Branching Out's Seeds and Sprouts

Branching Out

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the seeds will need to be pretty clean to carry this out for some varieties. if there's a hint of a mold spore they'll ... kaput...
Good point Flowerbug-- I didn't think of that. So far I am using seeds that I have an abundance of. I am going to be up to my eye balls in Alpine Poblano seedlings, because they are germinating like crazy with this method.

Also, the first cucumbers are forming on my Bushcrop plants. Exciting!
 

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Phaedra

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Good point Flowerbug-- I didn't think of that. So far I am using seeds that I have an abundance of. I am going to be up to my eye balls in Alpine Poblano seedlings, because they are germinating like crazy with this method.

Also, the first cucumbers are forming on my Bushcrop plants. Exciting!
@Branching Out If we think about the first two stages we grow microgreens -

Stage 1 / Germination: Warmth and Moist are necessary, Substrates and Light are not necessary
Stage 2 / Cotyledons: Warmth, Moist, Light are necessary, Substrates is still not necessary

Maybe sowing most of the vegetable seeds in the way we grow microgreens and then prick them out is practical and can save a lot of troubles and space.

I pricked out and transplanted some strong seedlings from the previous batch of microgreens in the module trays, and the result is very satisfying. Therefore, I ordered some silicone mat and tried such a setting this morning. If it works well, then both microgreens and some veggies can be done with this method, imo.

The seeds I used in this experiment is basil from the microgreen seeds I have, and I can easily put this small cream cheese container on the window sill (with heat from the below, our radiators are always below the window). As basil and lettuce seeds are much more sensitive and prone to rotting in an overly wet condition, I misted the seeds lightly instead of soaking them in the water.

Silicone mat are easy to handle, clean, and reuse. When I saw people use it to grow microgreens, I immediately thought about this might be a good solution for seed germination. :)

17071.jpg
 

flowerbug

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@flowerbug so is kaput (kaputt) also a popular word there? It's one of my favorite German words when I started learning the language. :lol:

i would not call it a popular word but it is known. :) i cannot recall where i first heard it but likely on Hogan's Heroes (an old time comedy tv. show but i'm sure that others have older ideas of old time than me...).
 

Branching Out

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Last week I moved all of the plants that were growing indoors outside due to an impressive fungus gnat infestation. I noticed that there were especially attracted to the Doukhobor tomato plants for some reason; the surface of the soil in those pots was absolutely wriggling with larvae. It is still quite cool here at night time, dipping down to just a few degrees above freezing; so far the peppers and tomatoes haven't seemed to mind. I also have a bunch of peppers and tomatoes that were placed in the unheated high tunnel in early March and they too are looking good. Normally these heat-loving plants would go out in May, so I am puzzled by how well this little experiment is working out.

The early cold-tolerant tomatoes are the largest of the bunch, and they keep blowing over in the wind. I will have to find time to get them into heavier pots before they succumb to the beating that they are taking. In behind them in the white pots are High Scent sweet peas. I have found sweet peas difficult to start in the past, and finally this year they are doing pretty well. My strategy used the Eagle Sweet Peas method, where you fill the pot 3/4 full with moist soil and then dry potting soil for filling to the top. The seed gets pushed down about 3/4" in the dry soil, and then you just cover them with newspaper and leave them in a spot where critters can't get them. Once you see a shoot above ground you uncover them and start watering them. Mine have been outside the whole time where it is nice and cold; this should make for sturdy transplants. I also put 4 seeds per pot this time, since I had lots of seed saved from last year. https://www.eaglesweetpeas.co.uk/video_how_to_sow.php

I am also trying the Eagle Sweet Pea method with my first round of Ferrari bush beans, a variety that does well here when planted out early with row cover. On March 29th I rinsed the seeds and placed them between saucers on the counter for a couple of days, rinsing and draining them once or twice a day. After two days I sowed them in 2” peat blocks with dry potting soil on top of seed. Since then they have been sitting in our warm living room with no additional watering (these beans have white seeds, and are prone to rotting if kept too wet). The first sprouts began pushing up the dry soil on day 6. It's now day 8, and I can see evidence of 24/28 beans sprouting. Yesterday they spent the afternoon under row cover on the sundeck, but we have rain in the forecast for the next several days so I will give them some water and move the tray under lights in the basement for now. These were seeds that I had saved a couple of years ago, so they should be getting used to growing in my garden. I think this could be an excellent variety to donate to our local seed library if I can grow enough for sharing-- which may not be easy because they are really delicious fresh snap beans! ;)
 

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Branching Out

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The Lisianthus 'Doublini Rose Pink' that I started on January 20th are really taking off-- they must be 1/2" across! 🤣
 

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Branching Out

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On a sad note, our bunny Bella died a few weeks ago. We got her as a tiny baby and she was with our family for 11 years. She was a feisty rabbit with lots of personality, but toward the end she had no energy at all; she would just sit in my arms for hours without moving. The vet's office was so kind to us, and even sent a sympathy card with her little paw prints on it, and also a small paper heart that has seeds embedded in it for planting in her memory.

We don't have any plans to get another rabbit, so part of Bella's legacy will be the conversion of her hutch to a seedling shelter. Her large cage will be repurposed as a cold frame that I can drape with row cover and move around the garden, and the tall base of the cage will become a potting bench. There are also two massive plastic litter bins; they will become seedling bins that I will be able to keep under cover and cycle plants through year round.
 

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digitS'

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a bunch of peppers and tomatoes that were placed in the unheated high tunnel in early March and they too are looking good. Normally these heat-loving plants would go out in May
Good Heavens. That must be a tight tunnel!

Some transplants of Asian greens went into the hoop house. They could have gone in a couple of weeks ago but one never knows about Spring weather. They have been "containerized" in the greenhouse without turning on the heat day & night so there was not much difference – some.

DD has a little bunny. She has enjoyed Coco for several years. When she works in her home office, the bunny likes to sleep on DD's feet under the desk.

Steve
 

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Good Heavens. That must be a tight tunnel!

Some transplants of Asian greens went into the hoop house. They could have gone in a couple of weeks ago but one never knows about Spring weather. They have been "containerized" in the greenhouse without turning on the heat day & night so there was not much difference – some.

DD has a little bunny. She has enjoyed Coco for several years. When she works in her home office, the bunny likes to sleep on DD's feet under the desk.

Steve
Weird thing it is that the tunnel is not tight at all. The wind howls through the bottom so we don't heat it. I am baffled by how well the starts are managing. There are even peppers germinating-- outdoors. For now I will just enjoy the alternate universe that I appear to be living in, and not over-think things.

And I envy your daughter and her pet bunny Coco. I have had four pet bunnies over the course of my life, and I loved each one of them. 💕
 

Branching Out

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Two large trays of sunflower seedlings got attacked by starlings and were destroyed, so the seed trays that remain are getting some armour before they go outdoors for some fresh air. These wire coated baskets made a nice frame, and then I clipped row cover over them to keep them snug and warm.
 

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