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Slides from the Seed Starting Workshop at Heritage Farm, March 12 2011.

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  • Seedstartingfinal

    1. 1. Seed Starting Workshop <ul><li>Seed Savers Exchange </li></ul><ul><li>April 12, 2011 </li></ul>
    2. 2. Anatomy of a Seed <ul><li>Internal anatomy of a dicot and monocot seed </li></ul>Source:
    3. 3. Why should I start from seed? <ul><li>Saves money </li></ul>Packet of 50 seeds Transplant $2.75 at Lillian Goldman Visitors Center and in the Seed Savers Exchange catalog $1.75 at Lillian Goldman Visitors Center $3.00 in Seed Savers Exchange catalog
    4. 4. Why should I start from seed? <ul><li>MUCH more variety! </li></ul>Seed Transplant 13,876 varieties of veggies available in the Yearbook 597 varieties of veggies, flowers and herbs available in the catalog 82 varieties of veggies, flowers and herbs available at the Lillian Goldman Visitors Center 23 varieties of tomatoes, peppers & ground cherries available in the catalog
    5. 5. Why should I start from seed? It’s a great way to get to know your garden on another level!
    6. 6. <ul><li>Once you’ve picked out your heirloom seeds, determine whether they should be </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Seeded </li></ul><ul><li>- or - </li></ul><ul><li>Started Indoors </li></ul>
    7. 7. Direct Seeded vs. Started Indoors <ul><li>Consider the length of your season and ground temperature. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tip: Start heat-loving plants like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant indoors. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some plants just don’t like to be transplanted: beans, corn and peas are examples of this. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Direct Seeding <ul><li>Aerate soil and mix in compost two weeks prior to planting. </li></ul><ul><li>Plant when soil is workable. </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure to water them in well. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can save yourself this step if there is a period of gentle rain predicted. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t plant too deep or pack in soil on top. </li></ul><ul><li>Seed liberally; thin later. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Starting Your Seeds Indoors <ul><li>Time your transplants * </li></ul><ul><li>*Source: Nancy Bubel’s The New Seed-Starters Handbook </li></ul>2-4 weeks before last frost Cucumbers and melons 5-6 weeks before safe planting-out date Cole crops 5-6 weeks before safe planting-out date Lettuce 6-8 weeks before last frost Tomatoes 6-8 weeks before last frost Eggplant 8-12 weeks before last frost Peppers 12-14 weeks before safe planting-out date Onions
    10. 10. Starting Your Seeds Indoors <ul><li>Choosing a Medium </li></ul><ul><li>There are many kinds of media that can be used to start seeds—or you can experiment and make your own! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Peat based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compost blends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soil-less potting mixes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Choosing a Container </li></ul><ul><li>Be creative. </li></ul><ul><li>Seeds don’t care what they’re planted in, as long as it can hold a form and allow for drainage. </li></ul><ul><li>Up-cycle! </li></ul>
    11. 11. Starting Your Seeds Indoors <ul><li>Decide what type of container you want to start your seeds in. </li></ul><ul><li>Wipe out any debris that doesn’t belong. </li></ul><ul><li>You may need to wet your substrate (media) with water prior to seeding out. </li></ul><ul><li>Refer to seed packet to determine seed depth and temperature conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to space seed evenly in the container so seedlings don’t have to compete for resources. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Starting Your Seeds Indoors <ul><li>Light , Heat and Humidity </li></ul><ul><li>Light and heat are two important factors to consider when raising seedlings for transplant. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be familiar with specifics for the varieties you want to grow. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Window light is great if you have it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rotate plants ¼ turn each day to prevent leaning. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Grow lamps are an easy alternative for spaces that lack adequate natural light. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Starting Your Seeds Indoors <ul><li>Light , Heat and Humidity </li></ul><ul><li>If starting your seeds in a cool setting, use a warming pad. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make-do options include household heating-pads on the lowest setting, LED lights covered with a thin layer of plastic, top of the fridge, or a sunny window—just try to find a nice warm spot in the house. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Know what temperature is optimal for your seeds to germinate. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Starting Your Seeds Indoors <ul><li>Light, Heat and Humidity </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t overwater, especially before seeds germinate. </li></ul><ul><li>Lightly spray with moisture so as not to wash away seeds. </li></ul><ul><li>Cover containers with plastic (if you can) to retain humidity. </li></ul><ul><li>Once seeds germinate allow for more air flow (remove any coverings on them). </li></ul>
    15. 15. Seedling Anatomy
    16. 16. Raising Your Seedlings for Transplant <ul><li>Love your seedlings! </li></ul><ul><li>Brushing gently with your hand helps simulate the wind and strengthens cell walls. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A kind of hardening off before being hardened off. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Watch them—the only way to detect early decline is to be attentive to how they are doing. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Hardening Off Your Seedlings <ul><li>Once seedlings have a second pair of true leaves and their root mass is sturdy (several ways to check this), put them outside to harden off. </li></ul><ul><li>You’ll want to harden them off for about a week before planting so your seedlings can adjust to the elements. You can still bring them indoors in case of frost. </li></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>Place seedlings in a shady spot for 2-3 days. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cover, if possible, with row cover. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Move them into the sun for 2-3 days. Be sure to water during the day if it gets hot! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This may be a good weekend activity. </li></ul></ul>Hardening Off Your Seedlings
    19. 19. Transplanting Your Seedlings <ul><li>Tips for Transplanting </li></ul><ul><li>Once your seedlings have been hardened off, transplant them into your garden. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be fairly gentle with them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spacing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trellis needs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Water your transplants well an hour or two before planting into the garden—you don’t want to put dry plugs into the soil. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Transplanting Your Seedlings <ul><li>While planting: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Notice root system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To agitate or not to agitate? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be sure to fully cover the potting mix with garden soil. </li></ul><ul><li>Water them in. </li></ul><ul><li>In special cases you may want to cover your transplant when it first goes into the ground for bug protection. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. Eggplant </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Caring for Your Transplants <ul><li>Expect some transplant shock at first. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Healthy plants should begin actively growing within a week. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep transplants well-watered the first week they’re in the ground. </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for frost or severe weather for the first week or two. If possible, cover your transplants in the event of frost or high winds. </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor after they go into the ground—it is easier (and healthier) to prevent rather than react to pests and disease. </li></ul>
    22. 22. Questions about seed starting?