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Seed starting 2013

February 2 2013 at 6:04 AM
Ward Dasey  (Login WardDa)
Hummingbird Member 2005

We've been doing a seed starting log for the past few years. I find it valuable as a reminder of the progress make during the propagation season. It helps to avoid mistakes like planting zinnias and coccinea too early and to properly time grow-outs. Too often we've seen new excited gardeners start plants too early and find themselves wondering what to do with their overgrown seedlings in March.

Generally the easiest way to handle a seed starting log here is to use the edit button and update one page as the season progresses. Later, lets say next winter, it is much easier to reference all the information from one place, one page. The important dates I use are: date of sowing, germination, first true leaves, date of transplant, finisted date.

It also is worth mentioning on the page what the seed starting conditions are. Are plants being grown under lights, is there bottom heat and so forth.

Not as many of us are participating in these logs, cuttings and seed start, as there were a few years ago. Oh well, even if few others don't see the value of it I do.


    
This message has been edited by WardDa on Feb 2, 2013 6:05 AM


 
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Ward Dasey
(Login WardDa)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 2 2013, 6:29 AM 

This year I am trying something a little different. For the past 30 years I have sow all my seeds under lights with bottom heat in the basement - a rather cool place. This winter I brought up a set of shoplights and hung them from kitchen cabinets over a spare counter. A friend sent me a few seeds of rare types of guaranitica and I want them to have ideal conditions to sprout since there is no room for error. Sitting on the counter are two standard cell pack trays and on one side a heat mat is sandwiched between two trays. It is very warm and cozy.

Generally I only start a few plant types this early. Usually the types are Agastache, Salvia microphylla and similar plants that take a long time to reach planting stage. This year it is mostly the guaranitica. These plants need to be out of the way, down under lights in the basement, when the main seed starting time begins in March. Filling every indoor growing space and having the plants tumble out the door at exactly planting time is always a challenge.

Salvia guaranitica Santa Maria - sown Jan 27, failed
Salvia guaranitica Catamarca - sown Jan 27, failed
Salvia rhindsina - sown Jan 27, failed
Salvia azura (10 year old seed) - sown Jan 27,failed

I am not sure whether there was any viable seed in the above mix.

Pepper Jalapeno - year old seed sown 3/2, germination 3/9 - seperated into cells 3/29 - 16 plants
Pepper Aji Cristal - sown 3/16
Pepper Ancho - sown 3/16
Tomato Dester - sown 3/16, seperated into cells 3/29
Tomato OTV - sown 3/16, seperated into cells 3/29
Tomato Federle - sown 3/16, seperated into cells 3/29
Tomato Italian Heirloom - sown 3/16, seperated into cell 3/29
Agastache foeniculum - sown 3/16, just setting first true leaves 3/29, 108 into cells 4/7
Salvia subrotunda Alba - sown 3/29, germination 4/7
Salvia Yvonne's - sown 3/29, germination 4/5
Gailardia - sown 3/39, germination 4/4
Calendula - sown 3/29, germination 4/5


    
This message has been edited by WardDa on Apr 7, 2013 6:31 AM


 
 

Penny
(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 2 2013, 10:21 AM 

Well I haven't even thought about starting seeds yet which is ok since most of what I have will be easy to start salvias. It is hard to think about seed starting just yet as I look out the window at the 6+ inches of fresh snow and it is still coming down YUK!

For those newbies that aren't quite sure how to keep a running tab, this is how I do mine:

Jan. 1:
Salvia coccinea Lady in red - germinated 4 days
(then I come back to my same post and edit it to add to this same post every time I sow more seeds)

January 15:
Salvia coccinea Coral Nymph- under lights -germinated 7 days
Cuphea schumannii - in south window -germinated 2 weeks
salvia Black and Blue - in filtered light germinated 2 weeks

Feb. 15
Agastache rupestris - in south window
Lobelia cardinalis - in filtered light
Lobelia syphylitica - in filtered light
Silene virginia - in filtered light

This is just an example. By going back into your own original post it keeps the number of posts down in the original thread and easier for individuals to see their own seed progress without having to scan several posts.

Penny
NY
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
North_Tonawanda.gif

 
 
Indy Steve
(Login Stevenindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 2 2013, 10:30 AM 

As a rule I dont start any seed before March 1 but there is an exception this year. I have standing cypress from last season the orange variety but I wanted the red so a generous member supplied me with seed in hopes of these being red.

