seed-starting - dig it, drill it, dump it

Download Seed-Starting - Dig It, Drill It, Dump It

Post on 24-Dec-2014



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This class will cover the advantages of starting your own seeds indoors and under cover outdoors. Participants will learn proper seed-starting techniques and find out how to foster the right conditions for growing seedlings to transplant size. Participants will take home seeds that they start in the class.


  • 1. January 2012 Independence Gardens LLC Download the handout that goes along with this slideshow! h p:// Seed-Starting Independence Gardens Portland, ORTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 2. What Well Cover Today Preview Got Questions? Topics Well Cover What is a seed? Please ask as we go along. How does it work, & what does it need? Why start seeds indoors? When/where/how to plant Making a seed-starting setup Best seeds for seed-starting and where to get them Seedling careTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 3. What is a seed? Seed: A mature fertilized plant ovule consisting of an embryo and its food source and having a protective coat or testa Or: A potential plant, dormant until it experiences the right conditions, when it uses the energy it has stored to grow until it can photosynthesizeTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 4. How does it work? Cotyledons (cot-ull-EE- dons) come rst en, look for true (foliage) leaves Germ time depends on plant, seed quality, etc. Plant parts exercise!Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 5. Why start seeds indoors? Cost Its generally cheaper to start your own Save and share seed; store seed properly so you can use it for a few years Timing Its easy to get a jump-start on the season, stagger plantings, and grow mega-veggies! Reliability Its hard to know where your starts were before they came to youunless you grew them Alternatives: Starting seeds outside with season-extenders (cloches and cold frames) or oating row covers (reemay); buying plants as starts to transplant later in the season.Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 6. What does a seed need? Growing medium Soilless seed-starting mix is recommended Garden soil is heavy and can harbor disease organisms Seed must be in rm contact with the soil all around it Warmth Consistency is key (avoid uctuations) Most cool-season veggies will germinate at room temp On the other hand, warm-season plants (tomatoes, peppers, cukes, eggplant, okra, squashes, or melons) need temps of 75-90 to germinate, and a er that, like to hang out between 60 and 75Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 7. What (else) does a seed need? Moisture Water from below so soil is damp, not soaking Damping-o ( ) is a fungal problem associated with soil that is too wet! Light As soon as it emerges 14 hrs./day (in 2011, the rst day this happens without supplemental light: April 25) Automation: light timers are lovely Air ow Plants get leggy ( ) if theres not enough air movement/lights far away Space & timeTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 8. When to plant Find your last frost date ~April 15, in Portland Count backward an appropriate length of time! Varies by plant; check seed packet and planting calendarTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 9. When to plant example: broccoli Last frost date is 4/15 Broccoli is safe to set out 4 weeks before to 2-3 weeks a er last frost date It takes 6 to 8 weeks to get to transplant size 4 weeks before 4/15 is 3/18 & 3 weeks a er is 5/6 = Plant (3/18 minus 8 wks.) to (5/6 minus 6 wks.) = Sow seeds indoors 1/21-3/25 Our best advice: STAGGER YOUR PLANTINGSTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 10. Where to plant Choose your own container Needs to be well-drained, so poke drainage holes if the setup doesnt have them already Err on the side of shallow You can transplant to a larger container before transplanting out to the garden ( up-po ing, or po ing up) Sanitize pots if you are reusing 10% bleach solution/15 min.Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 11. Make a seed-starting setup Use materials you have on hand Bookshelves Utility shelves Shop lights Lights Light sets 2-4 in. above growing tips Moveable to t dierent varietiesTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 12. How to plant: dig, drill, dump! Depends on the size of the seed: plant at a depth ~2x the seed diameter Dig: make a hole, drop in the seed, and cover it up Drill: the nger-poke method For larger seeds: put the seed atop unpacked soil, and poke it in up to your rst knuckle Dump: the sprinkle method For smaller seeds: shake a few out of the seed packet onto the soil Other methods ()Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 13. Your best bets Brassicas Nightshades Kale Tomatoes Cabbage Peppers Chinese cabbage Eggplants Broccoli Cauli ower Brussels sprouts NOTE: You can try to start just about anything early indoors just try to take extra-good care of themand hedge your bets by planting some outside, too.Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 14. Not your best bets Root vegetables Cucurbits Radishes Cucumbers Carrots Squash Beets Winter (e.g. pumpkins) and summer (e.g. zucchini) Turnips Melons Parsnips Fussy greens Peas Spinach Beans Swiss chard Corn DillTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 15. Caring for your plant-babies Light 2-4 in. above plants, 14 hrs./day Water From below Organic fertilizer A er true leaves appear Brushing or fanning Make em stocky! inning Do it (down to 1 plant/cell) Hardening o AcclimatizeTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 16. And nally Focus on organic, heirloom, and especially local varieties Healthy seeds, diverse characteristics, suited for cultivation here An insiders tip on where to get seeds this season: www.SabinGardens.orgTuesday, January 31, 2012
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