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Tips for raising seeds

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ringelstrumpf starts with ...
I have bought some seeds for herbs and trees but had bad luck. Most either didn't come up or died later.
There are so many interesting plants we can't buy here, but we can get the seeds, and it is very tempting, but before I try once again I want to ask a bit how do you get difficult seeds going? I have no problem growing vegetables from seeds and i sow direct or transplant.
Do you plant them in pots or do you have a seedbed? Do you sterilize containers? Put glass/plastic bag over them? What tricks do you use for getting difficult seeds going? Some seeds need endless to emerge and then maybe weeds are growing and I am often not very sure if there is a weed growing or my precious seeds. How getting a seed whisperer?
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ringelstrumpf1
Blue Mountains
26th May 2011 6:19pm
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Rowan says...
It is often a matter of experience. No-one can give you good advice without knowing what seeds you are trying to grow and how.
I have found that people often have trouble if they plant the seeds too deep. Just sprinkle them on a tray or pot of seed raising mix (never garden soil) and sprinkle some mix on them. It is usually better to plant them too shallow than too deep.
Depending on the type of seed, I would wait till spring.
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Rowan
Casterton Vic
26th May 2011 6:55pm
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ringelstrumpf says...
I have got three ginko seeds in a pot since at least three month, I nearly gave up hope. But I didn't have a plastic bag over them and I didn't sterilize the pot either, but I cold stratified them.
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ringelstrumpf1
Blue Mountains
26th May 2011 7:04pm
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fruitist says...
Most seeds require heat to germinate. Bunnings sells a 12W electric propagator for $49.94. Wish I had one many years ago, I would have many more plants.
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26th May 2011 7:23pm
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Jason says...
I have in my garage an old fridge that didn't want to restart after the last house move. Which seems to happen to me all the time. So I stuck a desk lamp in it, if you get just the right wattage globe (about 20watts is good for my fridge) and close the cable for the lamp in the door. You end up with about 25c day and night (more less) and I can germinate almost any seed in there in just a few days. As soon as it's germinated and up I move them out of the fridge.

I haven't used this setup in a few years since I mostly ran out of planting room but it was very effective in quickly making as many plants as you can deal with. Worked good with cuttings too
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Jason
Portland
26th May 2011 7:33pm
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Original Post was last edited: 26th May 2011 7:34pm
snottiegobble says...
Great idea Jason, plenty of room with shelves to boot! I am busy sawing the bottoms off big round plastic water dispensers ( the ones that go on upside down) preparing them as added warm mini greenhouses for seedling trays.
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso (smackin the middle)
26th May 2011 8:23pm
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ringelstrumpf says...
don't the seeds need oxygen? So you think that most seeds neat heat even when they come from a colder climate?
I ordered ramps last year and actually I don't know if it were the slugs or if they didn't germinate. They are cold climate and needed cold stratification. Do you still think that heat would have been good? (ramps or bear garlic is a herb that grows in Northern Europe in the woods and it is quite yummy)
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ringelstrumpf1
Blue Mountains
26th May 2011 9:14pm
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Jason says...
Seeds mostly germinate in Spring even in cold climates so it's still warm when they get growing. That's usually what triggers them to grow (heat).

Plants absorb carbon dioxide, but anyway so long as it's not a vacuum there's enough for a tiny seed anywhere
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Jason
Portland
26th May 2011 9:54pm
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Jason says...
Yeah snottie it worked good, I also had a fluro in there on a 12 hour timer (came on at night to give extra heat and a fake upside down daytime). I would have been more pro with a thermostat but even without it the temps didn't vary much, it was always under 40c so that was fine
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Jason
Portland
26th May 2011 9:57pm
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Original Post was last edited: 26th May 2011 9:58pm
fruitist says...
Most seeds can germinate in complete darkness and in sealed plastic bag as long as they have heat and dampness. I have seeds germinated inside envelopes when they are sent wrapped with damp paper towel or coconut coir.
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27th May 2011 8:34am
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Julie says...
I put a propagating mat inside a polystyrene veg box and cover with a lid. Works really well. But be sure to keep an eye on them - put out in the sun as SOON as they have germinated. Otherwise they will be leggy and spindly.

