Experimental seed planting

dant

The Living Force
Johnno said:
I looked into growing tobacco here in Australia. It's a $50,000 fine if you get caught, that's more than the fine for growing illicit plants!

Oh wow, I am surprised! I wonder if it is the same in the US/states!!
Thanks for the warning as it pays to check it out!
 

Amelopsis

Padawan Learner
Johnno said:
I looked into growing tobacco here in Australia. It's a $50,000 fine if you get caught, that's more than the fine for growing illicit plants!

My great grandfather used to grow his own, today he'd be considered a Federal felon. I've still got his old tobacco cutter and pipe stand which has a Highland Grenadier lead soldier attached.

Could this be due to legislation about invasive species? (the reason that comes to mind most readily being monopoly of the tobacco industry)
In my part of Canada there are Nicotiana plants that will self seed quite readily. If the plant isn't native to Australia (I don't know if it is), it could easily be included in the protectionist legislation.
 

banjoechef

The Force is Strong With This One
Starting apple seeds CAN lead to a viable apple tree, but you generally have to find an apple tree that is growing in your area, which hasn't been grafted, and take seed from it. Every time a plant is pollinated it may or may not produce viable seeds, whether you "hybridize" it or not. Sometimes hybridization causes a better rate of germination or viability. Hybridization in itself is not a bad thing at all as nature has been doing it for ever. It is true that most grocery store varieties of apples will not produce viable seeds, and if they do it's even more likely that they will not grow well if at all in your area. Apple seedlings require about 6 years to begin producing any apples.

I currently have 10 nice habanero/scotch bonnet seedlings. They are more meticulous to start than other peppers. They love heat, especially for germination, if you can germinate them at 23-27 celcius. As soon as they have two leaves and are about 2 inches tall remove the clear plastic cover, they are very susceptible to damping off, which means they come up look good for a few days and then wilt and die, that is because of too much moisture so they have to be out in open air right away. They can take up to 6 weeks for germination although all 10 of mine came up within 6 days.

One HUGE tip for seedlings that are planning to go outside. Get yourself an oscillating fan to simulate wind. Wind is the main issue for weak seedlings going outdoors. If they have never had any wind to fight against, the stalks and stems are too weak. If you don't have a fan and can't get one easily for some reason(you can find them for a couple bucks at a thrift store) you can also lightly brush your hands back and forth over them as often as you can remember. Another thing about hardening plants is if you have grown them indoor using florescent bulbs they need to adjust to the intensity of the sun. You'll have to put them outside or in a window sill for a short time every day and gradually increase the amount of sunshine. If bringing your plants in and out every day doesn't fit into your schedule you can put your plants out and use things like pantyhose or window screens to decrease the intensity of the sunlight for the first little while and it's also a good idea to try and put your plants out on a clouded over day with little wind. These tips will help you from losing your seedlings after spending the time to care for them.

My instructions said that the seedlings need to be removed from the device and 'hardened off' before planting. For me this amounts to taking the lid off and placing it outside or in a window for min 3 days without tons of water. Might help with your survival quotient!!
I have a comment to this. Your plants, once they are seedlings, should not need tonnes of water unless it's celery or lettuce you're growing inside. Thing like peppers can be almost completely dry before getting a decent soaking. This actually produces strong plants with better root structures because the roots have to work harder to get water and nutrients. Good roots make good plants :)

Also make sure you dont put those habaneros out until the soil is well warmed and there is absolutely no chances of even a cold night.

Hope this can help someone.
 

Lindenlea

The Living Force
Hi,

I have quite a few herbs and salad plants and all are in pots as I have a courtyard rather than a garden.

The successes grown from seed (packets) were salad leaves, rocket, tomatoes, capsicum, chives and spinach leaves, all were planted in-situ with just a top layer of seed raising'mix' to get them started. The great thing is I've managed to collect quite a few seeds from the fruits and flower pods, the rocket is self seeding in the same pot and they're growing nicely, it's so rewarding. There are allsorts of green green leaves popping up between the paving cracks, a suprise package.

Just a tip one of our leading garden experts did say tomatoes don't need bees (as they have been noticeably absent this summer), you just need to give the open flowers a gentle shake, it supposedly gets the pollen inside going to produce the fruit, worked for me.
 

banjoechef

The Force is Strong With This One
Another way to reduce the need for bees that I have used is to plant 2-3 seeds per pot, allow only two plants to grow if all three come up, the two plants will pollinate each other and I have not noticed a lack in production due to the close placement. This works especially well with indeterminate tomatoes that are being staked, it doesn't work so well with bush type tomatoes, but bush type tomatoes can just be planted every 10 inches to help them pollinate each other.

