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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (66,194)
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1/17/13 10:56 P

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It depends on what you are planning to grow as to how soon to start them. Slow growing vegetables (and some that can be planted outside earlier in the season) may need to be started up to 14 weeks before the last expected spring frost, while quicker ones can be planted as little as 3 weeks before that.
I usually start hot peppers 12 weeks before, eggplant and sweet peppers at 10 weeks, tomatoes at 8 weeks. When the packets recommend 6 to 8 weeks before, I prefer to start them at 8 weeks instead of 6.
I posted a list of the start times for many commonly grown veggies under the Gardening Advice forum under "gardening tip of the week", in case you want to check that out.

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SLOLOSER's Photo SLOLOSER Posts: 8,646
1/11/13 7:37 A

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It seems early to start seedlings to me. However, I realize that lot depends on your location. How long before the planting season do you suggest we start?

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LILY_SPARK's Photo LILY_SPARK SparkPoints: (89,276)
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1/10/13 11:56 A

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Hrm...worth a try. It's about experimentation anyway!

I asked our fix-it (he has a much loftier title) man at work and he suggested 'construction grade poly sheeting at 6 mill. It was interesting, too, cos he took out all these plastic sheets and a measuring device (for tiny thickness, wish I'd asked what it's called!).

You can buy it at feed mills (or order there) or from a place like Uline (online). It runs $100 for 20' x 100' but that would set you up (unless you have something better, cheaper, already in mind).

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STRNGNGRNDED's Photo STRNGNGRNDED Posts: 2,272
1/10/13 11:27 A

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yes, I have a clear tarp, but it's not that heavy. hmmm, think it'll work?

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1/10/13 10:46 A

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Mind you, a clear tarp, not a blue one :)

The blue may work, too, but just in case...hers was that heavy-duty clear plastic. :) You're welcome! I hope it works well for you!

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STRNGNGRNDED's Photo STRNGNGRNDED Posts: 2,272
1/10/13 10:33 A

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that sounds like a very do-able "greenhouse" I have a tarp. I have some wood. I think I can make a smaller version of what your adopted grandmother had. =) Thank you for sharing.

Edited by: STRNGNGRNDED at: 1/10/2013 (10:33)
ANOTHERMOMOF2's Photo ANOTHERMOMOF2 Posts: 4,404
1/10/13 7:44 A

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I am going to try to start some seedlings. Thanks.

Karen

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1/9/13 4:09 P

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Well, it was more like a well-built frame with clear tarp! I don't know what else to call it cos it did the action of a green house, just 18" high on a large table sort of size.

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STRNGNGRNDED's Photo STRNGNGRNDED Posts: 2,272
1/9/13 3:55 P

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oh a greenhouse of any size sounds divine.

I really like the bell jars used at Colonial Williamsburg, but too expensive for my taste. I wonder if I could use other types of jars? Probably not though, the glass would be too thin?

Edited by: STRNGNGRNDED at: 1/9/2013 (15:56)
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1/9/13 3:20 P

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We do that mostly! If they don't come up? Plant again.

I do the wee starts indoors sometimes. It's nice to get that jump on the growing season. One of my adopted grandmothers as a kid had this sort of portable greenhouse. It was not too heavy but not light! It maybe stood 18" off the ground and covered at least 6' by 8'. I'd help her put it out over 1st rotation stuff (spinach, radishes, lettuces, onions, etc.). Then when frost was out, we'd uncover it. She'd sometimes transplant from that area to her lower garden as well.

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STRNGNGRNDED's Photo STRNGNGRNDED Posts: 2,272
1/9/13 3:01 P

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oh my that's a lot of work. I'm all about working smarter and not harder, so if I can just plop the seeds in the ground and get better results, then I'll keep doing that. LOL



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1/9/13 2:32 P

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We've had mixed results (40 years experience) BUT we don't have a big setup like this (which I described, ours is on the floor).

My WORST experience was 3 years of trying hydroponics. I gave up ;p

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STRNGNGRNDED's Photo STRNGNGRNDED Posts: 2,272
1/9/13 2:25 P

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I've started seeds once indoors and it was so much work and once the plants were transplanted they didn't do as well as when I just begin out doors.

Has anyone else experienced this?

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1/9/13 12:29 P

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lifehacker.com/5974439/get-your-gard
en
-started-now-with-this-indoor-diy-seR>ed-starting-setup


We don't do this...use the floor near a SW facing window. There's a great comment below it for now with more info. I'll paste it here in case it 'migrates' later!

*****

This is sort of misleading. You don't need light until the seeds have germinated and began to sprout. You need moisture and warmth for that, and that can easily be had by wetting the soil you're seeding in, and then covering the tray with plastic wrap. Give that a week or so in a warm spot (generally in a window since you get the warmth of the sun) and THEN you start putting lights on it.

I would do an intermediate step as well, once they outgrow their seeding tray, take them out, split them up carefully (because you've got more than 1 seed per cell) and plant them individually in a solo cup or other similarly sized container. Keep those indoors until they're a bit more hearty, and then once your final frost passes, plant them outdoors.

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