What vegetable seeds can I NOT start off in a seed tray/plug?

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Samuel_1988, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. Samuel_1988

    Samuel_1988 Gardener

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    57
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West London (UK)
    Ratings:
    +14
    Evening all,

    Got lots of different veg seeds today and I read on the packet that the lettuce seeds must be sown outdoors (which I assume means direct sowing). I remember though buying little lettuce plants in plugs so I was wondering..

    what vegetable seeds can I not start off in the polytunnel (in trays, plugs etc) to transplant later?

    Or more specifically can I start off carrots, beetroot, radish in seed trays/plugs?

    Thanks

    Samuel
     
  2. rustyroots

    rustyroots Total Gardener

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    2,211
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Solihull, West Midlands
    Ratings:
    +2,740
    Hi Samuel.

    I start my beetroot in modules and transplant. I do this as it saves thinning out if direct sown. When I transplant them I can space them as needed. Saves wasting a lot of seed. As for carrots and radish I would say no, these need to be direct sown. I also start cabbage off in modules.

    Rusty.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Phil A

      Phil A Guest

      Ratings:
      +0
      Add Parsnips to the not in modules list too :)
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • clueless1

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

        Joined:
        Jan 8, 2008
        Messages:
        17,778
        Gender:
        Male
        Location:
        Here
        Ratings:
        +19,587
        My dad starts all his veg off in cells, including tap root veg like parsnips. He always gets a decent yield, BUT, usually a very irregular shape. Its still fine, but just a bit more fiddly to wash and prep for cooking.

        His logic is that there are that many weed seeds kicking about that no matter how much he prepares the ground, if he sows direct he's going to have to try to sort weed seedling from veg seedling if he sows direct, and now he's slowing down a bit with age and less than perfect health, he simply can't be bothered to spend hours on his hands and knees manually picking weed seedlings out, so he likes to give the veg a head start, while keeping the ground empty (and hoe'ed) until the veg are big enough to stand out.
         
        • Agree Agree x 1
        • Informative Informative x 1
        • Scrungee

          Scrungee Well known for it

          Joined:
          Dec 5, 2010
          Messages:
          15,832
          Location:
          Central England on heavy clay soil
          Ratings:
          +27,307
          Sowing in toilet roll tubes works providing you plant them out as soon as the leaves show (takes about 3 weeks) otherwise the fast growing root will get to the bottom and you'll get forked parsnips. I've read of people sowing carrots in toilet roll tubes.

          [​IMG]
           
          • Informative Informative x 3
          • Like Like x 2
          • Useful Useful x 1
          • Kristen

            Kristen Under gardener

            Joined:
            Jul 22, 2006
            Messages:
            17,405
            Gender:
            Male
            Location:
            Suffolk, UK
            Ratings:
            +12,383
            I start Parsnips off in tall pots made from wrapping a sheet of newspaper around an aerosol can (and then plant it whole), but I only did that once for Carrots - too much Faff for a single carrot!

            I grow all other vegetables in "pots" and plant out.
             
          • clueless1

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

            Joined:
            Jan 8, 2008
            Messages:
            17,778
            Gender:
            Male
            Location:
            Here
            Ratings:
            +19,587
            Being inexperienced in veg growing (except spuds), this might sound like a daft question, but do you reckon the same might be true of runner beans?

            The past 2 years I've started them off in bog roll tubes, but let them get to about 8 inches before planting out, and they've never done that well, yet other people I know report great success with this technique.
             
          • Scrungee

            Scrungee Well known for it

            Joined:
            Dec 5, 2010
            Messages:
            15,832
            Location:
            Central England on heavy clay soil
            Ratings:
            +27,307
            There's 2 things I try and avoid when starting off runner beans in cells or pots, insufficient root development (so the soil falls off the roots when removing to transplant) and them becoming root bound due to sowing in something too small (or prolonged bad weather delaying planting).

            I've never sown them in toilet roll tubes as I start my runner beans of in 12 cell tray inserts, very old, split/broken ones that are falling apart and need to sit in seed trays to hold them together, but the advantage (other than taking up less space than 3" pots) is that the plants come out with the minimum of root disturbance as I find their root system when started in pots very often isn't sufficiently developed to stop the pot contents falling to bits when removing to plant out.

            The 12 cell inserts I use are Erin Advancer (bought over 15 years ago!) which are much deeper than the likes sold by Wilkos. I'll measure, calculate the difference & edit post, but they're much bigger than those Wilkos sell:

            beancelltrays.jpg


            P.S. Conversely, when sowing French Beans I sow them 2 or 3 seeds in each cell of a 24x cell tray, to deliberately force them to mature/produce beans earlier. It doesn't matter to me if the crop is smaller because I use free saved seeds and sow successionally.
             
            • Like Like x 1
            • Kristen

              Kristen Under gardener

              Joined:
              Jul 22, 2006
              Messages:
              17,405
              Gender:
              Male
              Location:
              Suffolk, UK
              Ratings:
              +12,383
              I would have expected Runner Beans to be fine no matter how you start them off. They usually grow OK even constrained in small modules ... although I wouldn't use such a small container as that - I grow them in 9cm pots and then plant them out.

              Using Newspaper Pots, or Loo Rolls, you need to be careful that none of the paper/cardboard is above the surface when you plant out (I tear off a strip around the top of the "pot") otherwise it acts as a wick and dries out the paper underground - and then the roots struggle to grow through it. Perhaps try a few in pots this year and see if they perform better than the loo roll ones alongside them?
               
              • Like Like x 1
              Loading...

              Share This Page

              1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
                By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
                Dismiss Notice