If you are attempting to collect seeds from things growing in the garden something to watch for is hybridization of multiple cultivars. For instance I am growing 5 cultivars of tomatoes. The seeds which I may take form them after harvest could be a mix of any of the cultivars together, so you can get some really funky cultivars and sometimes non-viable seeds. You can also experience cross pollination of things in similar plant families like broccoli, cauliflower, and romanesco can polinate each other to make wierd things like broccoflower!

Salad greens are great to grow but if you'e in a warm area they may produce more and better quality salad if they are slightly shaded as they like cooler temps
 

Nimue

Padawan Learner
I would like to share my experience with seeds.

We use old sorts, this seeds are original seeds from primordial
vegetables, as they were cultivated in times long past, the advantages over hybrid seeds are:

Sort variety, and you better can collect seeds from your crops for future planting (If you use hybrid seeds this will be a problem).

Interestingly this old sorts are better reconcilable, especially tomatoes and pepper's.
I wonder if there is a connection to intolerance and overbreeding and hybridisation from plants ? Furthermore they look amazing … purple peppers, yellow tomatoes
and also in interesting shapes, but as aforesaid you don´t have to buy new seeds every year, and you minimize to buy genetically mutated seeds from Monsanto or other chemical multis.

We order our seeds from “ Arche Noah” , maybe in other countries non hybrid seeds are also available.

Here a link to the project Arche Noah:

http://www.arche-noah.at/etomite/index.php?id=52

For more information see here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_seed

http://www.primalseeds.org/hybrid.htm

banjoechef said:
If you are attempting to collect seeds from things growing in the garden something to watch for is hybridization of multiple cultivars. For instance I am growing 5 cultivars of tomatoes. The seeds which I may take form them after harvest could be a mix of any of the cultivars together, so you can get some really funky cultivars and sometimes non-viable seeds. You can also experience cross pollination of things in similar plant families like broccoli, cauliflower, and romanesco can polinate each other to make wierd things like broccoflower!

If you like to avoid crossbreeding a tip for collecting seeds : select one plant or fruit and pull over a nylon pantyhose, so there is no hybridization between different sorts.

Happy gardening !
 

banjoechef

The Force is Strong With This One
Seedlings are up and doing great this year. I am using an array of 6 compact florescent bulbs at 42-45 w per bulb. I am using a combination of soft white and cool white for a wider spectrum of light. I also have a fan running on the seedlings. I have noticed from last year that my seedlings were growing very "stretchy" and found this to be due to lack of light. With the amount of light from the 6 bulbs the seedlings are staying much shorter and developing bigger more full leaves and strong stalks. I have found that emulating natural conditions such as wind, dry periods and similar to the sun light cycles has really helped the health growth of my seedlings this year. I have also chosen to create a soil mix of 2 parts pro mix, 1 part cow manure and 1 part sheep manure. Last year I used only promix and noticed that the stalks of my pepper seedlings were purpling. I learned from a local gardener that this is due to lack of nutrients, more specifically nitrogen, in the soil. So i decided on the added manure to help that situation.

So the best formula for healthy seedlings in my 5 years starting seeds is this

well draining soil with some added nutrition
sufficient light as determined by growth tendencies of your seedlings
a fan
dry periods between waterings(except with specific crops like lettuce, celery, celeriac, leeks, and others which require constant moisture(but still need wind!))
Make sure you harden off seedlings no matter how strong they look, unless you have a lot of money to invest your indoor garden will be nothing compared with the intensity of mother nature, as we know from our own experiences leaving our houses.

Happy gardening.
 

Nimue

Padawan Learner
I have a good tip for effective seed upbringing.


Seedbaths/seedmordant

Seedbaths are sustaining the germpotency, and helps to fend damaging organisms during
the germination and growing phase, and they stimulate the growth.

For the bath/mordant I use humofix

http://www.abtei-fulda.de/xtcommerce/product_info.php?products_id=8

you can also make it yourself with following ingredients:

Chamomile flowers, stinging nettle, valerian root , dandelion leaves, oak bark, milfoil flowers, mix it all together in equal parts and pulverize it. Mix 1 teespoon of the powder with ½ l rainwater and a lacing of milk, and honey, and let it steep for 24 hours and stir occasionally.

For the bath:
Disperse ¼ teespoon Humofix in ¼ l rainwater , let it steep for approx.
6 hours, put the seeds in a small sac ( filter paper) add it to the mordant and let it soak. There are different soak times for different seeds ( between 15-60min), but I let them soak approx.30 min.

