Cottage Gardening forum: Seed Arrival -- Let's chat about it #6

 
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Imagepmb2005
Jan 23, 2015 8:30 AM CST
Name: Promise
Zone 7a Tennessee
critter Thank you for the great info!

starIt's out for delivery!!! I'm so happy I could bust!!! Its getting closer to having to purchase more lights for the plant stand.

Chelle Sowing with vermiculite is awesome! I have strawberries germinating. Last year I had a hard time with them and only got 2 plants out of a whole pack of seeds and it took up a lot more space waiting for them than in this little container. I'll admit, I was skeptical. Now I'm a believer!
ImageDayjillymo
Jan 23, 2015 8:52 AM CST
Name: Jill
NW Missouri
I'm here! I'm sorting seed and planning my wintersowing projects this weekend. This should be a very good year. Great seeds - thanks everyone!
Imagecritterologist
Jan 23, 2015 8:58 AM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
Did anybody bookmark the info on sowing with vermiculite? I know there was a series of great posts (from Jonna?) a while back, and I don't want anybody to have to retype all that if I can just jump to the right thread!
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Imagechelle
Jan 23, 2015 9:39 AM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
Here's the link to the article, Jill. http://www.seedsite.eu/articles/sowing
Imagechelle
Jan 23, 2015 9:40 AM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
pmb2005 wrote:critter Thank you for the great info!

starIt's out for delivery!!! I'm so happy I could bust!!! Its getting closer to having to purchase more lights for the plant stand.

Chelle Sowing with vermiculite is awesome! I have strawberries germinating. Last year I had a hard time with them and only got 2 plants out of a whole pack of seeds and it took up a lot more space waiting for them than in this little container. I'll admit, I was skeptical. Now I'm a believer!


Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

Great to hear, Promise!

indianamike
Jan 23, 2015 9:45 AM CST
Name: Mike
Southern Indiana
Mine arrived! What a grand day! I am super excited about all the new varieties and getting started! Now I just need to get some grow lights and potting soil for seed starting.
plantnutz
Jan 23, 2015 10:05 AM CST
Name: Brenda
7b
Cool, thanks Chelle for sharing Jonna's link. I've got the vermiculite - I'm ready!
ImageJonnaSudenius
Jan 23, 2015 10:21 AM CST
Name: Jonna
Belgium, Europe
Thank you Jill, I'm going to try the polymer crystals.
Imagecritterologist
Jan 23, 2015 10:30 AM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
And I'm going to try the vermiculite, especially for some older seeds I'd like to winter sow but don't want to "commit" a whole gallon jug to, LOL.

The agricultural polymer crystals are related to the ones in disposable diapers, but - not surprisingly - the diaper ones are made to break down quickly. So the diapers might make good liners for 1-season hanging baskets, but I wouldn't use them with food plants or put them directly into your garden.

ed. to add -- thanks for the link!!
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
[Last edited Jan 23, 2015 10:31 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1116014 (9)
Imagecritterologist
Jan 23, 2015 10:41 AM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
Just in case you have some hybrid varieties or other "must haves" still on your list LOL...

Burpees is doing free shipping on any order, use code FSHP15 I don't know how long they'll continue, as the offer was "supposed to" expire a couple days ago, but it worked this morning!

Swallowtail Seeds is doing free shipping on orders over $40.

I'm trying some different hybrid cucumbers this year, some bred for disease resistance and compactness, plus a couple of parthenocarpic ones (all female flowers, and they don't need a pollinator) that I can keep under row cover and thus away from pests & diseases. CMV and/or bacterial wilt is a major problem for me, and so far the best "protection" I've found is to plant in early July, late enough that the insect vector (cucumber beetles, apparently, although I used to think cabbage butterfly caterpillars played a role also) is no longer as active.
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Imagestarlight1153
Jan 23, 2015 10:59 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Promise I would like to know exactly how you did your strawberries in the vermicultite. I also have trouble with getting them to sprout.

IndianaMike and anybody else needing to do plant stands. I have bunches of them I made real cheap. I used the 3/4" pvc as I had tons of that laying around here and I have had my stands for years and years. I use them indoors and than I can use outdoors too for hardening off.

http://www.tsflowers.com/plantstand.html

I did learn the hard way, that as you cut all the pieces, it is best to take a marker and put an alphabet or number of the piece on it, so your not having to guess at which one is what length.

Some I also used pvc pipe glue and glued together. Those stands are permanent. Other, I had just hammered into together tight as when summer comes I can take sections apart, set up around yard and set plants out on.

You don't need to buy grow lights. The cheapest and best ones I have found are the 10 buck indoor AND outdoor lights from Home Depot. Lowes probably has too but Home Depot closer to me. I just add twisty wire to the light chains that way I can raise and lower them as needed for the seedlings.

I built my first stand and bought two lights, it takes two lights for each section, and than added more lights as I could afford it.
ImageAndi
Jan 23, 2015 11:36 AM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
I have a couple of seed starting questions...