Ipomopsis Rubra--- Started Jan 23rd-- seed sprouted quickly within a couple of days
details------------under shoplights no bottom heat, 2" from light



    
This message has been edited by Stevenindy on Feb 2, 2013 10:33 AM


 
 

Carobuzz
(Login Carobuzz)
Hummingbirder 2010

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 2 2013, 4:17 PM 

Thanks for getting the ball rolling, Ward! I was just thinking about seed starting. I certainly appreciated yours (and everyone's) advice last year when I started and learned a lot!!! I had hoped to do some cuttings this past fall, but all of them had perished (essentially I started them too late). I don't have an ambitious array of seeds planned for this year like last, but I will be doing some salvias (and much later zinnias!), and will try again with hibiscus.

One of the techniques that worked really well for me was the baggy method! I have to go back and review my personal logs and saved links now. Another thing that worked really well for me was the use of the Jiffy pellets. I marked the outside of them with sharpies and kept them growing in a nice plant tray. Those were cool because I had bought a bunch of the "window" seed starting kits. You could fill up each tray with a particular kind of seed and move them or adjust the humidity when they achieved their true leaves.

It was great to have plants in my garden and patio that I started from seed! What a feeling of accomplishment it gives you! Especially to see the plant grow big and healthy and have hummers feeding from it!



Caro
SE PA, Zone 6b
Sinking_Spring.gif

 
 

kerry
(Login alkerry1)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 4 2013, 6:58 AM 

I started some salvia. Coral nympth, upright peru, chiffon, jeweled pink and lavender.
I tried cuphea but have had no luck so far. Seeds from two different sources. Nothing as germinated.....Have no idea what I am doing wrong.

 
 

Penny
(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 4 2013, 10:06 AM 

Kerry,
Sometimes Cupheas can take a while. For me germination can be inconsistant so don't give up just yet.

Penny
NY
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
North_Tonawanda.gif

 
 

Carobuzz
(Login Carobuzz)
Hummingbirder 2010

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 4 2013, 11:03 PM 

Kerry - do your seeds have a heat source whether it be from a seed starting mat, a light source or the top of your fridge (though I caution you to remove from the top of the fridge as soon as the seeds sprout!)?

Last year after much trial and error, I had great success with the "baggie method". While I haven't started my seeds for this year yet, that is what I plan to do this time. It was just so fast and easy...http://www.bbbseed.com/_blog/The_Dirt/post/Super_Easy_Seed_Strting_The_Baggie_Method/

Caro
SE PA, Zone 6b
Sinking_Spring.gif

 
 
Ward
(Login WardDa)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 5 2013, 9:46 AM 

Unless you are in the deep deep south I would hold off planting Salvia coccinea Coral Nymph for another couple of months. They grow very fast.

 
 
Dan
(Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 5 2013, 10:40 AM 

This year I'm not sowing any seeds until April 1st. Last year the coccineas and subrotunda grew so fast under my shoplight they were ready for planting too early. The subrotundas, especially, became rootbound in the yogurt cups and began deteriorating.

Dan
Zone 5
East-central Iowa

Find more about Weather in Cedar Rapids, IA
Click for weather forecast


    
This message has been edited by hawkeye_wx on Feb 5, 2013 1:22 PM


 
 
greenmangardens
(Login greenmangardens)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 5 2013, 12:55 PM 

I saved seeds of S. coccinea 'Forest Fire' last year to replant. I'd rather have 'Lady in Red' honestly, lol, but couldn't find that one last year. How long do you think I should allow for growing out? I don't usually plant things out till early May, usually after Mother's Day weekend. Should I give them two months? Just wondering on the timing of these. I don't usually do seeds, so this is kind of experimental for me to see if it will work.

on the baggie method of seed sprouting, do you plant them with just the root radical showing or wait till they throw out the first cotyleton 'leaves'? Never done that before either, lol.

Brett Johnson
near Seattle
Washington 98040
USDA zone 8b


 
 
Ward
(Login WardDa)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 5 2013, 1:11 PM 

I think 45 days before planting would be plenty of time. Once they are transplanted to cells they can be hardened off in late April outside in an area protected from the wind. I transplant into cells after the plants have a couple of sets of true leaves. Haven't tried the baggie method myself. All I do is surface sow the seed in an old 4 inch pot and put the pot under close light with bottom heat. You probably won't need bottom heat for this salvia species as long as the house is kept in the 60s, it is one of the least tricky of the salvias to grow from seed.

 
 
Indy Steve
(Login Stevenindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 5 2013, 1:38 PM 

This may be of interest to some and I have been using this for years for my seedlings. Its called
"Byrons famous tea recipe". I will leave a link and you can read the entire thing. I have never lost a seedling due to dampoff which will usually happen very early in a seedlings life. When seedlings have sprouted I make enough for a quart mister and just keep them moist in this manner. Later on when you move the seedlings into pots etc. you can make larger batches of this and water from underneath.

