'll see if it makes a difference. Thanks for all your help.
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Post  rob.emenaker 3/11/2010, 2:17 pm

I tried soaking seeds too and boy was it a pain in the butt! I think this just helps speed the process along more than anything else, but I could be wrong.
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Post  boffer 3/11/2010, 2:28 pm

@plb wrote:You definitely don't need light to get the seeds to germinate

Nice to know...or maybe not: lettuce seeds do need light grow. I read about this recently and was surprised. I was able to confirm it with a small commercial lettuce grower who had just recently joined the forum. Unfortunately, he hasn't shown up on the new forum yet. His nick was "Wild Bill" from eastern Washington state.
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Post  rob.emenaker 3/11/2010, 2:46 pm

You are right. Lettuce is different in that way. That's why the seeds have to be on top of the soil and not sowed into the soil.
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Post  plb 3/11/2010, 4:13 pm

As the others say, as long as the place is frost free you'll be fine. Also, I didn't soak my broccoli and cabbage seeds and they still germinated in 4 days or less.
I think you definitely need to soak seeds that are difficult to germinate (for instance parsley, which even soaked for a whole day still took ages), but broccoli and cabbage seems to be really easygoing in my experience.
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Post  jerzyjen 3/11/2010, 5:11 pm

For soaking seeds that are tiny and a pain (like lettuce) i lay them on a paper towel, spray them down let them sit and keep spraying if needed, and just rip the paper towel with the seeds attached and plant the paper towel. Seems to work well for me. Lettuce is the one thing I've managed to do right!
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