I love the plant of the day, Gomphrena. I tried to start "Strawberry Fields" unsuccessfully twice - once wintersown, once direct sown. does anyone have a tried and true mtethod or any germination tips? Seed shelf space permitting, I am thinking of trying them inside this time.

Same with Hollyhocks. They didn't respond to wintersowing or direct sowing in the past, so I am trying them inside as well. I love the fully double hollyhocks and have the seeds, now I just have to get them to germinate!

This weekend is seed shelf setup weekend! Any recommendations for distance between shelves? I realize that I have to move either the flats or the lights , but I don't want to have to move the shelves once I get them full.

As you are probably tired of hearing, life in my new place has been far from perfect, but I am excited to finally have space for light shelves (and a separate fiber studio room, and a yard that I can do whatever I want with and a fireplace and nice neighbors in a friendly community). I am doing my best to bloom where I planted myself.

Advice to newbies from a novice - if you have enough seeds, sow half or less so that you will have some left if your first efforts at germination fail.
ImageAndi
Jan 23, 2015 11:54 AM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
Weedwacker, I started typing help for your printer problems, but the post got lost. Your problem is either a missing driver or a device conflict.

If you are still having trouble, let me know your model number and brand of printer and your operating system, I will find a driver for you. Some companies have software to install it for you.

Here is the driver support page for Hp...

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/drivers.html
ImageRickCorey
Jan 23, 2015 1:19 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Pacific NorthWet Zone 8a
I wonder if drip irrigation is worth starting a new thread somewhere?

Jill / Critter / Critterologist said:

>> If each of the filled-up lines start getting too long or varying too much in elevation, that's when you start having issues. For drip irrigation, go with whatever maximum run the manufacturer recommends, usually based on number of drippers
and
http://cubits.org/ellasgarden/thread/view_post/1115928/

I agree - the # of drippers control the expected total flow rate in GPM. If the diameter of the line can't "handle" that flow rate, the pressure drops off rapidly near the start of the line.

I think the other things you are saying are correct about pressure drop due to flow rate through a narrow tube - for that, "series" or "length" is what matters. I think that, once flow rate due to tubing size starts to be limiting, pressure drop due to rise and fall or elevation becomes very serious since you have so little pressure remaining.

What I was talking about was only the pressure drop due to elevation in the mainline, not flow rate. Whether the tube is wide or narrow, pressure will drop by one PSI for every 2.315 feet of rise up the hill.

That's why I suggested that pressure regulators could supply 30 PSI to every horizontal branch even if the pressure was 30 PSI at the top of the hill and 50 PSI at the bottom. But it's not really a suggestion - there ought to be easier and cheaper ways to water a hillside uniformly enough without buying 3-5 pressure regulators. Like running drippers every 24" at the bottom of the hill, 18" in the middle, and 12" at the top.


Speaking very loosely, and maybe I am drifting away from the issue that you're interested in, I think the main reason to limit the length of a horizontal run of soaker hoses or dripline in series is the "capacity" of a certain diameter tube.

If the diameter of the dripline can only handle (say) 40 gallons per hour, but the combined drippers in a 200 foot run "expected" to drip 100 gallons per hour at 20-30 PSI, the second half of that hose would get near-zero pressure and near-zero dripping. The diameter of the hose near the start of the run would limit the flow rate in gallons per hour, which means there would bee a big pressure drop in the first 1/2 or 1/4 of the run, and no water would get to the other 1/2 or 3/4 of the garden.

You would have to switch to larger diameter dripline to run that far, or use drippers spaced twice as far apart and run it for twice as long. Or use 1/2 GPM drippers instead of 1 or 2 GPM drippers.

What we call "3/4 inch mainline" has an Inside Diameter of 0.830 inches and can "handle" around 8 gallons per minute (480 GPH) before the flow rate in feet per second becomes so high that turbulent friction causes lots of pressure drop.

What we call "1/2 inch mainline" has an Inside Diameter of 0.600 inches and can "handle" around 4 gallons per minute (240 GPH).

What we call "1/4 inch tubing" has an Inside Diameter of 0.16 or 0.17 inches and can only "handle" around 0.7 gallons per minute (40 GPH).

1/8" spaghetti tubing has an 0.125 inch inside diameter, for once the name matches the reality. So it's only a little smaller than "1/4 inch tubing", but I guess the max flow rate is half, for the same pressure drop due to turbulent friction.

I don't know the effective ID of dripline that has emitters molded into it every foot or two, but I think that "1/4" dripline" is more for hobbyists than farmers.

In principle, if they make soaker hose or dripline in 1 inch diameter, or 1 and 1/2", you should have a flow rate "capacity" that's enough to supply a very long run of clsoely spaced, 2 GPM drippers. I think that is getting into the realm of very professional drip "tubing" that kind of inflates under pressure.