Or let the seeds soak in the above mentioned selfmade mordant. You can also make a seedbaths with milk or chamomile tea, this is the simplest variant, but the soak times are up to 90 –120 minutes.

Happy gardening !
 
This year I started half of my seeds in the little jiffy greenhouse's one can buy most anywhere. After they grow enough I take them out and transfer them to some peat pots. I should note that I did start Parsely, lettuce and carrots and then transfered them but most died from transplant shock. My mom said certain plants are not easy to transplant and some do not tolerate it at all. With those types it is best to simply plant them outdoors or in whatever planter they will stay in for the duration. All of my zucchini and yellow squash are doing good along with my cucumbers. The problem I'm having now is that I keep snapping them when I transfer them outdoors to harden them off as they like to "grab eath other by the leaf". :( Hardening plants off is simple going with how my mom taught me. I pick a day where the temperature is 60 degree's F or higher and put them outside in the shade for about an hour or so. Make sure that there is no wind or a very slight breeze. The 2nd day place them in the shade again for around 2-3 hours. The 3rd day I place them in the sun for about 1-3 hours depending on how big the seedlings are, with mine about 1.5-2 hours. The 4th day I place them in the sun for about 2-4 hours I like 2.5-3 hours. Most people that I have talked to at this point say you can then plant them in the ground. Me personally I like to go 5-6 days before I plant them outside completely. The 5th day I usually leave them in the shade for half a day and then give them some water so the soil is nice and moist and then I will put them in the sun for the rest of the day. I did that to mine today (5th day) and left them outside. Some of my plants did go limp but I am hoping that they will bounce back overnight after I water them. There are currently listening to classical music right now. :P I hope this helps.
 

banjoechef

The Force is Strong With This One
JCB (shadowsaround) said:
The problem I'm having now is that I keep snapping them when I transfer them outdoors to harden them off as they like to "grab eath other by the leaf". :( Hardening plants off is simple going with how my mom taught me. I pick a day where the temperature is 60 degree's F or higher and put them outside in the shade for about an hour or so. Make sure that there is no wind or a very slight breeze. The 2nd day place them in the shade again for around 2-3 hours. The 3rd day I place them in the sun for about 1-3 hours depending on how big the seedlings are, with mine about 1.5-2 hours. The 4th day I place them in the sun for about 2-4 hours I like 2.5-3 hours. Most people that I have talked to at this point say you can then plant them in the ground. Me personally I like to go 5-6 days before I plant them outside completely. The 5th day I usually leave them in the shade for half a day and then give them some water so the soil is nice and moist and then I will put them in the sun for the rest of the day. I did that to mine today (5th day) and left them outside. Some of my plants did go limp but I am hoping that they will bounce back overnight after I water them. There are currently listening to classical music right now. :P I hope this helps.
You can totally remedy the plants snapping off or dying outdoors with the use of an oscillating fan after the seedlings have come up. The only reason to have your greenhouse cover on is to increase heat and moisture retention. so unless your house is very cold you will have no need to cover the seedlings once they are up. and they should experience wind as soon as they get poking up so they are used to it from the beginning. The oscillating fan has saved me tonnes of seedlings. Especially being in a northern area(SW Ontario) where I have to start peppers and tomatoes indoors 8 or more weeks before they can be transplanted. The first year I started seeds about 5 years ago i didn't use a fan and lost quite a few transplants even when transplanting on a cloudy calm day. In the past two years my version of hardening off only needed to be set out the trays of seedlings the evening before transplanting and they do fine once in the ground. Last year I successfully started over 200 seedlings with very few losses. The music does help http://www.dovesong.com/positive_music/plant_experiments.asp i guess make sure its nice clear and clean classical music. Plants apparently do not rock out.
 

davey72

The Living Force
The only thing i really wanted from my grandfather when he died, but never recieved was this cool little fruit tree that hw gre indoors from seed. I am not sure what it started out as, but ha had grafted a bunch of different fruit branches onto it. There were orange,lemon, kumquats, and some others i cannot remember. Unfortunately his wife wasnt a very nice person, so it probably ended up in the garbage.
 

banjoechef

The Force is Strong With This One
Hey guys another tip I just read again and thought I should share.
For reusing any types of containers, plastic greenhouses, and/or cell pack type things, make sure to sterilize with either half and half vinegar and water or 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Wash off any dirt and debris. Soak the container in the solution for 30 mins and rinse well with lukewarm water.

Pots that have been used for seedlings before can have bacteria growing on them which can lead to fungi growing in your soil or plants. These fungi can sometimes take a while to really take hold and all the sudden your nice looking seedlings just kick over.
 
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