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we have germination...now what?

Posted by coeng NE NJ (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 29, 13 at 17:00

Some of my cukes and my basil germinated way before I expected them to. About 4 days from planting.

Good thing my son noticed, I wasn't about to check until after Easter.

In any case, WHAT DO I DO NOW???? LOL

Since my veggie varieties are mixed in my flat (cukes, tomato, squash, herbs), I decided to remove only those seedlings that germinated and put them under my growing lights. See pics below.

I didn't know what else I had to do. Water them? My garage is about 56 degrees. Do I need a way to keep them warmer? I only have one warming mat and it is keeping the rest of my seeds warm. Should I setup my growing light in my basement instead if my garage is too cold?

Please any info would be appreciated. I woudn't want my first success turn into a failure right away.

The only thing that is killing me is that we are leaving on a trip Monday for four days.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: we have germination...now what?

Get the lid off those seeds. They're gonna cook. Then get some air flow going to prevent fungus. Seedlings will be fine. Water them well before you go away. Put lights closer to plants. Start cukes later next year, 2 weekks before last frost or direct sow in the garden when temps warm up. Take notes for learming.


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RE: we have germination...now what?

Get the lid off those seeds. They're gonna cook. Then get some air flow going to prevent fungus. Seedlings will be fine. Water them well before you go away. Put lights closer to plants. Start cukes later next year, 2 weekks before last frost or direct sow in the garden when temps warm up. Take notes for learming.


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RE: we have germination...now what?

What? I thought I was supposed to keep the lid on the flat until germination? I have a thermostat keeping the warming mat from going above 80F. I thought that once you see seedlings THEN you remove the cover, or in my case remove seeds that have already germinated and leave the rest covered.


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RE: we have germination...now what?

But you're going away. There's too much condensed water in the lid. Let some air in. Seeds could germinate while you, re away.


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RE: we have germination...now what?

But you're going away. There's too much condensed water in the lid. Let some air in. Seeds could germinate while you, re away.


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RE: we have germination...now what?

But you're going away. There's too much condensed water in the lid. Let some air in. Seeds could germinate while you, re away.


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RE: we have germination...now what?

but won't the moisture in my soil dry up? I thought the the purpose of the lid was to keep warm and moist air trapped inside.


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RE: we have germination...now what?

You're missing my point. You are going away for 4 days. If the plants sprout, all that moisture may cause damping off disease if there is no air flow. I cover my seed paks with loosely applied saran wrap which lets in air while keeping moisture in. The sprouted plants actually raise the plastic when they sprout and I can remove it from each pak at that time.

Those tight fitting dome lids are for beginners who soon learn that they are not so great. If you are there everyday to check on them, then they might work, but if you are going to leave them unchecked, then the newly sprouted plants can suffer.

I also recommend that for next year, you start each type of seed in its own cell pak/container and thin to one plant per cell. The plants need room.

For now, separate the many seedlings you have in the cell paks to one plant per cell. You can do this by removing the extras and throwing them away or carefully replanting them, one to a cell. Put the lights closer to the seedlings or they will grow too leggy.

It's really not that hard once you have some experience and get to know what works. In the meantime, read up on the basics of seed starting so you can avoid some pain in the neck mistakes. The rewards are so great, so start taking notes for next year. And have fun with it. It's all a learning experience.

Sorry that my tablet posted so many repeats of my responses. I don't know why it does that. My PC is easier to work with! lol


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RE: we have germination...now what?

Susan's point is you won't be monitoring the tray several times a day as is required. You will be gone. You won't be there to remove the lid a couple of times daily as has been pointed out before and allow air inside.

Growing seedlings when carefully monitored is a very different situation then doing it while going off and leaving them for 4 days which is why starting them when you won't be there to monitor them is a bad idea to begin with.

In your OP you said, "Good thing my son noticed, I wasn't about to check until after Easter." That isn't daily monitoring much less careful monitoring. I don't know how to say it more clearly.

As it is anything that does germinate while you are gone is going to be leggy by the time you get back because you have had to move the light off them.

Dave


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RE: we have germination...now what?

Cukes germinate long before tomatoes or peppers . You need to seperate your seeds. Take the lid off while your gone and leave the plants in the garage. For the ones that have sprouted put the light about 2 in away from them. If you have a timer for the lights give them about 12 14 hrs of light a day. For the ones that haven't sprouted get them out of the lights , seeds dont need light to germinate. Leave them in the garage, the cool may slow down germination for the time being but you'll be gone and cant care four them. Good lick. If you have heat under the non sprouted seed I would turn it off while your gone so the soil wont dry out. They will be fine good luck.


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RE: we have germination...now what?

I've opened the vent holes in the top of the cover and the two side holes as well to allow more air in. In another post last week I was told to cover them and close the air holes. Seems like I am getting conflicting advice.

So, for the seeds that have already germinated, and are nicely growing towards my grow light at a nice pace, how do I water them? It seems like the soil is starting to slowly dry up in the cells.

Do I mist give them a couple of squirts with the water bottle? Do I put them in a shallow container, fill 1 inch of water and allow them to absorb the water for an hour.