I dimly recall one course I took where the flow rate "capacity" of a tube was called its "Reynolds Number", and that related to turbulent vs. smooth ("laminar") flow. Once the flow rate (GPM) got high enough that the flow speed (feet per minute) got above some criticial speed, flow became trubulent and the pressure dropped a lot per foot.

Fundamentally, that's why a large-dimater hose can throw more water than a small hose. The speed in FPM can be lower for the same flow rate in GPM because the diameter and area of the inside of the tube are greater.

The prof would probably have said that a big tube has a larger area of laminar flow even as it starts to reach the turbulent speeds near the perimeter of the tube, but in practice, one bump or glitch in the tube makes the whole tube turbulent, and then "theory" can't easily calculate something that messy.

In theory, the roughness of the tubing interior affects what speed at which tubulence begins, but in practice it was connectors and emitters and barbs that disturb the smooth flow and cause the presssure drops.

That's why I liked "push-on" compression fittings instead of "screw-down" fittings for mainline. Why pay for a 33/4" maainline if every Tee restricted the flow as much as 1/2" mainline?

ImageRickCorey
Jan 23, 2015 1:21 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Pacific NorthWet Zone 8a
SandyB / Weedwhacker said:

>> RickCorey -- so lichens produce GA-3 ?? Can I do something with lichens to produce a GA-3 - like solution (or something) for seed sprouting?

I don't know - lichens also exude things that let them digest rocks, so you might not be doing seeds any favor by concentrating lichen tea by evaporation.

If you experiment, I would urge you to use seeds that you have thousands of, until you find some process that stimulates germination more than it kills the seeds.

Or buy some pure GA-3 ...

$5 - free shipping? - http://www.mbferts.com/GA3-Gibberellic-Acid_c21.htm

$4 + S&H - just powder - http://www.rarexoticseeds.com/en/gibberellic-acid-powder-ga3...

$24 kit - http://www.jlhudsonseeds.net/GibberellicAcid.htm#Kits and Su...

I think that the first two options would include enough GA-3 for an army of germinators for several years. Maybe next year the excess could be divided and offered for oinks?
ImageJonnaSudenius
Jan 23, 2015 1:22 PM CST
Name: Jonna
Belgium, Europe
Andi wrote:I have a couple of seed starting questions...

I love the plant of the day, Gomphrena. I tried to start "Strawberry Fields" unsuccessfully twice - once wintersown, once direct sown. does anyone have a tried and true mtethod or any germination tips? Seed shelf space permitting, I am thinking of trying them inside this time.

Same with Hollyhocks. They didn't respond to wintersowing or direct sowing in the past, so I am trying them inside as well. I love the fully double hollyhocks and have the seeds, now I just have to get them to germinate!

.


In your zone, you'd better start the Gomphrena 'Strawberry Fields' indoors. I did that with succes a few years ago. The seeds of this plant must be 'thick', if not, they are not viable, so only sow the thick ones.

Hollyhocks are perfect to winter sow, so I really don't know why they didn't germinate for you. Seeds are usually viable for at least 2 years.
Imagechelle
Jan 23, 2015 2:39 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
I toss hollyhock seeds under a row of evergreen shrubs, direct from the stalk during fall cleanup. It's easy, and I just move as many seedlings as I need from there to my sunny spot. The germination area is shady, with a bit of light grass... I don't even scuff it up first.
I wonder if these are some of those seeds that prefer some warm before the cold? I don't recall ever getting sprouts in one of my w/s containers, but none of them had warm first -they went straight outdoors in the dead of winter.
Imagestarlight1153
Jan 23, 2015 3:19 PM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
I start Hollyhocks in warm weather in Spring through early Fall. They get tap root and go dormant during winter and than will usually bloom the following season. Like how Chelle describing hers does.

Red How do we germinate these Banana seeds, please?
Imagecritterologist
Jan 23, 2015 3:25 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
I haven't grown gomphrena for several years (I have some really old seeds I'm going to try this year, for a lark), but I have a vague memory of peeling off the papery coating and soaking the seed for a few hours (in warm tap water, maybe with a splash of hydrogen peroxide) before sowing. I would think that winter sowing should let you skip those steps if you get a little freeze/thaw action to soften the seed coat. And yes, only "fat" seeds will germinate. You can feel the seed inside that papery little petal.
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Imagecritterologist
Jan 23, 2015 3:29 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
Ric, I see what you're saying with the pressure regulators, but I still think as long as you have enough water pressure to "fill up" soaker hoses and drip lines branching out from the main supply line, it doesn't matter whether they are being filled by a high or low pressure part of the line... just like it doesn't matter whether you have high or low water pressure at your hose bib, as long as it's "enough" flow to fill up the lines. That might be different for drip emitters than for soaker... personally, unless using thousands of them, I'd be tempted to pay a little more for the pressure regulating drippers that are now available.
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.

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