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Seed starting in heated mini greenhouse

Posted by tn_veggie_gardner 6 (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 16, 10 at 21:55

Ok, so I bought a Germination Station, one of those small seed germination greenhouses that comes with a heat mat you put underneath it to keep the potting mix warm. It seems to be working great, as all 3 rows of my tomatoes (Sungold Select II, Amish Paste & Black Cherry) have sprouted. The thing that worries me is that they're starting to get a bit leggy already! I can't easily transplant them to plastic cups, as they're just in the little holes the greenhouse has in seed starting mix. So, to transplant them, i'd have to pull them completely out of the mix, roots & all, and then pot up to plastic cup or whatever. Is this what I need to do, or maybe just leave them be & they won't get too leggy? I'm a slight bit confused, as i've never used one of these heated greenhouse seed starters before. If they were in peat pellets, i'd easily be able to pot them up, but that's not the case. Do I just need to take the dome off maybe, even though the other 5 rows (peppers) haven't even popped through the soil yet? Any help greatly appreciated.

Thanks - Steve


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Seed starting in heated mini greenhouse

Even though I'm a seed starting noob myself, I have to ask: How far away from the lights are the tomatoes?

I had started peppers, eggplant and tomatoes in the same cell tray. Of course the tomatoes came up first...then about 4-5 days later the peppers, and much later the eggplant.

I popped the top off the done when the tomatoes came up as I didn't want any damping off issues.


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RE: Seed starting in heated mini greenhouse

I would remove the maters (root soil and all) right now and plant them into plastic cups (with holes in the bottom for drainage). they will get pretty large becuase you planted them so early, so you will need to transplant them probably twice in their 'indoor life'. Plant them up to the first true set of leaves (so bury some of the leggy stem and seed leaves) and get them under a light. The light should remain 2-3 inches away from the top leaves.

I woould then put the dome back on the pepper plants until the germinate. Peppers love warmth so I would try to keep them wamer then the maters.

I hope that helps!

Keriann~


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RE: Seed starting in heated mini greenhouse

You should definitely get the tomatoes out of the dome and get them into some well circulated air. Also, once they germinate they shouldn't be on the heat mat anymore, its not an ideal situation for them. Are you using grow lights? If you are, do what Keriann said and keep the light close to the leaves.


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RE: Seed starting in heated mini greenhouse

Ok, thanks for the info & help, y'all! =) Like I said, i've never used one of these types of heated mini greenhouses before. I will give them another day or two to grow a little bit more, so the transplant won't kill most of them. Then, i'll trasplant them to my next stage (16 oz plastic cups) & get the near the light. I'm still gonna be worried about transplanting such young seedlings. Even gently getting them out of the seed starting mix, roots & all, they will still not be too happy to be thrown into a new home with a new potting mix. I'll just have to be extra careful, I guess. FYI, I am not using grow lights. My light source is the most powerful one on the planet (even though it's not literally on the planet...lol)...the sun. I have 2 south facing windowsills that my other tomato plants are currently doing quite well, growing on. See link below for what i'm talking about. I've set up an extra shelf of sorts behind the windowsills, but a little bit above them, height wise to put more plants on, so these will go there. Ideally, next year, i'd like to purchase an indoor lighting seedling system, but with two young kids running around, I may have to wait a few years before I can do so...lol. As it is, I have enough trouble trying to keep them out of this room!

- Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Steve's Garden


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RE: Seed starting in heated mini greenhouse

Sun = leggy

As long as your maters have a set of true leaves they will be fine for transplant, you might want to use a skewer to help lift the roots instead of just uplling on the leaves (dont pull by the stem, a leaf will repair, a stem will not). Also make sure the soil is really wet and they should slide right out. I would keep them out of direct sun for 48 hours after transplant so they can 'rest'.

Keriann~


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RE: Seed starting in heated mini greenhouse

Steve, 2 things. First, I bought a *very* inexpensive light fixture at Walmart. The short one (holds 2 flourescent bulbs which comes with it) was $14. The long light was $11 plus $6 for two regular bulbs. I did quite a bit of research on the lighting requirements, and for most plants regular bulbs (or one warm one cool) will be plenty to help seedlings get off to a good start.

Second, I am very heavy handed and I think the smaller seedlings transplant easier than the bigger ones. I found out the bottom of the cell trays have a hole in which a pen fits nicely, popping out the whole chunk of seed starting medium in one piece (as long as it's wet). Too bad I didn't figure this out until halfway through my transplanting :)


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RE: Seed starting in heated mini greenhouse

Ok, well, it's done. =) I now have 4 Amish paste, 5 Sungold Select II & 6 Black Cherry seedlings in my normal 16 oz plastic cups. Yay! They were soooo frickin delicate though...lol. Only 1 tragedy, maybe, as I broke a good root piece off of one, but I still potted it to see what happens. I did look under the tray for those holes, but it is filled almost fully, so it looked hard to do. Anyways, we'll see how it worked very soon. If not well, then i'll need a close light setup or something.

- Steve


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