I have a timer on my growing light for 16 hours on, 8 hours off. My heating mat is set to 80F. If I lose some seedlings while I am away, no biggie, I'll just start over, lesson learned.


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RE: we have germination...now what?

Seems like I am getting conflicting advice.

No it is conflicting situations. Change the situations and the advice on how to deal with it changes.

Do I put them in a shallow container, fill 1 inch of water and allow them to absorb the water for an hour.

yes.

Dave


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RE: we have germination...now what?

Okay, what about thinning? When should I do that?


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RE: we have germination...now what?

Well you been hit hard by the folks here coeng. It is obviously not advisable to start seeds before you have to leave for 4 days so....
As you stated you will lose a few.. big deal.

I would remove them all from the heat pad the day you leave and have them all under the light . If they germinate they will have light. Reducing the temp might, might, slow some germination down. Water well...I would almost consider using vermiculite.

Remember this isn't going to ruin a year if you lose all, it will only delay your outcome.


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RE: we have germination...now what?

SCG, yes it appears I have been hit hard. I've learned quite a lot in the past week and hopefully I can move forward from here and cut my losses (if any).

I originally thought all you had to do was cover the seed cells, place them on the heating mat, turn the light on, and wait a couple of weeks. Most of these misconceptions came from various sources including my local gardening center (where I purchased my growing light, heating mat, flat, cells, seeds, label sticks, thermostat, etc).

I really wish there was a simple and complete A to Z guide for someone who wants to really get into growing from seed without having to make crucial mistakes that discourage future attempts.

In any case I will uncover my ungerminated seeds and turn off the heating mat before I leave for my trip on Monday. This includes all of my tomatoes, squash, and parsleys. Only problem is that the soil in those cells will probably dry up. Should I add an inch of water to the bottom of the tray and just leave it in there? With lid completely off of course.

As far as my seedlings go, I have a timer that will give them the light they require in my absence. I just don't know what to do about the water they might need.

And then there's the concern I have about thinning. Do I do them out now before I leave for my trip?


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RE: we have germination...now what?

" a simple and complete A to Z guide"

Don't we all. Plus I would have liked one for raising children. :)

As the saying goes, there's more than one way to skin a cat, and there are many, many ways to garden, as our groaning book shelves attest.

As far as seed starting, I'm sure we all do variations on a theme. Your starting set up is nice. It's the super charged, tubo version...did you see my replies in the current Blue Marsh Iris thread ? They just germinated three years in. I'm an older classic I guess. :) Most are somewhere in the middle.

With the bright light and hot temp, that style is the most hands on/ high maintenance, and very exciting. But you can downshift, how to do that is not an exact science

. I would probably do it a bit differently. I would turn the heat down to maybe 60 or 65 degrees, and prop the lid up just enough that it had a better chance of staying damp, but not air tight and asking for some type of fungus to set in. I've used clothes pins to hold those domes up before, but there are many ways to do that. I would also find a small , non-heating lamp in the house ( something from a study desk or craft room ? ) and put that over the non-germinated seeds. That way what does come up has enough light to get started in life. This is just a few days, so they have plenty of time to have their light requirements updated when you return. (plants need a little more air circulation and seeds only need it a bit moister)

I have a link for you. Go down a bit and click on -Seed Germination versus soil Temperature -. That might help you start to see why, within reason, many ways to do the same thing work just fine.

As far as thinning... since none of these starts are rare, collectable plants, I personally would use a pair of small, pointed embroidery scissors/ finger nail scissors and cut off all the starts except the best one in each pot. There's no danger of disturbing the first tiny roots that way and fewer plants to be leaving alone in their first critical days while your gone. Others will tell you their style of dealing with extra seedlings.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://tomclothier.hort.net/

This post was edited by plaidbird on Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 23:48


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RE: we have germination...now what?

The way I started was by reading a book called Seed Starting. Books have all the info. Then I found a list of seed starting needs of all plants, annuals, perennials, that gives adates before last frost, light, depth, temperature requirements, etc. for each seed.

Start reading and taking notes.


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RE: we have germination...now what?

The way I started was by reading a book called Seed Starting. Books have all the info. Then I found a list of seed starting needs of all plants, annuals, perennials, that gives adates before last frost, light, depth, temperature requirements, etc. for each seed.

Start reading and taking notes.


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RE: we have germination...now what?

" a simple and complete A to Z guide"

Believe it or not that is just what we tried to do with the FAQs here. A great deal of time and effort went into writing them. Are they perfect? Of course not. Just as with raising children, a perfect guide would be impossible. But they do cover all the basic questions that come up her.

Yet some just don't want to use them much less use the forum search button to review all the info here about how to use heat mats, the problems created by domes, why using the kits over-complicates the process, what lights are needed and why, how and when to thin, how and when to transplant, how and when to fertilize, the effects of air temps on seedlings, etc. etc.etc.

Instead they prefer to have us take the time to rehash all that info just for them, and some points have to stated multiple times for some reason.

And that is fine IF they first at least make the effort to review all the info that is already available and make sure that their question has not already been answered in detail.

No one has been "hit hard" but yes, sometimes impatience bleeds through in posts. Sure it takes time to do research, but it also takes time to rehash something over and over. And time has the same value to all of us.

Dave


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