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newbie I ready to start?

Posted by coeng NE NJ (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 22, 13 at 13:56

Newbie here working on a small scale. My garden is 16'x16' with 7 raised beds. Last year I had 8 trellised tomato plants between four 2x4 beds, 16 trellised cucumber plants in a 2x8 bed, and herbs/lettuces in the remaining beds.

Today I bought a Hydrofarm 2 Foot Jump Start Grow Light (link below), Hydrofarm Seedling Heat Mat (link below), a flat with 72 square seedling partitions, a 2" lid for the flat, and seedling soil.

I have a small garden so I will not be mass producing seedlings. This setup is more than what I need. Space in my garage is also limited which is why I got the equipment I did.

I'm trying to get an overall picture of the whole process from soup to nuts. Couple of questions.

1) What else do I need besides seeds?

2) Can you recommend a good source of seeds that delivers FAST (want to plant ASAP). Not sure if I should get the stuff at Home Depot or local garden centers.

3) What is ideal temperature and humidity under the lid and where can I get an inexpensive thermometer/hygrometer for this application?

4) I was told at the local garden center that I purchased the equipment from that I should start the growing light as soon as I plant the seeds. Is that true?

5) Once the seedlings need to be transplanted, how much space will my setup occupy in my garage? Will I need another light? Or should I start to harden them during the day and bring them in at night? I normally plant May 15 here in Northern NJ.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: newbie I ready to start?

1) nothing

2) that will be difficult as it is late to order seeds so they are all swamped and running behind. Depends on the varieties you want. Local stores will be the fastest source.

3) no thermometer is required for any reason> See the How do I get started FAQ here Heat may is automatic and both dome and heat mat are removed just as soon as several of the seeds break the soil surface.

4) as soon as any break the soil surface, yes. So many just turn the lights on from the beginning.

5) another light? probably which is why the 4' lights are recommended. there are several current discussions here on lights - pics and all - as well as 2 FAQs on lights. How much room will it take? No way to know that. Depends on the number of plants and what you transplant them into.

Hardening off is not normally done with just germinated seedlings. That's an easy way to kill them quickly. Hardening off begins a week to 10 days before transplanting to the garden.

Please do check out all the FAQs here as they do cover all the basic questions and then some. These same questions come up weekly here so there are many advantages to having the FAQs so available.


Here is a link that might be useful: Growing from Seed FAQs

RE: newbie I ready to start?

Did you get all your questions answered?


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