It is quite simple. I use chamomile tea bags. Boil some water , pour over a tea bag heaped in a coffee cup only 4minutes, then dump it and pour hot water over the same tea bag for 4 more minutes. add this cup to your quart mister with regular tap water. Now youre ready.

http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/pepper/2002074906031735.html

Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 

kerry
(Login alkerry1)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 7 2013, 7:46 AM 

Hi! everyone.
They are under a light in the basement at the moment. It is warm down there, as we have a wood burning furnace. It stays around 72F most of the day and will go down to 66F at night.
They have to stay down their until it warms up a bit. I have two 5 foot garden windows which they will go into soon. I only started a few seeds of each, just to see if they would grow.
The cuphea, one batch I didn't do the baggy method the other I did a warm water method, which some one told me about. You keep spraying them with warm water. Don't think it is going to work. I heard it can take up to 30 days to germinate. The first batch which looked like some of the seeds where not whole, I started on Jan 7. The second on Jan 20. Both these where bough of ebay. Never done it before. I have another batch I am going to try the baggy method happy.gif


Have to ask.....The count down clock is that for the start of the migration map?


    
This message has been edited by alkerry1 on Feb 7, 2013 8:09 AM


 
 
Ward
(Login WardDa)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 7 2013, 8:50 AM 

I wouldn't let the Cuphea seed get you down too much. We've had some discussions here that indicated Cuphea seed needed to be fairly fresh if it was to germinate. A 70 degree basement should germinate most anything.

 
 
Patti S
(Login Patti-S)
Hummingbirder 2010

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 10 2013, 11:09 PM 

I will not be doing as much seed starting as usual. My family just does not care for the plants everywhere. However, later in March when I do start some seed, I will be using a new product this year as my seed starting medium. I will be using a product made from diatomaceous earth, UltraSorb which can be bought at AutoZone. It has been used with great success on another forum that I visit. It retains moisture, yet there is no damping off reported with it. The roots have plenty of air and grow rootballs twice the size as when using seed starting mixes. This method has really got my attention as I always have some damping off even using the tea.

Patti
Pewaukee, WI
Zone 5A

 
 
Indy Steve
(Login Stevenindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 11 2013, 11:41 AM 

I have done the baggy method and it works for difficult to germinate seeds such as sal. guaranitica b and b. But I havent done it for years now as I just surface sow all seed. But seed is not the way to go on sal. guaranitica in my opinion.

The first week of march continues to be a good seed starting time for me and/if when plants get big enough and the weather is decent they just may go out on the porch which is covered as early as mid april if not sooner.

As I mentioned before I have started some seed early for Ipomopsis Rubra which I feel need that head start and they are doing ok so far. Also some experimental rhizomes/stolons from sal. blue ensign are doing nicely now and some have been potted up. When you see the rhizomes sending out roots besides the sprouting you just know you have a good start. It did take a while longer for these to sprout than I remembered before but I wanted to get some of these going in case my uncovered inground plants dont make it. Also I want to see If I have better luck with these starts than the ones that I failed on last season.

Also of note on standing cypress from last season I notice that they seem to have a constant state of green leaves peaking out even though I have some mulch around those inground plants. That is an interesting observation considering all of the below freezing nights we have had. Although I think the lowest temp we have had so far is around 10°.

Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 
Kate
(Login K8_Zone6)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 17 2013, 8:27 PM 

I started the seeds below using Fafard Seed Starter Potting Mix (my favorite), bottom heat and under lights - some on February 14 and the remainder on February 16.

February 14
Salvia westerae - failed to germinate
Salvia pennellii - 1 frail seedling
Salvia greggii 'Tangerine Ballet'- sprouted 2/19 - several healthy plants
Salvia x jamensis 'Moonlight Serenade' - sprouted 2/19
Salvia x Cabrillo - sprouted 2/19 - several healthy plants
Salvia guaranitica 'Santa Maria' 1 frail seedling
Salvia species from Catamarca - sprouted 2/19
Salvia stachydifolia - failed to germinate
Salvia curviflora - failed to germinate
Salvia microphylla 'Free Speech' - failed to germinate
Salvia SL411 - sprouted 2/21
Salvia roemeriana - failed to germinate
Salvia involucrata 'Boutin' - sprouted 2/19
Salvia rhinosinia - sprouted 2/19 - several healthy plants
Gladiolus carneus - failed to germinate
Lepechinia bella - failed to germinate

