Row by Row Episode 85: The Seed Starting Guide for the Garden

Guide to Seed Starting

During the seed starting process, there are many aspects that can control the success or failure of growing quality vegetable transplants. The first thing that people sometimes question is why can’t they simply dig up soil out of the yard and place it in seed starting trays. Greg explains you can do this but it’s not going to work out well and is highly not recommended. Therefore, we recommend using a Pro-Mix Seed Starting Mix to ensure you get the needed amount of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite when growing transplants. While applying the mix it also needs plenty of water initially to get the seeds wet in the tray cells. The guys recommend using a Dramm wand which is included in our Premium Seed Starting Kit. After the mix is nice and moist, you can start to prepare the tray for planting seeds. When using your fingers to create indentions they should be in the middle of the cell to improve seed planting. When it comes to planting depth it is ideal if you plant on average twice as deep as the diameter of your seed. If you live in an area similar to us in the South and you are growing crops such as beets or radishes you will not have to worry about using a heating mat underneath the trays because those crops will germinate in coolish type conditions. However, for summer crops like peppers or tomatoes, it’s important to provide a heat mat underneath the trays to help with the temperatures. When growing indoors the trick to providing the ideal amount of light is to get led shop lights with a natural daylight bulb color and place them over the plant you are trying to grow. The guys also recommend watering at least 2 to 3 times a day until the roots reach the bottom of the cells. Once the plants start to get their true leaves or second set of leaves become more prominent that is the ideal time to start spoon feeding at least 1 to 2 times a week with fertilizer. There are several different ways to add fertilizer to the growing plants, but Travis recommends using 20-20-20 in a watering can and sprinkling along the top of the plants. However, the plants are really delicate so you have to be sure and not over-fertilize them which can cause them to burn.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment, the guys discuss the weather conditions that are currently happening in the garden and how it can affect some vegetables and fruit trees. Travis also announces that he will be attending Deep South Homestead Gathering on March 21st in Perkinston, Mississippi, so be sure to stop by and see him.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment this week, the guys answer questions about ball zucchini, treating cut potato pieces, and the recommend amount of 20-20-20 that is equivalent to 10-10-10. We currently have one variety of ball zucchini known as Eight Ball Squash which contains a darker green exterior with excellent texture and flavor profile. Greg mentions that in the past he has used fir bark dust as a fungicide on potato seed pieces, but he cannot see any difference from when he does and doesn’t use it in the garden. Greg mentions when using 20-20-20 you would want to use half as much as you would 10-10-10 because it is twice the strength. However, if you are using a water-soluble liquid or granular form it can change the recommended amount.

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