Episode-1932- Seed Starting Primer for 2017 — 18 Comments

  1. A few more weeks to go up here before I start seeds. But funny you mention Purple Tomatillo, mine are Purple De Milpa, and will be starting them around March 15th

  2. Does anyone know anything about “Winstrip trays” I believe they are called? I heard about them on the Farmer to Farmer podcast, and they sounded like very heavy duty seed starting trays, but were angled and had an air gap on all sides. So you got all the benefits of a soil cube by having air pruning of roots, while still being incredibly fast to fill the trays.

    Here is an example of them:

    They are pretty expensive at $14+shipping for a 70ish cell tray, and I can only find them at one place. So I’m not sure if these things are legit or if it was a plug for his own product.

    Any thoughts?

    • I don’t know but they look really cool, they also look sturdy enough to last for several seasons at a minimum which makes the price not bad.

    • Well this is neat, it looks like the University of Florida actually did a study of Winstrip trays vs tradition vs “Growing Systems” trays which look like deeply tapered trays. The Winstrip trays were better than traditional and made larger first fruit, but in total production the tapered “Growing System” ones were better.

      I can only find quantities of 100 of the Growing System trays for sale, but they are only a bit over $1 per each in a quantity of a hundred trays; so I imagine they have to be a flimsy one use type tray.

      I will buy a couple of the Winstrip trays and let you know what I think!


  3. I have been harvesting tomatoes for the last month and have some that have not ripened still on the vine. I started my next batch of tomato plants inside last week. Our “winter” will be pretty much over in a few weeks. Zone 9B

  4. What differences would there be between the shelf you describe for seed starting and a sprouting setup? I’m just thinking if you used your setup to do both, you could use it year round and it would be easier to justify the cost.

    • I assume you mean micro greens. The big difference is micro greens don’t need a full spectrum of light, because they don’t grow vegetatively. So you could use these for micro greens, but what most use for micro greens will not grow suitable plants for the garden.

  5. I’m honestly shocked at how quickly the prices for decent LED tech have dropped. I bought 12 watt plant grow light off of Amazon to put over the sump on my reef aquarium to grow macroalgae about 4 months ago and the price for the model has come down about 10% since then. I also just started a 24×6 planter last week with baby green bed of lettuce, watercress, red kale, swiss chard, and spinach to keep indoors and I’m using an LED light over it designed for a planted aquarium. I’d swear it’s pulling those sprouts right out of the soil.

  6. Jack, or anyone else.

    Is there a particular seed starter mix that is well liked by people? Or just buy whatever organic mix is available at the store?


    • Ill use just about any decent organic potting mix. I do screen out the big pieces of wood debris though.

    • I usually blend equal parts Perilite or Vermiculite, really cheap black earth and peat moss

  7. If I were to buy the shelf and tent, how many lights would I need?

    I like the tidy the set up!

    • It would depend, I would say two for each level so 6 if you wanted to max it out, but you don’t have to max it out you know.

  8. Just a comment on the song Southern Cross. Man, I’ve heard that song a million times. Never did much for me actually. So, I almost ALMOST turned it off when you played it. But after your description of it, I gave it a go and man with the background of it, I love it now. Crazy.

    ****In a noisy bar in Avalon I tried to call you
    But on a midnight watch I realized why twice you ran away

    So I’m sailing for tomorrow my dreams are a-dyin’
    And my love is an anchor tied to you (tied with a silver chain)
    I have my ship and all her flags are a-flyin’
    She is all that I have left and music is her name

    So we cheated and we lied and we tested
    And we never failed to fail it was the easiest thing to do
    You will survive being bested
    Somebody fine will come along make me forget about loving you
    And the southern cross***

    Man, oh man, to be able to write like that.


    Much thanks for the new found appreciation on a simply amazing song.

    Thanks Jack!

  9. Man, I wish you’d do an episode just like this every year. Pick new cool plants to talk about, plans for your garden, etc.