12 January 2009

Seed Starting Indoors in January

Here are some radish seedlings started inside the shed. They were out of direct light until they came up. Then, they were moved under fluorescent bulbs about 2-inches away. Notice that I plant seeds in slices of paper towel and bathroom tissue rolls. That way, the seeds stay in the center of the planting area instead of drifting off to the sides where they are difficult to prick out for transplanting.

Notice the reflective material on the back wall. It bounces the light back onto seedlings.

This plant is a salad green that I picked up in Germany last fall. It has to stay inside most of the time but is happiest on the days that are above 50 so it can spend hours outside in the wind and sun.

It's already 65-F here, so I'm headed out to sun bathe the seedlings and plant more seeds!


DirtDigger (Tessa) said...

Your babies look happy! Great to see other gardeners enjoying starting their own seeds. I think I'll give the paper towel trick a try :)

Wayne Stratz said...

interesting. I keep seeing use of empty toilet rolls and plan to start saving them. I always scatter my radish seeds and then thin if need be.

Wayne Stratz said...

also... 65 degrees... we hit 32 today. enjoy it.

Martha said...

Hi Tessa - We'd love to know how your seed starting process works. There is so much we can learn from each other.

Wayne - OK I give up. What other uses have you found for toilet paper rolls? You must tell us.

DirtDigger (Tessa) said...


My seed starting became much more efficient when I started using soil block makers- you can purchase them at Johnny's or Territorial Seed- here is a link to check them all out at once http://xrl.in/1eac

I have the 20 soil block maker- or mini block maker, and the one that makes 2" soil blocks- I am hoping to get the 4" size this spring ;)- you can check out a couple posts on my blog to see how they work- look at the label 'tools'

Yes, we can learn much from each other- I'll definitely be back, I've enjoyed my visits here!

Martha said...

Those soil block makers fascinate me.
Some garden book writers say they are a pain to use and that the soil blocks crumble.
I'll take a look at the link you sent and consider the soil blocks.

Thanks for the tips.

DirtDigger (Tessa) said...

Martha, do check them out- I have never had any problems with the soil crumbling. I followed Eliot Coleman's tip, I think from his book Four Season Harvest, but it might have been from their show (I think it was actually)- and his soil recipe. Last year I started using the black gold coco blend potting soil, and I had 100% germination :). They are the easiest thing I have ever used, by far. Hope this helps.

Wayne Stratz said...

Tessa--- sorry to confuse, but it was the same use I kept seeing everywhere. just saw you live in Oregon, we spent a few years in Eugene, the Jersey coast just doesn't compare to the trips we made to the coast out there