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About my seed-starting info

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About my seed-starting directions

I only give information about MY OWN experiences with starting plants from seed.  If none are listed, Tom Clothier's seed-starting pages are always a good start.

On my plant portrait pages, seed-starting information can be listed in two places: in the table up top, and often in a separate details table further down the page.

The listing near the top is a quick description of a method that has worked for me, or sometimes an observation about volunteer germination in my garden. In these directions, "cold" always means "cold moist stratify in refrigerator".  Depending on the method you choose, this could be in a baggy with moist sand or filter paper, or in a sown pot. Usually, just putting the dry seeds in the fridge won't be good enough.

"Warm" means room temperature (66-72°F,19-22°C). "Bottom heat" means warmer than room temperature (75-80°F).

This entry is more or less free-form, and may not give you all the learnings I've gathered from my experience. For that, you may need to look further down the page...

Individual plant details

For many plants, I list details of specific sowing trials. Let me explain with a few examples of how to decipher these:

2003 Seed garden '01. Baggy 35F (12w; 10%G, 11w) - 65F (55%, 6-10d)

means: Results for the winter/spring 2003 sowing season. Seeds were collected in my garden in 2001. They were germinated in a baggy, starting with a 12-week cold treatment, during which 10% of the seeds germinated at the 11th week. They were then moved to my basement (at 65F), where an additional 55% germinated, starting 6 days after moving and continuing for 4 days. Unless specifically indicated, the seeds did not receive light.

Note: the days to germination for a baggy method are when radicles (seed roots) were first observed. If sowing into containers, it will be at least a couple days longer before you'd see seedlings sprouting.

In general the temperature designations for the baggy method are as follows:
20F - baggy was kept in the freezer
35F - baggy was kept in the refrigerator
65F - baggy was kept in the basement, in the winter months
70F - baggy was kept in the basement, in spring
75F - baggy was kept in the basement, on top of a shoplight to provide bottom heat

2004 Seed from '03 trade. Pot 65F (10w) - to outside (mid-Jan). Germination noted mid-Apr, total 33%

means: Results for 2004 sowing season, with seed obtained in a trade the previous fall. Seeds were directly sowed to a pot, which was kept at basement temperature for 10 weeks before setting outside in the middle of January. The first seedlings appeared in the middle of April; a total of about 33% of the seeds yielded viable seedlings.

Your experience

All of these germination notes are just my personal observations. Please let me know if your experience is different.


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Last modified: February 02, 2008
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