January 2012                                            © Independence Gardens LLC                                   Downl...
What We’ll Cover Today               Preview                                          Got Questions?     Topics We’ll Cove...
What is a seed?    Seed: A mature fertilized plant ovule consisting of an embryo and its    food source and having a prote...
How does it work?      • Cotyledons        (cot-ull-EE-        dons)        come rst      •    en, look        for “true” ...
Why start seeds indoors?      • Cost            – It’s generally cheaper to start your own                  • Save and sha...
What does a seed need?      • Growing medium            – Soilless seed-starting mix is recommended                  • Gar...
What (else) does a seed need?      • Moisture            – Water from below so soil is damp, not              soaking     ...
When to plant      • Find your last frost date        ~April 15, in Portland      • Count backward an appropriate length o...
When to plant example: broccoli      • Last frost date is 4/15      • Broccoli is safe to set out 4 weeks before to 2-3   ...
Where to plant      • Choose your own container            – Needs to be well-drained, so poke drainage holes if the      ...
Make a seed-starting setup      • Use materials you have on hand            – Bookshelves            – Utility shelves    ...
How to plant: dig, drill, dump!      • Depends on the size of the seed: plant at a depth        ~2x the seed diameter     ...
Your best bets      • Brassicas                               • Nightshades            –   Kale                           ...
Not your best bets      • Root vegetables              • Cucurbits            –   Radishes                – Cucumbers     ...
Caring for your plant-babies                               • Light                                   – 2-4 in. above plant...
And nally…      • Focus on organic, heirloom, and especially local varieties         – Healthy seeds, diverse characterist...
Next steps for you!      • Take the handouts home and ll        out the date ranges for planting            – Just your fa...
Questions?Tuesday, January 31, 2012
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Seed-Starting - Dig It, Drill It, Dump It

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This class will cover the advantages of starting your own seeds indoors and under cover outdoors. Participants will learn proper seed-starting techniques and find out how to foster the right conditions for growing seedlings to transplant size. Participants will take home seeds that they start in the class.

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Seed-Starting - Dig It, Drill It, Dump It

