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Andrew Winsor
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Location: Aberdeen, WA
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I just order a bunch of seeds, I have lots of awesome dirt that the moles have dug up I plan to start the seeds in.
Should I just use see through plastic cups (or what) to start the plants in?
 
John Elliott
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There is no one way to plant seeds. I try all different methods, some years some work better than others, other years you get other results.

The important thing in your area is that you are going to have to give some warmth to your heat loving veggies to get them started: peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatillo, watermelon, eggplant, these don't germinate well until the soil temperature is 70F and stays there. That may mean a windowsill indoors or a heating pad to provide bottom heat or a cold-frame with some black plastic, you have to figure out some way to get the seeds to think it's the middle of summer. Needless to say, they will all require starting in small cups of some type and transplanting out when they get to a reasonable size.
 
Angelika Maier
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You need to get a good basic gardening book with all the basic techniques, which are not different permaculture or not, you need sowing tables or look the sowing times up at gardenate.
I would not start seeds in tiny plastic cups or seed trays. Some seeds must be started indoors, others outdoors.
I sow most of the seeds directly into beds, that is the best method for many, lettuce, carrots, rocket beets,cucumbers zucchini squash ...but that as well depends on your climate. Cabbages for example and other slow coasts I start in stryrofoam boxes i get at the greengrocer. They are far better than tiny seed trays because they do not dry out that quickly and there's less temperature fluctuation too. You could start them in a bed and then transplant too.
Tomatoes which I have to start indoors I use little pots, sometimes I make them out of old newspapers (but far bigger than the ones you make with a so called pot maker), this is a pain.
I would not use only mole soil for the mix, at least put half sand into it. The mix must not be high in nutrients.
 
Andrew Winsor
Posts: 58
Location: Aberdeen, WA
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John Elliott wrote:There is no one way to plant seeds. I try all different methods, some years some work better than others, other years you get other results.

The important thing in your area is that you are going to have to give some warmth to your heat loving veggies to get them started: peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatillo, watermelon, eggplant, these don't germinate well until the soil temperature is 70F and stays there. That may mean a windowsill indoors or a heating pad to provide bottom heat or a cold-frame with some black plastic, you have to figure out some way to get the seeds to think it's the middle of summer. Needless to say, they will all require starting in small cups of some type and transplanting out when they get to a reasonable size.


I have a garden shed that gets a good amount of light, is kind of small but does have power. Might be easy enough for me to just heat the whole shed. I think I am most likely best off building a heated Cold-Frame but that sounds like a project for a few months from now. I have space in my house, just cant think of any place that gets allot of light to start seeds at. I have a tall forest to my south.
 
Andrew Winsor
Posts: 58
Location: Aberdeen, WA
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Angelika Maier wrote:You need to get a good basic gardening book with all the basic techniques, which are not different permaculture or not, you need sowing tables or look the sowing times up at gardenate.


Thanks, I will start using Gardenate. Is there any books you can recommend, I know my backyard homesteading book has a good section on starting seeds.


Angelika Maier wrote:I would not start seeds in tiny plastic cups or seed trays. Some seeds must be started indoors, others outdoors.
Tomatoes which I have to start indoors I use little pots, sometimes I make them out of old newspapers (but far bigger than the ones you make with a so called pot maker), this is a pain.
Cabbages for example and other slow coasts I start in stryrofoam boxes i get at the greengrocer. They are far better than tiny seed trays because they do not dry out that quickly and there's less temperature fluctuation too. You could start them in a bed and then transplant too.


Thanks, Can you tell me more about the stryofoam boxes?
--I've been saving cardboard egg cartons (don't have very many).

Angelika Maier wrote:I sow most of the seeds directly into beds, that is the best method for many, lettuce, carrots, rocket beets,cucumbers zucchini squash ...but that as well depends on your climate.


Also, How do i know which seeds must be started indoors/outdoors(seeded directly into the garden bed). Or maybe the answer is understanding that on Gardenate "plant in garden" means sowing seeds directly into the garden. It seems like more then half get seeded directly into the garden.


Angelika Maier wrote:I would not use only mole soil for the mix, at least put half sand into it. The mix must not be high in nutrients.

Is this suggestion true for start all seeds including put directly into the garden?
Where do you get your "starting seed soil"?

Thanks again for all your help

 
Angelika Maier
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Plant in the garden means you sow it directly in the garden. Then you label and put a date on that label (very difficult task one of the most difficult garden tasks). Plant approx. 3 times the diameter of the seed deep. Firm it down, water in.
For the good basic book go in the library and get every garden book you can get hold on. They will contradict each other, doesn't matter.
In Australia we like Jackie French, for example wilderness garden or backyard self sufficiency, but that is Australian and has a laid back, sloppy approach, not really suitable for Americans.
At least in Australia, greengrocers still don't use these reusable plastic boxes, vegetables come either in these white polystyrol boxes or in cardboard boxes. The white boxes are ugly but make the best seed trays. Poke some holes in if there are none.
I use sand (expensive if you must buy it I pay around 60/ton) and cow manure and cocopeat maybe some dirt there are thousands of recipes on the internet after reading a few make up your own. This soil is only for the seed trays. Your garden soil you prepare equally scientific as the potting mix, if you sow directly it needs to be a fine tilth (hoe and then rake a lot). I form the beds evenly with a bit of a rim around it to keep the water in. You can buy a packet of seed raising mix in the garden center to start it might be easier.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Andrew Winsor wrote:
Thanks, Can you tell me more about the stryofoam boxes?
--I've been saving cardboard egg cartons (don't have very many).


