1st time seed starting (T5/heatmat Germination Project)


Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Location
Foothills, California
Hardiness Zone
Zone 9a
Country
United States
Hey everyone,
Stuff is coming in and we are in the process of getting set up. The ebay 20x48" propagation mat came in a day for less than $30, I bought a cube of coconut coir and some of those walmart greenhouse trays. My T5 lights are high up in my garage and only 2 of the 54w high output bulbs still work. Seeds are also from walmart. Yesterday we expanded the soil and sorted our seeds. Its dropping to about 35 degrees each night maybe the lights and the mat will help with that.

Questions:
51109

Where do people get their seeds?

Hoop houses... big subject but what do you like and why?
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Location
Foothills, California
Hardiness Zone
Zone 9a
Country
United States
Ok an update on the T5 grow setup. Wal-Mart didn't carry T5 replacement tubes neither did any lighting stores. Weird. Home depot had some in the 4200k range but I needed something in the 6500k range (more blue than yellow) I found a 5 pack on their website that will be delivered to my house. I planted the seeds and setup the heat mat in the garage. The first run will include:

36 Cilantro
36 Lettuce
36 Tomatoes cherry
36 Tomatoes beef
11Pumpkins, Jack o' Lantern
3 Pumpkins, Casper
4 Watermelon, sugar baby
24 Squash yellow
18 chili poblano
30 Bell peppers

After these are big enough to transplant each plant will go into 1 gal pots in a hoop house that I haven't made yet. I have my eye on an old car port that the vinyl has rotted off of to be reused with clear plastic. Plants need to be able to survive the weather and wild turkeys and quail here before they go outside. I learned that the hard way years ago.


Here are some current photos of today. I still need to label everything and install new bulbs. This is surplus equipment from my green flower growing days.
51247
51248
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Oct 8, 2017
Messages
3,390
Reaction score
3,211
Location
Birmingham Alabama
Hardiness Zone
8a
Country
United States
So would you take advice given the large momentum you have impressively built up? If one of us answered and it was not in line with the dogma you are obviously following, could you handle the change?

I am gonna start you out by saying coir is not soil. The future plant growth will be impacted by this idea, whereas the sterile nature of coir and its relationship to holding moisture is ok for starting seed. But then so is a moist paper towel inside a ziploc bag.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Location
Foothills, California
Hardiness Zone
Zone 9a
Country
United States
I was cleaning out one of the freezers today and I found my huge stash of seeds. I cant wait until this group is ready for transplant because I have EVERYTHING.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Location
Foothills, California
Hardiness Zone
Zone 9a
Country
United States
Yeah I don't plan on keeping them in the coir, just sprouting then possibly a small amount of fish emulsion oil until each plant is 4" or so then on to the 1 gal pots with a mixture of my native soil and perlite to keep from too much compaction. I have never tested my soil but when I grow tomatoes they tend to explode with production. Any thoughts on the fish emulsion oil in weak concentrations being sprayed by spray bottle until everything reaches 4-5" or so?
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2017
Messages
3,390
Reaction score
3,211
Location
Birmingham Alabama
Hardiness Zone
8a
Country
United States
Yeah I don't plan on keeping them in the coir, just sprouting then possibly a small amount of fish emulsion oil until each plant is 4" or so then on to the 1 gal pots with a mixture of my native soil and perlite to keep from too much compaction. I have never tested my soil but when I grow tomatoes they tend to explode with production. Any thoughts on the fish emulsion oil in weak concentrations being sprayed by spray bottle until everything reaches 4-5" or so?
Yes. I think it is best to use a weak fertilizer and more frequently moisten. The 2 macro agents are oxygen and water as far as roots go. Then you can NPK to your hearts content.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Location
Foothills, California
Hardiness Zone
Zone 9a
Country
United States
Well my new 6500k T5 Bulbs arrived broken. I have to wait for them to be returned as the local stores don't have the right temperature bulbs. Another option is photography bulbs. They are 6500k and 5000k (close enough) and they are cfls. I might have to dig them out and use those in the mean time. For now the 2 original bulbs are doing great. Good light at about 108 watts, heating pad is another 100 watts. Lettuce is sprouting at 5 days and the squash and tomatoes are just peeking through the soil. I give credit to the heat mat as it was 30°in the garage last night.
51323

This photo is before watering. It goes from wet to light brown in 24 hours. Should I water more?
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
393
Reaction score
587
Location
Dothan, AL
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
So would you take advice given the large momentum you have impressively built up? If one of us answered and it was not in line with the dogma you are obviously following, could you handle the change?

