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what do you have the most success growing?  what specific varieties to you recommend?  what should be avoided, in your opinion

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******UPDATE******

So I got my bottle of Maxicrop and added 5ml to 1 gallon water and added to bed.  Within 3 days I saw a marked difference in the color of the plants.  Leaves are back to a normal green and the celery stalks turned green although the damage is done to the celery, upper leaves have died off.  I have the water 2" below the surface and have added new seeds to the bed.  The new basil seeds sprouted and some have stayed others have died.  New snow pea seeds have been in for 2 weeks and no sign of sprouting.  Will give that some time.

The Maxicrop stated that potassium is an element in it, so I left that part alone.  Not sure what else to do about kicking the pH down, still at 7.4.

So right now I guess we sit back and watch for a few more weeks.

Hi John,

Good news I see!. If you're using the GB for germinating, seed placement will be tricky. I usually have the GB fill level about 1 inch below the media. I'm using pea gravel so i can usually accurately place seeds just above the water line giving high percentages and fast germination. Generally a PH of 7.4 in media systems for growing are not a significant problem IMO.

I planted all the seeds at the depths that are recommended for that species although that can be difficult with Hydrocorn  but we will see how well they do. I hay just set up a separate bed with compost pellets to start the plants if this doesn't work.

Peas can be odd, they like it rather warm to germinate but cool to grow.  You might try soaking the seeds in warm water before planting them.  Or perhaps soak them in some warm water and then place them between layers of moist paper towel and stick them in a plastic bag and put them in a warm dark place.  Check them every day and as soon as you see signs of them starting to grow, plant them being very careful not to break the new root that is starting to come out of the seed. 

Basil is a warm weather crop.

I wouldn't worry too much about a pH of 7.4.  If the fish are hungry and the bio-filter can keep up, feed them some more and that can often help the bacteria to bring the pH down some.

Thanks, TC. Feeding the fish....I am starting to feel like the little boy from the Dr. Suess's "A Fish out of Water"..They eat and eat it all. 

All the plants are grown in the house which is a constant 72, Water is a constant 73 degrees.  I did test another option, I took paper cups and placed them in my worm bedding/compost bin in the house and the peas in there sprouted after 4 days.  So I may try to pull those and plant in the grow bed.  I will try the soaking the next batch, how long is a typical soaking for something like peas or bush beans? Hour or 24 hours?

Vlad mentioned soaking in water and peroxide I believe what about that?

TCLynx said:

Peas can be odd, they like it rather warm to germinate but cool to grow.  You might try soaking the seeds in warm water before planting them.  Or perhaps soak them in some warm water and then place them between layers of moist paper towel and stick them in a plastic bag and put them in a warm dark place.  Check them every day and as soon as you see signs of them starting to grow, plant them being very careful not to break the new root that is starting to come out of the seed. 

Basil is a warm weather crop.

I wouldn't worry too much about a pH of 7.4.  If the fish are hungry and the bio-filter can keep up, feed them some more and that can often help the bacteria to bring the pH down some.

The water and peroxide I've only used on seeds with a hard outer shell that take long to germinate (hot peppers for instance). For one, the acid (peroxide) softens up the hard outer coating, and secondly it also probably provides some anti-bacterial/fungal action as well (for things like crown rot/collar rot etc)...but mostly I'm impatient and do it for the speed/germinating, but others seem to use that method for some protection against common seedling diseases...

I've never soaked beans or peas in such a solution, (in grade school once we soaked beans/peas in plain water for 24 hours before planting, if that's any help) but try it out (peroxide) see if it works/helps? You can do a side by side test...(I did a side by side with low pH soaking (HCl and water), then another with peroxide (soaked for about 8-10 hours) with Hab seeds...seemed to work well...sped things up...Kind of to mimic the conditions inside a birds stomach. With peas and beans that seems unnecessary, unless your after a bit of anti-septic action...my two cents...

Vlad, thanks again.  Since this whole thing started because of a business need to produce my own raw material (hot peppers) for various hot sauces, and get the plants away from the soil as this year was a terrible year for my habs, but great for my Portuguese Chili, Thai Chilies and Jalapeno's.  Of 50 Hab's planted in soil only two produced good fruit and just enough to make one jar of pickles.

