Starting from Seeds - Questions

12 years ago

Hello gang -

I probably made nearly 30 crosses this year and ended up with well over 1000 seeds. I used the flotation method and achieved about a 60%-70% percent germination rate. So I'm happy with that.

However, the process of moving the seedlings from the water to a soil mixture hasn't gone so well. I used 72-cell trays with humidity domes and planted in a seed-starting medium which looks like it contains mostly peat.

I lost 75% of my seedlings in the test batch of 4 72-cell trays. I think the mistake I made was to expose them to the bright FL sun too early - I thought they were sufficiently shaded but I realize now they were not. The humidity under the domes was very high. I did not add any fertilizer to the test batch.


(1) Is the germination rate about the same when Hippy seeds are started in a soil mixture? And should one keep the humidity level (very) high? I'm going to sow a batch in a soil mix to see if I can eliminate having to disturb them.

(2) Using the flotation method, how long should one wait before moving the seedlings to a soil mixture? I moved all of the ones in the test batch when they had 1 healthy leaf and 1 root. I have a large batch I started in water on 3/15 - I'm letting them stay in the water longer on purpose but they are getting tangled. I added a weak dose of Miracle Grow to the water this time.

(3) Is mold (a white substance) on some of the seeds common, and is it a problem? For me, the seeds that had this issue did not germinate. I also noticed some red streaks on some roots - fungus?

Sorry for the long post. Tips will be appreciated.


Central Florida

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