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Principles of seed sowing

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by PeterS, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. longk

    longk Total Gardener

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    I prefer something like these.....................
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/START-PLA...TARTING-POTS-6cm-x-5cm-diameter-/191127913729

    You can mark the pots with a waterproof marker pen, they're small enough to go in a placcy bag and for a lot of species they're large enough to start more plants than you'll need.....................
    DSC_2064.jpg
    (Nicotiana glauca - Tree Nicotiana)

    Or I cut drainage holes into the bottom of something like this...................
    DSC_2065.jpg

    The reason that I prefer individual pots is that different seeds germinate ate different rates. Here's the first seedling to germinate of Thysanotus multiflous - it only took eighteen months!
    DSC_2063.jpg

    To give you an idea, the Nicotiana glauca seeds took a week to germinate.
     
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    • Sheal

      Sheal Total Gardener

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      Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
    • Kristen

      Kristen Under gardener

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      I think pots are too deep for seedlings - they don't dry out fast enough, so risk of over watering. I like trays (shallow) but usually the surface area is too large - I put multiple seed varieties in a single tray (I use 1/4 sized ones) and they all come up at different speeds so pricking out is a nightmare.

      I've had a lot of success with seeds in tiny plastic bags of vermiculite this season, so think I may do more of that for "regular" seeds next year. Doesn't work for tiny seeds though.

      After that I like to prick out into 1" square modules (or similar) so there is very little "excess" compost per-plant (over-watering control again) and then pot on into 9cm thereafter, and from there plant out (if that is what the plant is for). 9cm rootball fits nicely into a hole left by my bulb planter (I have the jump-on kind, rather than a hand-one) so I jump around making holes where I want plants, water all the holes (so there is water under the plant, and the roots go in search of that), knock the plants out and drop them in the holes, and then a small about of back-fill after that.
       
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      • Scrungee

        Scrungee Well known for it

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        If using those 24x cellular tray inserts you can always snip them into smaller blocks/strips to keep seeds with different germination times separate. They are 3 for £1 at Poundland http://www.poundland.co.uk/24-cell-square-plant-trays-3-packz 50p cheaper than Wilkos and they are more flexible making it easier to remove plants from them.

        When using pots for seeds in heated propagators I will generally use short ones to get the seeds closer to the bottom warmth, rather than the taller ones to the left.

        square pots.jpg
         
      • longk

        longk Total Gardener

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        If I need to water I always water from below, although keeping them in a placcy bag means they barely need water (except when germination takes 18 months!).
         
      • Kristen

        Kristen Under gardener

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        Indeed - its after germination where I find a shallow container means the plants can drink the water reasonably quickly, and thus less chance of over watering. But your mini-pots look quite shallow - certainly "pans" are better than "pots" IYSWIM :)
         
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        • chrisb1357

          chrisb1357 Gardener

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          Hi,

          I did not know it was that hard to pick something to start seeds off. I think I will go with these 24 Cell Square Plant Trays 3 Pack from Wilko or Poundland. Do these have holes in the bottom. I guest I have to buy trays to put them in.

          Would I have to transfer to bigger trays once they have started to grow. depending on what seeds I try to grow

          Chris


           
        • Scrungee

          Scrungee Well known for it

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          Peas, French beans, sunflowers, sweetpeas, etc. and clumps of parsley, salad leaf, coriander, etc. get planted straight out from the cells when large enough. If used for sowing tomatoes, chillies, etc. I would transplant individual seedlings (1 per cell) into 24x cell trays and then into 70mm pots. I don't sow 1 seed per cell of the latter as it would be a huge waste of heated propagator space.

          As an example, these sunflowers (and some other stuff) will go straight from the cell trays into open ground next month (the ones for cutting are grown as clumps of several plants to deliberately stunt the flowers to cutting size, the other giant headed flowers on the right will be thinned to one per cell).

          cell tray sunflowers.jpg


          P.S. Most years Wilkos sell off cell trays at/towards the end of season starting at 50% and sometimes getting to 75% off. Keep an eye on this thread for Wilkos bargains http://gardenerscorner.co.uk/forum/threads/wilkos-half-price-sale.42517/
          That thread is also useful for looking back to see when stuff was reduced in previous years.
           
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          • eliza925994

            eliza925994 Apprentice Gardener

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            Nice Post! it is valuable and knowledgeable post. thank you for sharing
             
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            • JackJJW

              JackJJW Super Gardener

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              Hi Peter,

              How much cheshunt mix do you put into say 1 litre of water for a dilute mix? I'm keen to use this but can't find the solution amount.

              And when would you say the plants were past the danger period? Is it once the first true leaves are fully formed?

              Thank you.
              Jack


              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
               
            • LyndaG

              LyndaG Super Gardener

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              Thank you @PeterS for the above, that is really useful x
               
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              • HarryS

                HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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                • PeterS

                  PeterS Total Gardener

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                  Hi Jack. In the past I have read the instructions and tried to scale them. But nowadays I would just use about a pea sized amount or less in a litre of water. Its just an insurance policy, usually plants will grow OK without it. As the plant itself doesn't take up the copper solution, the strength probably doesn't matter that much. I would err on the weak side, as if you spray on a regular basis, whilst the water will evaporate the copper won't - so the copper concentration builds up over a period of time.

                  Harry - in theory you can't buy Cheshunt compound, but I believe members have seen it still on sale in places. I believe you may still be able to buy similar products under own name labels. It was explained to me that there is nothing wrong with Cheshunt or Bordeaux mixture other than EU rules. I have used the Bayer product, but was very happy to abandon it when I found Cheshunt compound.
                   
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                  • pete

                    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                    Never used the stuff, myself.:)
                     
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                    • Kevin497

                      Kevin497 Apprentice Gardener

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                      Thanks a lot. This would surely be a great for the beginners like me.
                       
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