Saturday, January 4, 2014

Seed Sowing/Vinca

I sowed 2 different colors of vinca, white and rose. I thought I had red ones. They take months to reach full sized so I am starting them now as I did last year. There were 20 seeds in each pack. Some cells had 2 seeds as there are only 16 cells per tray. I did not use the self watering feature that came with them as I did with the begonias. The self watering system which is a mat, sits on top of a plastic elevated insert. I really don't need this as I check my seedlings daily. I did have 1 self watering seed starting tray last year but it was different. The trays were less than half price during the Summer. I have to cut a black plastic bag to cover the top as the seeds require dark to germinate as the pansies did. If I don't have a bag I will use newspaper. Here's hoping for success. 

Seed trays with pellets expanded with warm water and allowed to sit. Excess water poured off. I took a plastic knife and broke apart the coir so each individual pot was filled with the medium other wise the seed may have difficulty germinating and for roots to develop. In spite of having a heat mat I have no thermometer. It worked without one last year so hopefully it will work again. Heat mats have not always been around and seeds germinated without them. I bought one last year but don't always use it unless the seed package says heat may aid in germination. People have been germinating seeds on window sills for years without any other heat source. I also started with seeds in the window and they did fine. Of course many seed require certain soil temperatures and when direct sowed or Winter sowed will not germinate until the soil reaches a certain temperature.
Seeds are large enough to work with unlike seeds of petunia and foxglove which are so small. If seeds are too small pelleted seeds are easier to work with although they cost more.
Trays on heat mat with germination covers next to begonia. The pansies are above under lights. Will cover vinca to block out light. I need to label the trays. If the seed packs don't stay in front of the trays I won't know which vinca is red and which is white. The part of seed starting I least like is labeling each individual container especially if different seeds are started in the same tray. If I do it now I will be prepared when it come time to transplant them. I don't think I will confuse them. Pansies look different from vinca. Other seeds that I will start petunia, coleus, lambs ear, and other develop their own distinctive look and type of true leaves.
Tray and mat that I removed from self watering seed starting tray.

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