Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Seed Starting Arsenal


  • Grow Light
  • "No-Damp" to stop damping off, used when first seeded and sometimes for a second application as a preventative measure.
  • two clear plastic domes, one for tall & one for small
  • plastic tray without holes in the bottom
  • various cell packs & pots, some recycled some new
  • heat mat, 17 watts & raises temperature 10-20F above ambient room temperature (new addition this season and it is wonderful)
  • thermometer to monitor temperature inside the dome
  • "Pro-Mix" potting soil
  • plastic labels & sharpie for longevide in moist environments
  • spray bottle for watering (forgot to add it to the photo)
Well on the subject of seed starting, I have seeded a few things already. I was reading I Wet My Plants blog and she was writing about starting hot peppers indoors 4-6 weeks before you start your tomatoes because they have slow germination & growth. It sounds like a great idea to me so I have started my hot peppers except the ones that are still in the mail from Pinetree, they will be started as soon as they arrive.

I have also started my early producing tomato, Siletz 52 days. In reading Garden Desk, he starts some tomatoes on Valentines day in order to have an early harvest of tomatoes, last year the first tomato was June 5th. This intrigues me so I am going to give it a try, it would be awesome to have ripe tomatoes during the first week of June. I have lots of light intensity so I am presuming it should work out well.

Last I have tried some winter sowing. I have not read a thing about winter sowing so I am not sure if I am late or early but I am trying anyway. I planted Baby Leaf Blend Lettuce, Romaine & Scallions in cell packs and have placed them in my cold frame. If all goes well they should germinate when conditions allow, I will then break them up and plant them out in the cold frame or a poly tunnel.

*my next post will be on "Building & Hanging a Log Suet Feeder", it is just the thing to attract wood peckers, nuthatches & chickadees to name a few to your yard or balcony.


  1. Bets of luck and wow you are super organised. I take the lazy route of potting mix, seed, window sill, oh thank god it worked!

    Sounds like an impressive mix of veggies

  2. Hi Dan, You got a lot of info on starting seeds, always a good thing. I am still NOT a see person but have done a few in the past. Never tried No damp off, but milled spaghnmum moss. It is reputed to stop damp off when sprinkled on the flat after seeds are sown. Just a tip I picked up once upon a time. I think it works, no damp off here. Sigh, I might just have to get my seeds going soon. Looking forward to seeing yours.

  3. Dan, i'll be very interested in your winter sowing results. Keep us posted!


  4. you were busy yesterday.... :)
    We should be eating early this year from the garden.

  5. You are really getting a good jump on the growing season with your seeds! I hope they all do well for you. Dont worry about turning me into a Seed addict, I have indoor cats and cannot do much inside. lol

  6. Dan, what a wonder thing...SEEDS! I have to go through and mark on my calendar when I will be sowing everything. I keep mine orginized when I put the seeds on the self for the next year. This way I don't have to look threw each pack and find out when to sow. (e.g. 8-10 weeks before frost all go in one bag ect.) It works pretty well for me. Any who, love the blog post.

  7. prue - lots of veggies this year for sure, I am not sure were I am going to put them all.

    tina - I will have to try this, I bet it has a much better smell then the no damp.

    EG - I sure will, I will be interesting to see how long it takes them to germinate.

    Hendria - I sure hope so.

    Skeeter - Thats goods, I'd hate to be responsible for an addiction, hehe.

    Zach - Now that is one thing I need to work on is my seed organization. Mine are just strewn in a shipping box.

  8. That is quite a setup! It's incredible - it seems like winter just started, and now we're getting ready to start seeds again. I'm glad to see you're getting a head start...good luck with your garden this year.

    Some of the nurseries around here are getting off on a little too much of a head start: they're already selling tomato seedlings outdoors!

  9. This is so exciting. I start getting antsy to garden this time of year and seed starting is my fix. I started lettuce and onions last week and I'm waiting for my seed orders so I can start the rest of my onions and celery.

    Can't wait to see how all your stuff grows!

    I've never done wintersowing either. I'm planning on clearing out my cold frame and throwing some beet & lettuce seeds out there to see what happens. I'll be watching yours with interest!

  10. Parsec - Thanks for the luck! This winter has seemed to have passed pretty fast, now if it was just over. If I only had fair enough weather to have tom's outside!

    Chiot's Run - I am waiting on my last seed order too, or is it the second last order... :-)

    I am very interested in how the seeds do in the cold frame. I built it to late last season to use it so it is nice to start utilizing it. I will look forward to following your winter sowing as well.