February 16
Salvia greggii 'Wild Thing' - sprouted 2/22
Salvia microphylla 'Trenance' - failed to germinate
Salvia hybrid 'Palmyra' - sprouted 2/23
Salvia unknown - sprouted 2/22
Salvia subrotunda alba - forgot to record the date - several sturdy plants
Salvia microphylla 'Royal Bumble'- sprouted 2/21
Salvia darcyii - sprouted 2/22
Salvia 'Scarlet Spires' - sprouted 2/22
Salvia atrocyanea - sprouted 2/22
Salvia pauciserrata subsp calocalicina - failed to germinate
Salvia praeclara - failed to germinate
Salvia coccinea 'Tall' - sprouted 2/23
Salvia penstemoides - failed to germinate
salvia gesnerifolia - failed to germinate
Salvia 'Stephanie' - sprouted 2/22
Ruttya fruiticosa - forgot to record the date - several sprouted
Silene regia - failed to germinate

February 27
Monardella macrantha - sprouted 3/13
White cuphea - sprouted 3/13
Tropaoleum Ken Aslet? - failed to germinate

March 23
Thai Red Roselle Hibiscus - sprouted 3/27
Salvia 'St. John's Fire' - sprouted 3/29
Leonotis menthifolia (from Ward) - sprouted 3/30
Salvia Stan's Pink Dreamsicle (from Ward) - sprouted 4/1
Salvia Stan's Pink Dreamsicle (from Pam)
Tall pink coccinea (saved seed) - sprouted 3/28
Tropical milkweed (from Ward's butterfly friend - sprouted 4/2
Whorled milkweed
Stemmadenia littoralis
Canna (from Ron in Delaware)
Canna Cinnabarina

March 30
Tomato 'Sun Sugar'
Tomato 'Black Cherry'
Tomato 'Manyel'
Tomato 'Golden Girl'
Tomato 'Orange German Strawberry'
Tomato 'Hungarian Heart'
Tomato 'New Zealand' (from saved seed)
Sweet pepper (from saved seed)

I only did a few seeds of most types, but if they do well, I may have some to share with our NJ forum friends on Palmyra planting day. Some seeds are older, so may not do so well.

I will probably start a few more next weekend, but since I only have two heat mats, will wait to see if any that I planted this week have sprouted.

Only a little more than two months until the hummingbirds arrive here!

Kate


    
This message has been edited by K8_Zone6 on Apr 2, 2013 8:11 PM


 
 

Carobuzz
(Login Carobuzz)
Hummingbirder 2010

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 19 2013, 6:49 PM 

Okay! Started some of my seeds today! Let the fun begin...

February 19th - By baggie / coffee filter method*:

These I started early to give me plenty of time for trial and error. I have more seeds planned yet, but it's a just a little too soon. I learned my lesson last year with the other not necessarily hummer plants (cough cough... Zinnias).

~ Salvia Coccinea Coral Nymph ... Germinated in 4 Days
~ Salvia Coccinea Lady In Red ... Germinated in 4 Days

Feb 23rd - Both baggies have germinated with about 95 percent yield! Yay! Now I will be transferring the seedlings to Jiffy peat pellets and start the real growing process.

March 7th - By baggie / coffee filter method*:
~ Hardy Hibiscus ...Germinated in 6 Days.
Boy are these a bugger to germinate! I had no activity in the filter until I made it soaking wet and then ALL of the seeds germinated! To think how many seeds I previously tossed last year because I thought they were unviable! ARGH!

April 2nd - By baggie / coffee filter method*:
~ Lupin ...Germinated in 1-2 Days!
~ State Fair Zinnia ...Germinated in 2 Days
~ Pinwheel Zinnia ...Germinated in 3 Days
Yes, Yes, I knowwwww, but I'm planning a gift container in time for Mother's Day.




* Baggie Method Uhttp://www.robsplants.com/seed/baggy.php

Caro
SE PA, Zone 6b
Sinking_Spring.gif


    
This message has been edited by Carobuzz on Apr 5, 2013 10:22 AM


 
 
Indy Steve
(Login Stevenindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Seed starting 2013

February 23 2013, 8:41 PM 

I havent done my main seed starts as yet but as mentioned before I did start some early seed of Ipomopsis rubra about the first of feb, thanks to Kathi. And today it was quite a bit of fun separating all the little seedlings roots that had grown together. I grouped them in pots of from 3-5 per and they still should be ok. I ended up with about 20 4" pots for this now I will see how many survive for me. My ultimate plan is make one large block of these guys so they might hold each other up in the weather.

My thoughts are to put them in the location where my salvia darcyi is now should it not return as I expect which is what always has happened so far with it.

Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 
 
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