Starting Seeds for the Garden - 3
Once the seeds are planted they need the right amounts of heat, light and water for a good rate of germination.
All that is left is to cover the seeds lightly with more of the planting mix and water them in lightly. If you have seeds that do not like to be covered and need light to germinate, do not cover them. This is the time that bottom watering is good. It keeps seeds from moving around.
This is my simple and fairly crude lighting system for plants. One of these days I need to expand it and make it a little prettier but this is out in the garage and utilitarian is fine. At the moment it has one set of flourescent shop lights on a timer and a heating pad to provide warmth for the seedlings. If you do not have a heating pad, the top of the refridgerator works well until the seedlings are up. After that they need light.The lights are attached to boards and sit across blocks.
The seed tray rests on the pad and sits under the lights. The lights are not needed on by most seeds but some require light for germination. All the seedlings will want light when they germinate. I use a humidity dome which keeps the seedlings moist and warm in a cold room.
Another look with the grow lights off. I am just using regular flourescents in the system rather than expensive grow bulbs. They are not needed except for the purpose of developing blooms.
A few hours after the system starts the warmth is indicated by the humdity in the dome. These domes are often sold as greenhouse covers for windows but the heat buildup in windows, especially south facing ones on sunny days, can be fatal to young plants.
Within 48 hours a couple of seeds have sprouted (lower middle) but most will take one to two weeks and a few maybe longer. There is plenty of nourishment in the seed for these early starters until the rest of the slot has germinated and become ready for transplanting.