Seed Growing
Thu, 21 Nov 2002 07:44:15 PST
As many of you have written, the hard part of seed growing is often not getting the seeds to germinate, but having them survive the first couple of months of post germination growth.

I start all seeds in plastic bags, it prevents fungus from spreading, and allows better humidity control, without requiring daily monitoring.  Once I get germination, I remove the seeds from the plastic bag,(for bulbs well before the first leaf touches the bag), for other plants after a couple of days.  I then put them under cool white flourescent lights for about a week, with the plants standing in a about 1/4 of water.  For fall bulbs, I have the lights on 13 hours a day.

After this its into a shade house, with additional shading.  I water every day or two.  At this time, I begin spraying with a weak mix of Miracle Grow a couple of times a week.  I'm trying to achieve foliar feeding, there are still hardly any roots to absorb fertilizer.  I get quicker growth the first few weeks doing this, and better long term survival.

After the seedlings get about 1/1/2 inches tall, I move them in a clump from 2 1/4 inch seedling pots to 3 1/2 inch or 5 inch pots, add more time release fertilizer to the soil, and again get a growth spurt.

I've found late night visits to the green house essential to finding hidden slugs and snails.  There are always a few who sleep in until 1100 at night, and then come up for dinner.  I try to an inspection nearly every night, at different times.


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