I would suspect I may want to treat seeds from my own stock plants as there is always that possibility of fungal issues.  Most of my other seeds are already packaged and treated at factory.  I think all the chilies would benefit from the HCI since they are the hardest.



Vlad Jovanovic said:

The water and peroxide I've only used on seeds with a hard outer shell that take long to germinate (hot peppers for instance). For one, the acid (peroxide) softens up the hard outer coating, and secondly it also probably provides some anti-bacterial/fungal action as well (for things like crown rot/collar rot etc)...but mostly I'm impatient and do it for the speed/germinating, but others seem to use that method for some protection against common seedling diseases...

I've never soaked beans or peas in such a solution, (in grade school once we soaked beans/peas in plain water for 24 hours before planting, if that's any help) but try it out (peroxide) see if it works/helps? You can do a side by side test...(I did a side by side with low pH soaking (HCl and water), then another with peroxide (soaked for about 8-10 hours) with Hab seeds...seemed to work well...sped things up...Kind of to mimic the conditions inside a birds stomach. With peas and beans that seems unnecessary, unless your after a bit of anti-septic action...my two cents...

For peas/beans I think soaking overnight is probably sufficient.  I often just do a cup of hot water and a hand full of the seeds for an hour or so before planting them.  At least that is what I did this last time for a test planting of pea shoots.  Old seeds I was worried about (not stored very well.)  They are coming up.

Keeping the planting media warm for peas does seem to help get them up better.  I've sometimes found when it is too cold/damp for them the seeds just turn to mush instead of germinating.

I do tend to consult the Farmers Almanac Gardening by the Moon Calendar to at least make sure I'm not planting seeds on days that say Barren Period, Do No Planting, Poor For Planting and especially Seeds Planted Now Will Rot and so on.

Mush is right.  I checked the peas last night and the worms were eating them. So I am trying the soaking method before planting.

Never really thought about the farmers almanac, since these are all in the house.

I think the moon planting guide probably still applies even in the house since I believe it has more to do with gravity rather than weather.  Now if you are doing inverted lighting schedules (turning the grow lights on overnight rather than during the day perhaps that will put the above ground/below ground crop choices opposite or something but I would probably still try to avoid the barren or "seeds will rot in ground" days for starting seeds.

Ok so I have a new update.  I took snow peas and soaked them in water for 24 hours and then wrapped in a damp paper towel for 3 days.  They sprouted to about 4 inches.  Planted and they are a healthy 9" tall and no losses at this time. The one thing I did do during this time was I used an eyedropper and hand watered each seedling for two weeks after planting.  Watering them off about 1/8" away from the stem so that water was going directly down the media to the root area not on the stem.

At that same time I planted lettuce in the bed, about 20 seeds,  they have sprouted quickly to about 3 inches and again fell over.  Of course the fall breaks the stem and they die.  Any suggestions on what I can do to get them to hold out till the roots really get going?

I have also planted beets just to see what would happen, well those are a complete success. In the bed on Dec 10th and small beets are at the base.  I have had to spread them out since they were too close.

Lettuce seems to be the biggest problem.  Any thoughts on them?

Vlad-How much water to peroxide for soaking pepper seeds?  I have 15% peroxide and 50% peroxide available to use.

Where are you starting the seeds?  is the system indoors?  I'm not sure but the problem with the lettuce sounds a bit like damping off.  Does it look like a little spot on the stem just above the gravel line is pinched and rotting and the plant falls over?  That would be damping off and is a disease that is common starting seedlings indoors.  I've heard that you can brew some chamomile tea and cool it off and put in a spray bottle and mist the seed starting area and small seedlings with it daily to prevent the problem.  I've never done it though.

I don't think soaking lettuce seeds in hydrogen peroxide is likely to help much and wet lettuce seed is likely to be difficult to handle.  AS to 15% and 50%??????  those % both sound like industrial use levels and I would probably not want to handle either of them.  For Soaking seeds I'm pretty sure you need something well less than 3% unless you are just doing a quick dunk before you plant.

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