Growing seeds without a greenhouse or "heated" propagator?

Discussion in 'Propagation This Month' started by "M", Jan 7, 2013.

  1. "M"

    "M" Total Gardener

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    As the title says really.

    I don't have a greenhouse, but I do have one of those freestanding, 4 shelves, plastic covered, zip opening thingies.

    I do have a propogator with 3 sections, but it is not heated.

    I have a shed with the window in a south facing position.

    So, I have some seeds which should be sown now (and then more and more and more as the weeks pass). As you can see, I have limited resources: if I use my propagator, it means I can't sow anything else until those seeds have been potted on. This could be a long process :heehee:

    Because I don't have a heated propagator, or a heated greenhouse, does this mean I need to delay my seed sowing? Or, when seeds are described as "sow indoors January" is that for the likes of me who are not gardening "posh" :dunno:

    Thanks in advance (formely known as TIA but amended for those anti-TLA's :heehee: )
     
  2. clueless1

    clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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    I've had much greater seed success since I went down the heated route (on my second year at it now), but plenty of people manage without.

    I've found that heated or otherwise, a propagator helps regulate moisture by preventing it escaping through evaporation. Could you not put tiny pots inside the propagator and move them out (but still in their tiny pots) once they look strong enough to manage with less well regulated moisture and temperature? That's what I did last year. Then it frees up space in the propagator for more tiny pots and you get a mini production line on the go.

    There's another way. I can't remember who did it but one of the chaps here puts seeds on dampened kitchen towel, and then puts than in a plastic bag and puts it somewhere warm, checking every day for germinate seeds which then get delicately potted up I think.
     
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    • "M"

      "M" Total Gardener

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      Great idea about mini pots! Never even thought of that :doh:I have a few of those small "paper" pots, I could probably use those :dbgrtmb:
      I did something similar last Spring with some seeds garnered from the local park the previous Autumn :whistle: I put some damp kitchen paper on a plastic food plate, but not in a plastic bag; instead I put an upturned egg cup in the centre of the plate, covered the plate in clingfilm and put the plate in my downstairs 'cloakroom' (with a southish facing window, but no heating to speak of). I failed due to the pressure of time required for my finals, but, yes, something I will have to try again this year. They did germinate though, it was me who was lax when taking them to the next stage :redface:
       
    • Phil A

      Phil A Gardener

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      Just had germination of my Rocket & Lollo Rosso in my bedroom (must be the warmest place as thats where the cat gravitates to)

      As soon as they germinated, moved them to the south facing window in the lounge, which will be cooler, but more light.
       
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      • "M"

        "M" Total Gardener

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        This is very similar to mine.

        [​IMG]
         
      • "M"

        "M" Total Gardener

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        Zigs, aren't those fast growing anyway? :dunno:

        (Good idea to get ahead with the salad leaves though, I'd be still hanging around to do that; thank you for that tip! :dbgrtmb: )
         
      • KevinH

        KevinH Guest

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        I have successfully germ'd seeds in just a few days on top of my central heating boiler.
         
      • "M"

        "M" Total Gardener

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        Really? What about the "light" side of things? (My boiler is in the kitchen, but, the opposite side from the window and tucked in an alcove)
         
      • KevinH

        KevinH Guest

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        I have little legs for my propagator to overcome the exhaust flue height and also to prevent burning/heat issues. I have a small floro tube that sits on the prop lid besides there being generally good light for new babies. When all the seeds have popped, or I run out of patience waiting for the laggards, the prop, light and all comes down.
         
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        • "M"

          "M" Total Gardener

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          Interesting! Would an office lamp be ok?
           
        • Phil A

          Phil A Gardener

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          I hope so, i'm stuffed if I sell the house:snork:
           
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          • KevinH

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            Only a floro tube - not the bulb types. Do you have a Lidl near you? They sell the fitments for less than £10 with a 3 year guarantee. Failing that, a Wilkinsons will sell much the same thing for a few quid more. You must make sure to get a Cool/Blue tube (4000K, I believe from memory.)

            e2a: I'll do a photo tomorrow - it's late now and I'll be signing off in a few.
             
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            • "M"

              "M" Total Gardener

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              Zigs Zigs ... :roflol:

              KevinHKevin .... Yes, I have both; I shall put my "investigators" hat on and scout them out; thank you! :dbgrtmb:
               
            • Bilbo675

              Bilbo675 Total Gardener

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              I only use a heated propagator to get specific seeds going, usually stubborn tropical stuff or those that require heat for germination. Even then the only place I can keep it in the house doesn't have much light so once they're germinated I simply move them to a warm light windowsill and have always done well doing this and it prevents them getting 'leggy'.

              Anything else, veg, perennials, trees and shrubs are sown in pots and either put in a basic propagator and popped in the "blow-away" greenhouse or they have a plastic bag put over the pot and are popped on the windowsill in the house.

              I have also put stuff on the boiler for extra heat but ours in a cupboard with no natural light so theyhave to come out as soon as germination is achieved..

              Good Luck Mum :dbgrtmb:
               
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              • clueless1

                clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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                I doubt it would make any difference at all. I've been doing a good deal of reading up prior to and since building my cabinet. Photosynthesis needs light as you know, but it needs it at specific wavelengths, which are probably present in your office lamp, but the light needs a minimum intensity. Below the minimum (which differs from one plant to the next, even within the same species, all depending on many factors), photosynthesis doesn't just slow down, it stops completely.

                Get yourself one of those LED panels like I've used. They use next to no power, are safe because they generate no heat, are easy to use because they weigh so little, are cheap, and in my experience so far do the job very well.
                 
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