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Starting Seeds Indoors

 
DeLaney Becker-Baratta
Posts: 40
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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Hi all- this is my first year starting seeds indoors. I have so many different seeds that I am unsure of which to start indoors as space is limited. I live in Grand Rapids, MI in zone 6, I was thinking of starting my tomatoes, melon, kale, swiss chard, beans, ground cherries and herbs indoors. Then I was thinking of direct seeding my lettuce, radish, beets, squash, and carrots. Does anyone have advice on the best plants to start indoors? Also are there any special soil blends that you've found useful? Thanks in advance for the responses!
 
Cj Sloane
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Look at the packets. Some are supposed to be sown directly in soil like beans or corn. I have succesfully transplanted corn to get a jump on the season, it will grow in cold soils but not sprout in cold soils.

What needs to be started early are onions & leeks & celery. Then tomatoes, eggplant, peppers. Then greens. I save cukes, watermelon for last. Squash & beans can direct seed.

Once my plants are up I have an ocillating fan on a timer blowing on them to keep them strong and help prevent damping off.
 
DeLaney Becker-Baratta
Posts: 40
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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Great idea about the fan- I will try that this year when I start my seeds. Have you ever tried to plant squash from transplants? I ask because I am concerned that the growing season in Michigan is a bit short for long summer, heat loving plants like squash. Also what do you usually start your seedlings in? I've heard that starting seedlings in a nutrient poor, light potting mix is the way to go for germination. Also do you harden off your plants before putting them in your garden? I was hoping to skip this step entirely by using floating row covers to protect seedlings from cooler night air. Thanks for the response!
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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You can transplant squash, but they grow so fast I'm not sure it's worth it. My suggestion is try both.

Personally, I use coco-peat because it's not soil so it doesn't harbor soil diseases. Thoroughly wet it before you put it in containers.
But... it has no nutrient. This is fine with me because I do aquaponics and I use the fish water. If you have compost you could make compost tea and water with that.

I think hardening off is more about the sun and wind exposure than cold nights.
 
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