Seeking Tips about Growing from Seed

Ray777

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So I am growing a pretty large number of seeds. I have done a lot of research, and I have a few questions...

Is it advisable and/or necessary, in all cases, to disinfect all seeds, with for example, a dilute bleach solution. If advisable to sterilize, is there a better option than bleach?

Should I use my Clonex Solution, which is intended to boost seedling growth? I have read on the forum that something like this might dwarf the plants, ultimately. This may have been discussing something else, not the Clones Solution. (The Clones Solution and not the cloning gel, Solution intended use for starting seeds and not just aeroponics cloning machines)

Should the seedlings indoor under lights always be covered by the clear cover? Or can I remove when humidity is sufficient? I ask because I am wondering, does the cover admit full light? Should I even consider using a humidifier in a room, so I can have the lids off?

When do you know that a plant is ready to be moved outside? I've read that the first pair of leaves are called false, and the second set of leaves indicates readiness to transport outside. I would imagine this is not the same for every species?

Finally, once you do move the seedlings outside, is it not necessary to grow them in some sort of portable greenhouse, if we do not own a greenhouse, yet lol!

Thanks in advance! :)
 

Bnana

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Sterilization is not needed uner normal circumstances and Clonex sounds like a scam.
Seedllings know how to grow, you do not have to tell them, just give the proper circumstances. Whether you need a cover depends on where you grow them. I do not like a cover as it stops airflow and causes fungal growth.

About moving outside. Most seeds do germinate outside. THe false leaves are cotyledons and some plants have these and other not. General rules like this are not useful, it depends on species and conditions (is it a tropical species and still freezing outside? is it spring and a native species?) I do not know where you read that but stop reading it.

Keep it simple!
 

Shibui

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The world would be a very barren place if seeds needed all that help just to get started?????

Trust that most plants know how to grow. Most have been doing it for millions of years without any help.
I cannot see why plants in California climate need to be started indoors? You don't already have a long enough growing season?

There are some species that have specific germination requirements. I've never seen the clonex solution you mention. It may be useful to some specific species but most will germinate quite happily when moisture and warmth are supplied and that happens outdoors in spring. If you have specific species questions please let us know but otherwise sow outdoors and protect from seed eaters and wait for nature to take its normal course.
Indoor germination adds a whole layer of complexity and problems that are not necessary.
 

ShadyStump

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Most of my experience with starting from seeds is with vegetable gardening, but in general seed is seed.
In this case I've rarely not had luck getting healthy starts just buy planting them in well drawing but moist soil in flats or cups with drain holes. I haven't seen much benefit in the peat pots.

I've not used covers in the past, but I can see the potential benefit for some species. I would take it off and provide ventilation once you see plenty of sprouts so they don't damp off.

The proper time to transplant is when there is sufficient root ball to support the plant. Because we can't always tell if this is the case without risking moving the roots too early, three sets of leaves is generally a good indicator. By the time you're to that stage codileton (sp?) or the false leaves, aren't part of the equation.
 

sorce

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I couldn't agree to more with the indoor complexities being unnecessary.

The only reason we start veg indoors early is because we need them to get to a place in one year.

Starting trees indoors is always a detriment to healthy, tightnoded, first growth, which is paramount to a future bonsai IMO.

Most seeds that "need" something really just need more time in the ground, I'd allow this natural thing to spread out your endeavor, so you can remain focused.

Sorce
 

BrierPatch

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What type of seeds are you planning on planting? It really depends a lot on that and since you're in CA you may not get the natural seed stratification required in some types of seeds and may need to cold stratify in the fridge.
 
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I agree with all the advice here . Living in the cold north I have In the past . Started indoors gave all the problems listed above. End result you might get better first year growth . But it’s like they sulk the second year so after 2 years you gain nothing over starting outside . My problem had always been rodents and birds . Go after anything they can eat in early spring . Squirrels will dig up any nut like seed . And I think there attracted to anything not native . Different smell I suppose . In the past I’ve used homemade. Chicken wire inclosure for the seed trays once they get a wood stem and other stuff is around to eat it’s safe to bring them out . But gave no idea in California . But I’ll trade you next year you come up here cold stratify your seeds naturally I’ll go there for the winter 😂😂😂😂😂
 

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