The styrofoam boxes are seed planting trays sold at a garden supply place. Egg carton sections are much too small to be useful for planting seeds. Seeds' vulnerable new roots might dry out in less than one day.

Andrew Winsor wrote:
Also, How do i know which seeds must be started indoors/outdoors(seeded directly into the garden bed). Or maybe the answer is understanding that on Gardenate "plant in garden" means sowing seeds directly into the garden. It seems like more then half get seeded directly into the garden.


Basically, plants that need warm soil to germinate, and/or plants that need a longer warm summer to ripen than your climate can provide. Most obviously a lot of the vegetables that are actually the fruit of the plant (ie the seed-bearing thingie), like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, pumpkins, squash, melons, etc, all need a headstart in much of the US. Cabbage, broccoli and onions can benefit from the headstart too and are happy transplanters. Leafy veg like spinach and chard don't need it -- they develop quickly. And some plants hate to be transplanted, so don't, like corn, peas, root vegetables...

Planting advice, eg in a gardening book or on a seed packet, usually has two options. One is to plant seed directly in the ground where the plant will grow, and the other will say to plant seed at a certain time and then plant (the seedlings) out to the garden later.

There's been some debate here recently about starting seeds indoors and transplanting. Some people have reported that their tomatoes do better direct seeded, eg when they transplant out and find they have some empty beds and extra seeds, the direct seeded at the same time and the direct seeded plants caught up to the headstarted plants. Others agree with the conventional view that a headstart is good.

It will be less electricity to heat a pad under the seedling trays than to heat the whole greenhouse.
 
John Elliott
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Rebecca Norman wrote: Egg carton sections are much too small to be useful for planting seeds. Seeds' vulnerable new roots might dry out in less than one day.



This is why a lot of the puny little compressed peat pots don't give good results. What I have had good results with is using 8" and 10" plastic pots to start a whole packet of seeds. There is enough room there for a few dozen plants to germinate, and then when they get 4-6" tall, empty the whole pot and start transplanting. This method works on onions, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, kale, things that don't mind being transplanted. By using one LARGE pot to start the seedlings, it seems to benefit from not drying out or having big temperature swings like a bunch of teeny-tiny pots would. Leave the egg cartons and plastic starter pots with the thimble sized depressions to the professional greenhouse people; they can get away with starting plants in ice-cube trays because they spend so much $$$ on climate control.
 
Darcie Rolph
Posts: 5
Location: Victoria, BC - Zone 7b
books forest garden hugelkultur
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I just order a bunch of seeds

What kind of seeds did you order?
 
Andrew Winsor
Posts: 58
Location: Aberdeen, WA
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Darcie Rolph wrote:What kind of seeds did you order?


http://www.permies.com/t/31386/cascadia/Year-Seeds-Order

I am telling my "story" / providing real time updates in the Cascadia section, However, I think maybe I should start a website.
As I will be all over this forum seeking answers.
 
Darcie Rolph
Posts: 5
Location: Victoria, BC - Zone 7b
books forest garden hugelkultur
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Andrew Winsor wrote:

http://www.permies.com/t/31386/cascadia/Year-Seeds-Order

I am telling my "story" / providing real time updates in the Cascadia section, However, I think maybe I should start a website.
As I will be all over this forum seeking answers.


Cool! You've got some seeds that would do fine being winter sown. I've had cole crops, lettuce, and spinach come up in early February when sown outside in milk jugs. No need to waste indoor space on them. The covering isn't to heat them, just to keep some of the rain and critters away; so make sure they're ventilated.
 
Andrew Winsor
Posts: 58
Location: Aberdeen, WA
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John Elliott
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Andrew Winsor wrote:
These are the two links I am thinking of buying


You must be rolling in dough. I get mine from the recycle rack at Home Depot for free.
 
Andrew Winsor
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Location: Aberdeen, WA
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John Elliott wrote:
Andrew Winsor wrote:
These are the two links I am thinking of buying


You must be rolling in dough. I get mine from the recycle rack at Home Depot for free.


Oh really, I didn't know there was such a thing as a recycle rack, Is it in the garden section? where do they hide that thing, I am going to go down there and ask them.
 
Angelika Maier
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I never tried planting tomato seeds directly, I think I will give it a go next year with some protection though. You must mark the position with a stick because
you always have tomatoes sprouting from the compost. If you are trying to be neat this will mess up your varieties when you safe your seeds.
 
Andrew Winsor
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Location: Aberdeen, WA
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I bought "Wizard" dirt and vermiculite to go into 8 inch round pots to start my seeds in.
I will still need to setup a way to heat the soil to 70 degrees, My house is 70 Degrees.

How much light do new seeds/plant starts need?
Can I just set them up in a room with the windows covers drawn open?

How many seeds do I put into 8 inch round pots (Oh I know that is a loaded question..) depends on the seeds right?
ok, Let say we are talking about tomatoes and water melons.
What is the goal/idea/thinking behind seed spacing in the 8 inch round pots?

Thanks for all your help.
I also got this stuff to deep my seeds into before planting.
http://www.fungi.com/product-detail/product/mycogrow-soluble-1-oz.html
 
no wonder he is so sad, he hasn't seen this tiny ad:
21 podcast review of Sepp Holzer's Permaculture
https://permies.com/wiki/54445/digital-market/digital-market/podcast-review-Sepp-Holzer-Permaculture
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