seed growing / where do you do it?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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Caz2_2Caz2_2 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
Hi every one, I would like to know where you lot start your seeds off. I have every year started by now with tomatoes, bedding plants, herbs and other veg plants and put them in a light warm room to grow. However they become leggy and frail. I have a green house but can not get it warm enough. By now I normally have every window sill full, watching every day for some growth and am missing it. What do you lot do? Any tips would be really appreciated. Thankyou:rolleyes:
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  • i started lots of veg in seed trays with lids on my windowsills, worked a treat.
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  • jenniferniljennifernil Forumite
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    You would be better to delay planting your seeds until the weather is a bit warmer. I take it you have no heating at all in your greenhouse? Starting seeds inside is fine but they do need to go to the greenhouse for maximum light. Could you use an electric heating mat?

    We have started about 17 trays so far, and 9 have already germinated. They are mainly perennials and slow growing annuals. I have them on a big table under a growing light which keeps them sturdy. This weekend we will prepare the greenhouse, but we do have heating. We have 4 benches with thermostatically controlled warming cables in them, seedlings like warm feet and cool heads. The thermostats are set at 12 degrees. At night , if it is cold, we cover them with fleece.

    The newly germinated seeds go under the lamp for a few days then out to the greenhouse. Once the heated benches are full we have to use the other bench and the shelves . Shelves first as they get more light. The bigger seedlings are moved off the heated benches to make room for the smaller ones. We use an electric fan heater set to about 10 degrees, and if it is very cold also cover the seed trays with a clear propagator lid.
  • Caz2_2Caz2_2 Forumite
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    Hi Jennifernil, I have tried to grow in my green house and used 2 oil heaters but could not get it warm enough, so i then for last 2 years have used windowsills in the house which is very light and usually warm but my tomatoe plants were very leggy. I dont have a lot of free time and cant commit to putting alot more effort in to it. You sound like a professional. Thanks anyway I think I will have to just do the same again. I'm going to take over the dining room with shelving and grow them there.
    PS can anyone help with this. I bought 2 rhubarb crowns last year should they produce fruit this year and what time of year. Thanks.
    I haven't forced them on and they are in soil in the ground:confused:
  • alanobrienalanobrien Forumite
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    I just put them in a cold frame and they seem to do fine
    but i am in the South East.
  • jenniferniljennifernil Forumite
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    Hi there, not professional, just a keen amateur! Been growing for 15 years now and sell a lot of plants for charity. (about 7500!!!)

    What temperature can you get in your greenhouse? It really does not need to be that warm , even for tomatoes. I find only my peppers and young geraniums need cosseting. If you keep the tomatoes too warm that will also encourage them to grow tall quickly.

    There is no harm in waiting a little yet, I will not be planting tomatoes until late March. Once they get going they quickly catch up .

    We aim to have all our plants ready to sell at the beginning of May and over the years have evolved a "planting timetable". In January we do the perennials plus a lovely thing called Laurentia (it is slow growing), and carnations.

    February starts with pansies and violas, then chives, oregano, thyme, sage, mint, Erigeron, Nemesia and Lobelia. March is Petunias, Verbena, Antirrhinums, parsley, basil, aubergines, peppers, coriander, Mimulus, Lavatera, Cosmos, tomatoes, cucumbers and Marigolds. And finally in April the Nasturtiums and courgettes. And then a big sigh of relief!!

    We grow everything in cells, so no pricking out, just straight into their final pots. I find that, especially with tomatoes and courgettes , it is important to give them plenty of space, the leaves on adjacent plants must not overlap or they will fight each other for light, especially when light levels are poor like right now.
  • I have no heating in my greenhouse so the only things I start this early are broad beans, sweet peas and 'nantes' type carrots. I don't tend to start sowing much more before mid Feb.

    Once I do start sowing I have had great success by covering all my seed trays with fleece to keep them a little cosier.

    I've got an electric propagator I start off tomatoes and peppers in, then transfer to the greenhouse covered with fleece.

    One day i'll get round to bubble wrapping the greenhouse too but I never seem to get 'round-tu-it"> :)
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  • lynseydeelynseydee Forumite
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    Hi Alfietinker

    Do your plants do ok with your greenhouse not being bubblewrapped? My hubby bought me a new greenhouse last year and we spent ages trying to get all our bits of bubblewrap to fit. It has got to the stage now where if I can do without I would rather as it just keeps falling down although if it is likely to help my seeds grow I will try and sort it out again. I am leaving doing any seeds until about March because I don't have heating in my greenhouse but was told the bubblewrap would help although don't mind waiting til then to do it.
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  • Linda32Linda32 Forumite
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    I start mine off on the windowsills, I prefer module trays with a cover over if required. Then I pri-ck out as and when necessary. Harden off around mid April. Its pretty small scale here, I arrange a few in an unused cat litter tray (high sides) during the evening then put those out during the day, bring those in and put out some more. Working my way around the windowsills until the end of May. In Leicester where I am we are not safe from frosts until then, even this year.
  • Hi Lynseydee.

    I think the bubblewrap would help but I haven't used any for a couple of years. Only because I never seem to remember and then think "oh well, it's nearly spring now". If you're not starting your seeds until March then I think you probably won't need it, in fact it may be better unwrapped then to allow as much light as possible in. You need to watch the frost though, this is where my fleece helps.

    If you overwinter any tender plants thought then I would definitely bubblewrap as you want as much frost protection as you can get. I've got a much smaller, plastic greenhouse near the house which I bubblewrap to keep my geraniums safe in.

    Don't forget, whatever you decide, to always ventilate the greenhouse on sunny days, even in winter. It's amazing how the temperature can soar, and to help blow away any nasty fungus' or diseases that were getting snug.

    If you do want bubblewrap, you can get nifty little plastic clips that fit into the grooves in the aluminium greenhouses and hold it nice and snug agains the glass.

    Hope this helps a bit. :)
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  • lynseydeelynseydee Forumite
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    Hi Alfietinker

    Most of my seeds have the plastic covering over to help with the germination so I guess the bubblewrap is added protection.

    I did overwinter some of my pots so the bubblewrap will probably have to stay. We do have those plastic clips for attaching the bubblewrap but I find some of them still slip out mainly the ones that clip to the sides rather than down the middle.

    I always used to try to remember to open the door in the summer to help with ventilation especially as one morning I forgot and lost all my seedlings. They were all doing so well aswell and then after that I never did get my seedlings to grow very well for some strange reason.

    My hubby has bought me a ventilation window but needs to adjust it so that it will fit properly.

    I guess I could try and coax some of my seeds inside onto some windowsills but will I manage to hide them well enough amongst my indoor plants :rolleyes:
    Did owe £9,951.96

    Now helping hubby pay off loan. Finally paid off :j

    Owe Virgin [STRIKE]£5,950.00 [/STRIKE]at 0% til June 2009 £3,427.89. Owe HSBC [STRIKE]£5,460.78 [/STRIKE]2.9% til May 2010 £3,703.07. Owe Post Office £1,676.62 at 0% til September 2010
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