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staggered germination time of cell packs

Posted by njitgrad 6A/6B New Jersey (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 21:35

I have two flats containing 14 varieties of tomatoes in a total of 96 cells (sixteen 6-packs) each on a heating mat set to 80F. Around 8 of the 96 cells germinated overnight and quickly sprouted seedlings, some close to an inch in height already.

1) Do I take the dome off or leave it on for another day? As soon as I take it off my soils dries out because my basement has very dry air now and all of my seeds are near my hot water and heating system.

2) Do I turn the heating mats off? Of the 8 that germinated, I believe they were each a single random cell from 6 different varieties.

3) I turned my grow lights on right away even though 88 cells have yet to germinate. Should I have waited until more germinated?

Bottom line is..... what is a good way to manage this situation without cutting out each individual germinated cell and moving it under a grow light with no heating mat, and no dome? I want to avoid splitting up the cell packs because its just so much easier to manage them as a 6-pack.

I just don't know what to do sometimes it drives me nuts.

This post was edited by njitgrad on Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 21:36

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: staggered germination time of cell packs

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 22:31

When you mix varieties in the same cell pack then cutting them apart is the only option. You can't leave the germinated ones on the heat or under the dome as you risk killing them while waiting for some that may never germinate any way.

The beat bet is you don't mix varieties in the same cell pack. Actually the ideal is you never use cell packs for germination anyway. They aren't intended for that use but the manufacturers mislead people into thinking they are to sell them. You germinate in bulk in separate small containers - shallow pots, trays, cups, etc. and then transplant them into the cell packs.

Now if they are all the same variety by the time the first few have germinated the rest will either follow shortly or would never have germinated anyway.


RE: staggered germination time of cell packs

For the tomatoes, I didn't mix varieties within a 6-pack. I have 14 varieties and since sixteen 6-packs will fit in two flats, two varieties have two 6-packs while all the others have one 6-pack.

RE: staggered germination time of cell packs

Then……….as Dave says, as soon as even one seed in a cell pack sprouts, remove it from the heat and get it under lights, the rest will follow. While heat mats may speed it up, many many people germinate tomatoes without them.

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