Humble Origins ~ To Great Beginnings forum: Starting Early ~ Bulbs, Rhizomes, & Seeds

Views: 27, Replies: 7 » Jump to the end
Mar 4, 2010 12:31 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
I often start these items very early as some of them take a while to get going.
For things that will possibly be held over for up to 8 weeks I have devised a one step process of "seeding" once and then straight to planting out in the garden.

Materials needed for this project:
One large plastic storage container, approx. 5 inches high, and whatever width and length you feel comfortable carrying, to place your cups in. One for each type of plant you wish to start this way is usually best as you don't have to individually tag each cup as to what it is.
A supply of 12oz. or 16oz. styrofoam cups.
Soil from your garden/yard.
Earthworm castings.
Sterile seed starting mix.
Piece of masking tape that you can label your tray with.

I buy from a dollar store type of place 12oz. and 16oz. styrofoam cups.
Then I make slits, (usually 4 it depends on cup size and strength) approx. 2" long in the bottom and up the sides of the cup for drainage and watering. Like in this photo......bottom view.

Thumbnail by chelle

Mar 4, 2010 12:36 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
I then break up a few pieces of another cup and place the pieces in the bottom. My intent is to water from the bottom so I don't want all of my soil sitting in it. Like this..

Thumbnail by chelle

Mar 4, 2010 1:19 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
Prepare as many cups as will completely fill your plastic tray. If you don't they will tip over when you move your container!
Once your tray is full you are ready to fill your cups.
I like to use soil from my garden in the bottom, that way my babies will already be accustomed to it when I plant them out.
Mix in some earthworm castings to your soil bucket before beginning.
Then fill the cups halfway full of this mix.
If you are starting bulbs or rhizomes you can go ahead and set them on top of this mix in your cups.
Then fill with your sterile seed starting mix.
If you are starting seeds fill the cups to within 2" of the top with sterile seed starting mix. Then place your seeds and cover, (or not as the case may be) to the recommended depth for that type of seed.
Last step:
Gently add water to your tray, not the cups, a bit at a time over the course of a few hours until you see that your soil has become saturated all the way to the top, (it'll change to a darker color). If there is a lot of standing water, (over 2" deep) left in your tray after you notice the color change, sop some of it out with a towel.
Then set your tray in a warm area, or on a heat mat and wait for your babies to emerge!
With this method I bypass several transplantings before being able to plant them out.
Plus the risk of my over or under watering are minimized.
If you have any questions about this method, fire away!
Jan 28, 2011 2:03 PM CST
Name: Donna
Winnipeg, Manitoba Zone 4
Great tutorial, Chelle! You should set it up as a sticky for reference.
Jan 28, 2011 4:27 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
Thanks Donna!

This was actually the draft for an article. Big Grin

Funny thing is - I just now returned from the store with several dozen big Styrofoam cups to start some plants in! What timing! Hilarious!

Have you used this method?
Jan 28, 2011 4:52 PM CST
Name: Donna
Winnipeg, Manitoba Zone 4
What are you planning to start?
Jan 28, 2011 5:57 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
I want to experiment with some tuberous begonia seeds that I collected last year. I've read that they don't take a long tome to sprout, but after they do they'll sit for a couple of months before they start any appreciable top growth.

Then, I have some angelica, black cohosh and elecampane seeds to start. Possibly a few others that have long tap-roots and dislike transplanting. I'll start these outside, and I think I'll set the cups up in cardboard boxes for proper drainage. Hopefully the boxes will hold together long enough to keep the cups from scattering to the four winds!

Jan 28, 2011 8:00 PM CST
Name: Donna
Winnipeg, Manitoba Zone 4
I've never started tuberous begonia seeds...sounds interesting.

« Back to the top
« homepage
« Plant Haven cubit homepage
« Humble Origins ~ To Great Beginnings forum

Only subscribed members of this cubit may reply to this thread. There is a "Join this cubit" button at the bottom of this page.

Plant Haven

For plants and the people who love them! Join us for great gardening adventures! Seed germination information database available.

» Home
» Forums
» Articles
» Pages
» Database
» Links

Cubit owner: chelle

New Content Coming Soon!


Looking for great deals on plant liners, plugs & more?
Try Mamajack's!

Wild Bird Gardens Hosted by~ angele
Brugmansia Forum Hosted by~ Ridesredmule
Bug Life Hosted by~ JRsbugs
Succulents Database @ Cubits Hosted by~valleylynn
Rose Database @ Cubits

Visitors ~ Welcome!


Plant Haven Expressions

contributed by member~AlohaHoya


click on the butterflies to view Good News! cubit.