This setup works well for my sprouts too. I sprout chickpeas and brown rice before cooking.
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Julie
 
27th May 2011 8:56pm
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Peter says...
Julie, do you mean a heat mat? If so, are there battery operated ones for sale (to avoid dependence on mains electricity)?
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Peter36
Perth
27th May 2011 11:11pm
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Charles cant spell says...
Peter last winter I used an aquarium, a large one I had spare, bascially lined the inside with black plastic (except the sun facing wall, built brick pillars, placed tiles on top of bricks, and seedling trays on tiles. Filled with water to tile base. Put a lid on top, plastic is fine, need a balance between to humid and to much air circulation. Open it each day. If you get a hot sunny day though, i.e. today the plastic must come off else they get cooked. Free solar seed raiser. I would put pics up but they are not worth it at the moment as they are coming in so small you cant see anything. let me know if you want more info.
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth Innaloo
28th May 2011 2:23pm
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ringelstrumpf says...
That's really a great idea. I don't like too much the idea of burning electricity. In the lack of a big fish tank I could also use a timber frame a piece of black plastic and an old window.
I didn't get the idea of the brick pillars (are they inside?) and the tiles. Are they against the slugs or do you use them to store heat?
I could put some old bricks underneath the plastic.
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ringelstrumpf1
Blue Mountains
31st May 2011 8:05pm
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Charles cant spell says...
Ok I think you missed "filled with water", the bricks are to make a pillar through the water to place tiles on top of, one could used something that floats but its also likely to not be very conductive. So if you think of it as a table inside afish tank, brick are legs, tiles is table top, black plastic heats up water, water heats up tiles and bricks, etc. Clear as mud ?
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth Innaloo
1st June 2011 2:58pm
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Aaron says...
Great idea Charles!

Thanks.

Having various ideas in my head to propogate seeds. Will execute and let you all know the results!
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Aaron
Perth NOR
1st June 2011 7:44pm
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ringelstrumpf says...
clear as mud!
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ringelstrumpf1
Blue Mountains
1st June 2011 10:00pm
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kim says...
Hope you can help me - i put some surinam cherry seeds in one pot a few weeks back thinking if i was lucky enough that one or two would germinate. I'm very lucky in that i've got about 11 seedlings - however they're all in the same pot. A couple have 4 leaves on but most are just starting to come up.

I need advise as to when i should transplant them into individual pots - i was hoping to use these plants for a hedge eventually. Will they survive if i were to transplant now? please help.

thanks.
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kim12
perth
12th February 2012 3:38am
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denise. says...
They could go to about 7cms then pot with potting mix. Plant them out when at least 30cms tall. They are quite easy to grow so these sizes are not exact.
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12th February 2012 6:27am
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kim says...
Thanks Denise - so they'll be ok for the time being? i was afraid that they would strange each other. :)
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kim12
perth
12th February 2012 4:28pm
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roborthudson says...
Hi Friends,
The information given by Charles is very informative. I also had a same problem. I used this method its workings. I find it helpful. Thanks Charles for an informative post.
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roborthudson
Australia
22nd January 2013 10:41pm
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lenn says...
For free heat try back of refrigerator or top of hot water tank.
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lenn19
 
23rd January 2013 7:30am
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denise1 says...
I have heatboards but they are not perfect. The temperature varies a lot. While warm the roots grow quickly and the next day it will be warmer and the roots get burnt back. The plants appear OK but will have little roots. You need to anticipate this and pot the plants up early enough or they will not grow properly and eventually die. Alternatively they could be plugged to a timer so they are on only at daytime or whatever. Think twice before using them beyond just for starting the seeds.
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denise1
auckland NZ
23rd January 2013 10:06am
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roborthudson says...
You can use something else for heating purpose. But choose anything that overheat. This will badly harm your plants.
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roborthudson
 
30th March 2013 5:56pm
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