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First year questions (with pic album!)

Posted by fossill 6 (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 2, 13 at 22:30

It's my first year growing anything, so I'm a total newbie. I started by selecting a few seeds for food that my family likes to eat, I ended up with:

Burpee Signature Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) Organic
Burpee Signature Basil (Summerlong)
Burpee Tomato (Red Currant) Heirlooms
Burpee Signature Tomato (Right Bite Hybrid)
Burpee Signature Broccoli (Di Ciccio) Organic
Cook's Garden Stevia

Since I didn't know really what to do, I figured I'd try two different methods. I got one of those premade greenhouse kits with the expanding hockey puck thing in each cell. I also got the cheaper egg carton style packs and bought Miracle Gro Seed Starting MIx (sphagnum peat moss, perlite, and fert).

I set everything up, watered just enough to have it moist. The greenhouse got its lid, the packs got plastic wrap. Everything went on the fridge for about 3 days when I started getting sprouts in the greenhouse. Surprised, I quickly got together a light and put them all under it. I have not had to water the greenhouse at all but I do water the packs when the soil looks dry, about every 2-3 days.

Now about 2 weeks later, I'm surprised by the difference in growth between the two methods.

See my album here.

So I'm wondering, why the disparity?

Also, I know that I have too many seedlings in each cell - what do I do about that now? Do I just pick the biggest one and snip the rest off?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: First year questions (with pic album!)

Exactly the reason I don't really like peat containers. They wick too much moisture away. Your results don't surprise me at all.

Yes, I would clip the smallest off.

RE: First year questions (with pic album!)

Ah I see, so the containers themselves are sucking up the moisture instead of keeping it in the soil and allowing the seedlings to grow. Makes sense.

As far as clipping off, is there an optimal time to do that? When the plant is X" tall or has Y leaves?

RE: First year questions (with pic album!)

I also hate those peat containers. They don't keep moisture. I grow flowers so I'm not an expert with the seeds you have started but with flowers I thin them out (cut/pull the smaller ones) when the seedlings are about an inch tall.

RE: First year questions (with pic album!)

I am no expert and don't know if there is an exact time to snip back or not. For me it depended on how many seedlings I had in a cell. With no rhyme or reason I often cut back to two in each cell before potting up. After potting up I waited to see which was more vigorous then snipped the other off. Lately I have been either planting in flats or only planting one seed per cell so haven't had to snip back.

Happy spring planting!!

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