I am gonna start you out by saying coir is not soil. The future plant growth will be impacted by this idea, whereas the sterile nature of coir and its relationship to holding moisture is ok for starting seed. But then so is a moist paper towel inside a ziploc bag.
Use coir (it goes a LONG way) in mixing up homemade potting soil and seed starting mix with acceptable result. Have, even, experimented with ALL coir in large pots.........but, as DM says,"....coir is NOT soil". It's redeeming property is moisture retention and it's ability to, somewhat, positively affect bagged potting soil that is a little on the "heavy side". You're REALLY gonna like the seed heat mats. They really speed up the germination process. I use 6,500k, T-8 bulbs that keeps the seedlings rom getting "leggy" when the light is suspended 1 1/2 -2 inches above the seedlings.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Location
Foothills, California
Hardiness Zone
Zone 9a
Country
United States
How many T8 bulbs do you use? That's my main concern is not enough light. Each of my T5 bulbs is 54 watts and 5000 lumens. I'm going to get my mega cfls out today. They are almost comical how large they are. I believe 65 watts each
51327
l

Not my actual bulb
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
393
Reaction score
587
Location
Dothan, AL
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
How many T8 bulbs do you use? That's my main concern is not enough light. Each of my T5 bulbs is 54 watts and 5000 lumens. I'm going to get my mega cfls out today. They are almost comical how large they are. I believe 65 watts each
I wanted the 4', 4-bulb fixtures that could be hung with adjustable chains but could only find the 2-bulb fixtures so I went with 2 sets (NOT LED) hung side by side.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Location
Foothills, California
Hardiness Zone
Zone 9a
Country
United States
Awesome thank you, I assumed I would need more than the 2 bulbs I have now. My fixture supports 8 x 4' bulbs but using it as a garage light has taken a toll on the unit. It's well over 10 years old now when electric ballasts first started replacing magnetic ballasts. Only 2 bulbs still function the rest are burned out
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
393
Reaction score
587
Location
Dothan, AL
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
This is a look at my, presently, small set-up. Waiting on having a dreaded garage sales to clear up a LOT more room for at least 3 more sets.
20190330_154933.jpg
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Location
Foothills, California
Hardiness Zone
Zone 9a
Country
United States
Status update 7 days since planting seeds. Most tomatoes are up, squash, pumpkins and lettuce doing strongly. Cilantro and peppers... not one yet but they are sprouted from their little seeds just not 1/4" up yet. Late bloomers I suppose.
51445
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Location
Foothills, California
Hardiness Zone
Zone 9a
Country
United States
Ok so day 11 and I think whatever is popped up is what's going to germinate. I pulled out a pumpkin and the entire 3x3x3 cube is roots... I just gave everything 1/4 teaspoon of fish emulsion fertilizer mixed in a gallon of water. It might not have even been that much but the new leaves are coming out. Monday or Thursday they may get potted into the 1 gal pots. Depends on my schedule. Do they look like they need more light? They are under the t5 bulbs but I have been bringing them out on cloudy days as well. Its 60° and cloudy. A wild Turkey already spotted them and I had to shoo him off. They literally poop on my deck. I like them around. Let me know what you think. Some are leaning to the light but it might be placement too.
51630
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Location
Foothills, California
Hardiness Zone
Zone 9a
Country
United States
Quick weekend update. I think we finally hit the last frost. A cold snap came at 38 degrees but most nights are around 45 or so. Re potted the squash, pumpkins and melons today. I would put them in the ground but the turkeys will eat them if I leave them alone too soon. Tomorrow makes 3 weeks. Soil is 2 parts local soil, one handful of pearlite and 1 part potting soil and coir mixed (all my leftovers together)
52146
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
1,077
Reaction score
866
Location
NW Florida
Hardiness Zone
8
Country
United States
That's a lot of pots! Why the stair step approach? Could you not just put them directly in the ground now?
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Location
Foothills, California
Hardiness Zone
Zone 9a
Country
United States
I have about 100 wild turkeys that wander around on my property from time to time. They would gobble up the plants being so young and soft. (Excuse the pun)
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top