Seed starting - whats your tried and true method? (Share your results!)


WOW! I looked and never saw these aprons! I’m ON it! Thanks KS! Those are great.


I am not a very accomplished seamstress. But it doesn’t look like it would be too hard to sew a simple one. Customize the width and depth of pockets for your stuff. A cell phone pocket with flap would be nice. Let us know if you get one, how it works out for you!


I will let you know !

Yes. I sew. But reserve it for very simple stuff, now. Repairing seams, etc. If there is an affordable solution - without dragging out the sewing machine - that’s what I go with!

I wonder if there is a ‘cottage industry’ for garden/hobby aprons . . . and some for sale on etsy. ? I’ll have to look. One problem I foresee in sewing my own . . . is that it would need a machine that is capable of working with heavier fabric. Or else our gardening tools would put holes in the pockets quite quickly. Sometimes, just repairing jeans even taxes a ‘regular’ sewing machine.


I would think a canvas duck type material would be good and sturdy. Loops, like a hammer loop, might be more practical for some tools rather than pockets.
But you are right, it might be a bit much for my standard machine too. I switch to a larger 16 gauge needle when sewing thicker fabrics like denim, but still occasionally break needles. My friend told me about this little helper thing she uses that aids in sewing over seams so you don’t break your needles. I keep forgetting to do a search for one, but that would help.
I don’t think the BBB price was too high… $30ish? It would probably take me 3-4 days or longer to actually get one sewn! My skills don’t go much farther than patching holes in Wranglers, sewing rips in shirts, closing up seams. And I have a hard time cutting and sewing straight lines so… I tell my family - you get what you pay for!! :grin:


My indoor seed starts have been off to a bad start. I have two 36 cell trays that I put starter mix in and plant a couple seeds in each, and place them on a heat mat. I did 36 cells for tomatoes, and about 24 for peppers. Usually I get good germination, like within a week, most of my tomatoes come up, and about half the peppers.

Well, this time, I’ve had about 15 toms come up, and no peppers after 12 days. I don’t think it’s the seeds, they are relatively new (less than 4 years old). I’m suspecting my mix may be the culprit. It had been in the shed since last year, partly opened, so perhaps it went bad? I usually have good results with it, so maybe the heat and cold cycles in the shed ruined it? It’s composed of peat, coconut coir, vermiculite, and a bit of lime. Can starter mix go bad? What effect could it have on seeds, too acidic, too alkaline? Maybe developed some fungus harmful to seeds?

I have a new unopened bag of the same mix, now I’m wondering if it is okay to use. I will have to start a new batch of seeds soon.


I bet it’s fine. Even with fresh seeds, some of my peppers are taking close to 2 weeks to germinate, but they are coming up. You could gently peel back the surface to check for signs of life beneath.

That wait does get pretty frustrating! Especially when it’s different from normal.


Thanks. But like I said, I expect my tomatoes to mostly be up within a week, and I only have 16 cells out of 36 up now. I just checked my peppers, and I have one sprout, ironically it’s a super hot (7 pot). None of my jalapeno or banana peppers have come up yet.

I got a new batch of seeds from my usual vendor a few days ago, so I’m going to try them in a new mix. They are- Orange KY Beefsteak (we’ve grown these before), Big Pink, Pink Oxheart, Black Cherry, Kellogg’s Breakfast, and Giant Belgium.


I’ve had peppers take a month before. Patience is key especially with C. chinense vatieties.


I also had some peppers take a month once. I had given up on them and transplanted something else into the pot. I was very surprised when the peppers appeared much later! I think the age of the seeds makes a difference. They keep best in ziplocks in the fridge for me.


I agree that’s a little slow. But, I’ve had seeds older than a few years act like that, but still come up just fine in the end. Oddly enough, my jalapenos and hot wax peppers were my slowest this year. They just finally started coming up yesterday, about 10 days after the tomatoes and 5-6 days after the first peppers.


KS I ordered the gardeners supply belt. I’ll let you know how it works out. It does have a pouch for cell phone, with a flap that closes. Thanks for the tip!


Great! Hope it is just what you need! :blush:


I’m sure age does make a difference. I think it depends on the individual seed too. If I have extra seeds I’ve been planting 4 or so per pot. Usually they’ll be one or two that pop up right away followed by the others who knows when. I’ve been storing mine in a cool dry spot in my basement. I’ve started using those paper yellow coin envelopes. That way they don’t trap humidity. They also fit perfectly in those card collector sleeves that go in a 3 ring binder.


Has anyone here tried transplanting beets that were started inside? I have some seeds that are getting pretty old that I’d like to use up. I’ve been thinking about sowing them in a tray like micro greens and then transplanting in the garden. That way I don’t have to try and thin them all out or worry about poor germination. I just don’t know how well they’ll transplant.


I haven’t but I’ve heard good things about it. Joe Lamp’l of the Joe Gardener podcast uses it as his go-to method. It’s on my to-do list.


For real long-term storage, put the (thoroughly dried) seed packets in mason jars or freezer bags and store in the freezer. Even short lived seeds will last many years this way. Be sure to let it come to room temp before you open it to prevent condensation. I also have sealable foil pouches from Seed Savers that I can put right in the freezer.


My wife sowed some tomato seeds in little cups about three weeks ago with soil from a pot that’s been on the deck all winter, and they have all sprouted, so go figure. And some of these seeds are the ones that won’t come in my mix, so it has to be my soil.

If a lot of my peppers don’t come up, I’m not going to fret too much about it. This year, we’re going to concentrate on veggies that we can can (preserve) and store- green beans, corn, potatoes. You can’t live off of tomatoes, but they’re good for soups, chili, salsa, etc. We’re also growing greens, we started a seed bed of them last week.


Thanks, I might have to try it. Carrots and beets are two that struggle getting even germination with in my soil because it dries out so fast. At least in the top inch or so. Even with drip irrigation. I’m debating if I should wait another week though.


I’ve always had trouble with beets, too. One thing that’s worked well for me for carrots is to use radishes as a nurse crop. Plant them at the same time in the same row. The radishes sprout quickly, mark the row, and help keep the soil moist. The radishes are usually done about the time the carrots emerge.


That’s a good idea. I was watching a random YouTube video the other day which suggested placing a board on the row to prevent evaporation for parsnips, carrots, ect… Might be a good use for my junk pallets.