Tutorial: how not to kill plant starts

In between house projects, I got ambitious and bought a bunch of seeds, dusted off my seedling trays, pulled out last year’s potting soil, set the light timer, and got back to my main projects. This was early March.

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In a week or so, things were going well and they germinated. I did an initial watering, then watered them a few days after I planted the seeds, then just let them cruise.

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I thought they were going OK, but then I noticed my kale seedlings were super leggy. Not a great sign. Kale grows very well here, so with the warming mat, the plastic cover and the hot light, it might have been too much.

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The herbs were doing *okay*. I wasn’t super impressed with progress. Then I left them on the heat mat and lamp timer, and then got distracted with my house projects, then we went to Portland, next thing you know, I have a tray full of sun dried, leggy seedlings.

I think my husband mentioned my plant troubles to his mother, and for our trip down to Portland to see her, she gave our son a huge Easter basket, my husband *his favorite* Easter jello eggs, and I lucked out with a set-it-and-forget-it seed starter kit.

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This new kit has a reservoir underneath the seedlings. There is a cloth barrier in between that laps up water from the reservoir and moistens the dirt.

I take the plastic lid off once the seeds start to germinate, then when they get to be a few inches tall, I will raise the light to not scorch them like I did with the March batch.

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seed starting kit
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seed starting kit

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The directions are super easy to follow. Gardener’s Supply gives you a great diagram to set up the seed system.

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Organic GrowEase Kit

I will post progress and opinions on the success or failure of the new seed operation.

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Organic GrowEase Kit

Here are some of the other things in my greenhouse to help the seed process.

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Timer
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Jump Start Light

 

 

 

 

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