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Seed Starting

This is a discussion on Seed Starting within the Gardening forums, part of the Survival Food Procurement category; Just checking in to see who all is starting, or able to start, seedlings by now. I have started a few things inside, tomatoes, peppers, ...

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Thread: Seed Starting

  1. #1
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    Seed Starting

    Just checking in to see who all is starting, or able to start, seedlings by now. I have started a few things inside, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, onions and some herbs. I have done a ton of research on companion planting over the winter. I already have some tomato and herb seedlings poking up. Cant wait for the next couple weeks to go by so I can get my pea and spinach seeds in the ground outside.

    We will probably have a few cold snaps yet before spring really hits. Just wondering what everyone does for early seeds like pea's and spinach that you start outside to protect from cold snaps. Or do you need to do anything? I know they are cold hardy but wasn't sure if I need to have plastic or a small hoop house handy if temps dip below freezing at night.
    Slippy likes this.
    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin

  2. #2
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    Too early to start anything here in PA. In a few weeks I will be starting sweet pepper seeds.
    Mad Trapper and Mish like this.

  3. #3
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    Too early for me, too. I can't set anything out until mid-May.

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  5. #4
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    OP , what zone are you in? I'm in zone 5.

    Was -5 oF this week here.

    Nothing can go in the ground until about may 1st. Could be different if you had a high tunnel or cold frame.

    I'll start tomatoes, peppers ,and cold hardy like broccoli/brussel sprouts I can put in early soon. Herbs, spices too. Under lights inside. Later (late april) I'll start a few summer squash, for early crop.

    If I get too many started early I run out of lights and the plants get leggy or overcrowded.

    Concerning outside some plants will take a frost but not a freeze. If you put out real early have the means to cover/protect them. For just a few plants that could be a 1-gal milk jugs with the bottoms cut out.

    Soil temperature is also important. Some seeds will germinate when it's cold, some not so well. If you can work the soil you can plant hardy stuff outside and be safe a week or two, while the sprouts are not up yet.

    Potatoes are frost sensitive, but you can plant the tubers a week or two before last frost as it will take that long for the sprouts to emerge

  6. #5
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    I used to get crazy and start seeds way too early. Then it becomes a pain to keep the young plants warm and under lights. Then I would usually put a couple of tomato plants out early and baby them covering them up every night to protect them from the cold. Besides being a huge pain in the butt, those tomatoes really didn’t produce much earlier than plants going into the ground on a normal schedule. So now I start and plant on a reasonable schedule that requires less work. There are many charts and aids that will give you optimum seed starting dates based on your average last frost date.

    On an interesting side note. My dad was an avid gardener. He planted on Memorial day weekends due to frosts dates. Now here in PA our average last frost date in mid May. A change of 2 weeks earlier. The climate does seem to be getting milder.
    Mad Trapper likes this.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Trapper View Post
    OP , what zone are you in? I'm in zone 5.

    Was -5 oF this week here.

    Nothing can go in the ground until about may 1st. Could be different if you had a high tunnel or cold frame.

    I'll start tomatoes, peppers ,and cold hardy like broccoli/brussel sprouts I can put in early soon. Herbs, spices too. Under lights inside. Later (late april) I'll start a few summer squash, for early crop.

    If I get too many started early I run out of lights and the plants get leggy or overcrowded.

    Concerning outside some plants will take a frost but not a freeze. If you put out real early have the means to cover/protect them. For just a few plants that could be a 1-gal milk jugs with the bottoms cut out.

    Soil temperature is also important. Some seeds will germinate when it's cold, some not so well. If you can work the soil you can plant hardy stuff outside and be safe a week or two, while the sprouts are not up yet.

    Potatoes are frost sensitive, but you can plant the tubers a week or two before last frost as it will take that long for the sprouts to emerge
    I am in zone 7B so I am right in line with when I am supposed to start seeds indoors as far as I can tell.

    I have heard that if you don't want your plants to get "leggy" when you are starting them indoors to run a low fan nearby. The slight breeze from the fan will make your plants grow more sturdy.

    I had planned to try doing potatoes this year in sacks. Should be interesting. Most of my stuff is going in either raised beds or pots eventually. With exception of my plants that need to be in hills, like cucumbers and the different varieties of squashes.

    The only thing I have going out real early is the peas and the spinach. The peas I will plant outside at the end of the month and the spinach about a week after that.
    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Lilly View Post
    I have heard that if you don't want your plants to get "leggy" when you are starting them indoors to run a low fan nearby. The slight breeze from the fan will make your plants grow more sturdy.
    You're using supplemental light, too, right?

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulag1955 View Post
    You're using supplemental light, too, right?
    Yes- I bought a couple lights off of Amazon that have a timer built in so they turn themselves on and off in 12 hour intervals.
    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin

  10. #9
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    Just an FYI. I have heard that about fans too. I have never used one. I use lots and lots of light. I use LED grow lights (keeps the heat down) and make sure they are only a couple inches above the plants.
    Green Lilly likes this.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chiefster23 View Post
    Just an FYI. I have heard that about fans too. I have never used one. I use lots and lots of light. I use LED grow lights (keeps the heat down) and make sure they are only a couple inches above the plants.
    I've never used fans either, but I try to make sure to run my hand across the tops of the plants a few times a day.

 

 
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