  1. 1. January 2012 © Independence Gardens LLC Download the handout that goes along with this slideshow! h p://bit.ly/xnpYix Seed-Starting Independence Gardens Portland, ORTuesday, January 31, 2012
  2. 2. What We’ll Cover Today Preview Got Questions? Topics We’ll Cover • What is a seed? Please ask as we go along. • How does it work, & what does it need? • Why start seeds indoors? • When/where/how to plant • Making a seed-starting setup • Best seeds for seed-starting and where to get them • Seedling careTuesday, January 31, 2012
  3. 3. What is a seed? Seed: A mature fertilized plant ovule consisting of an embryo and its food source and having a protective coat or testa Or…: A potential plant, dormant until it experiences the right conditions, when it uses the energy it has stored to grow until it can photosynthesizeTuesday, January 31, 2012
  4. 4. How does it work? • Cotyledons (cot-ull-EE- dons) come rst • en, look for “true” (foliage) leaves • Germ time depends on plant, seed quality, etc. Plant parts exercise!Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  5. 5. Why start seeds indoors? • Cost – It’s generally cheaper to start your own • Save and share seed; store seed properly so you can use it for a few years • Timing – It’s easy to get a jump-start on the season, stagger plantings, and grow mega-veggies! • Reliability – It’s hard to know where your starts were before they came to you…unless you grew them Alternatives: Starting seeds outside with season-extenders (cloches and cold frames) or oating row covers (reemay); buying plants as starts to transplant later in the season.Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  6. 6. What does a seed need? • Growing medium – Soilless seed-starting mix is recommended • Garden soil is heavy and can harbor disease organisms – Seed must be in rm contact with the soil all around it • Warmth – Consistency is key (avoid uctuations) – Most cool-season veggies will germinate at room temp – On the other hand, warm-season plants (tomatoes, peppers, cukes, eggplant, okra, squashes, or melons) need temps of 75°-90° to germinate, and a er that, like to hang out between 60° and 75°Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  7. 7. What (else) does a seed need? • Moisture – Water from below so soil is damp, not soaking – Damping-off (  ) is a fungal problem associated with soil that is too wet! • Light – As soon as it emerges – 14 hrs./day (in 2011, the rst day this happens without supplemental light: April 25) – Automation: light timers are lovely • Air ow – Plants get “leggy” ( ) if there’s not enough air movement/light’s far away • Space & timeTuesday, January 31, 2012
  8. 8. When to plant • Find your last frost date ~April 15, in Portland • Count backward an appropriate length of time! – Varies by plant; check seed packet and planting calendarTuesday, January 31, 2012
  9. 9. When to plant example: broccoli • Last frost date is 4/15 • Broccoli is safe to set out 4 weeks before to 2-3 weeks a er last frost date • It takes 6 to 8 weeks to get to transplant size • 4 weeks before 4/15 is 3/18 & 3 weeks a er is 5/6 = Plant (3/18 minus 8 wks.) to (5/6 minus 6 wks.) = Sow seeds indoors 1/21-3/25 • Our best advice: STAGGER YOUR PLANTINGSTuesday, January 31, 2012
  10. 10. Where to plant • Choose your own container – Needs to be well-drained, so poke drainage holes if the setup doesn’t have them already – Err on the side of shallow • You can transplant to a larger container before transplanting out to the garden ( “up-po ing,” or “po ing up”) – Sanitize pots if you are reusing • 10% bleach solution/15 min.Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  11. 11. Make a seed-starting setup • Use materials you have on hand – Bookshelves – Utility shelves – Shop lights • Lights – Light sets 2-4 in. above growing tips – Moveable to t different varietiesTuesday, January 31, 2012
  12. 12. How to plant: dig, drill, dump! • Depends on the size of the seed: plant at a depth ~2x the seed diameter – Dig: make a hole, drop in the seed, and cover it up – Drill: the nger-poke method • For larger seeds: put the seed atop unpacked soil, and poke it in up to your rst knuckle – Dump: the sprinkle method • For smaller seeds: shake a few out of the seed packet onto the soil – Other methods ()Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  13. 13. Your best bets • Brassicas • Nightshades – Kale – Tomatoes – Cabbage – Peppers – Chinese cabbage – Eggplants – Broccoli – Cauli ower – Brussels sprouts NOTE: You can try to start just about anything early indoors just try to take extra-good care of them…and hedge your bets by planting some outside, too.Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  14. 14. Not your best bets • Root vegetables • Cucurbits – Radishes – Cucumbers – Carrots – Squash – Beets • Winter (e.g. pumpkins) and summer (e.g. zucchini) – Turnips – Melons – Parsnips • Fussy greens • Peas – Spinach • Beans – Swiss chard • Corn • DillTuesday, January 31, 2012
  15. 15. Caring for your plant-babies • Light – 2-4 in. above plants, 14 hrs./day • Water – From below • Organic fertilizer – A er true leaves appear • Brushing or fanning – Make ‘em stocky! • inning – Do it (down to 1 plant/cell) • Hardening off – AcclimatizeTuesday, January 31, 2012
  16. 16. And nally… • Focus on organic, heirloom, and especially local varieties – Healthy seeds, diverse characteristics, suited for cultivation here • An insider’s tip on where to get seeds this season: –www.SabinGardens.orgTuesday, January 31, 2012
  17. 17. Next steps for you! • Take the handouts home and ll out the date ranges for planting – Just your favorites to save time/ energy • Look through your seeds/seed catalogues and select your top picks • Make a plan: put your seeding dates on your garden calendar • Logistics: set up your seed- starting area before you need it • Put your plan into action!Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  18. 18. Questions?Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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