Germination temps..

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4:48 PM - Jan 26, 2004 #1

Hi,
When sewing seeds, am not sure what the temp ranges given mean for (a) germination and (b) after germination has occurred.
From what I can see they seem to fall into two categories the first of which is ones which say sew at 10 - 20 degrees. Now, does that mean that if they were sewn in a greenhouse in February which was heated just to keep the frost at bay that this would be warm enough - the only other option I have is to sew them in the house but surely that would be too warm (house is normally 18 - 21 celsius)?
In category number two there is the seeds that need 60 - 80 degrees. So with these would I start these in Feb indoors? Then, once germinated, what temperature would they need? Really, I don't have space to start them indoors but am not sure that my 6ft x 6ft greenhouse will be warm enough if heated just by one paraffin heater?
Want to give the seeds their best chance and feel the above points are very important otherwise it's just a lot of wasted effort and lots of little seeds that don't get to reach maturity!!!!
What's the scoop, heeeelp!!!
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scotia10
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scotia10
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Joined: 2:12 AM - Jun 24, 2003

6:00 PM - Jan 26, 2004 #2

Hi Isobel,
This is quite a big subject to cover, although basically the germination temperature is the temperature of the soil not the surrounding (ambient) temperature.
Perhaps the simplest way to explain this, is for me to direct you to where one source of the information you are looking for is.
Open up my website......go to alphabetic index.........click on 'M' and have a look in 'My Set up'......after that go to 'S' and look in 'sowing seed'.
Once you have read that, and if you still you need guidance, then get back to the forum and I am quite sure between us we will answer your questions.
http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk
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Plantsman64
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Joined: 5:52 PM - Jan 05, 2004

7:01 PM - Jan 26, 2004 #3

Isobel,
The temperature range given is that at which germination will be optimized. All seeds have an optimal temperature at which germination is maximized. This temperature will depend upon the plant that you are growing. Plants fall into 3 broad categories according to which temperature zone they originate from. These categories or zones are - cold, temperate and tropical (with graduations between). What we have to do is to simulate the germinating conditions that the seed would have in their own natural habitat. Most of the plants that we grow in out gardens are well suited to our year round temperature changes (hardy shrubs and perennials) but some are only suited to our spring to autumn temperatures, or only to our summer temperatures (half hardy annuals and some vegetables such as tomatoes, gourds and aubergines). These we start off in heat and gradually harden off to make them acclimatised to outdoor conditions. In the case of plants from tropical regions we will germinate seed in heat and grow the plants on in heat as they will never grow satisfactorily outdoors in our northern temperate region.
This is just a rough outline. Don't hesitate to ask myself and others for any further clarification.Peter
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salli c
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Joined: 4:35 PM - Feb 13, 2003

7:18 PM - Jan 26, 2004 #4

Hi Isobel
I'm quite new to seed sowing (this is my second year) so I still have a lot to learn but the following might help:
I have four main seed raising areas to choose from:
Outside, in coldframes (don't have a greenhouse)
In the house, in an unheated sunny "garden room" - around 55-65C
Heated propagator in the house - constant 70F (but I would recommend buying a variable one)
Glass terrarium in the house - same temp as garden room but more humidity
Between these 3 different areas and with almost no experience, I managed to grow 92 different varieties of plants last year, so have faith!! They really do want to grow, even if (like me) you don't know what you're doing .
Those seeds which need warmth (70F or higher) to germinate are started in the propagator. When they get to maybe 1cm tall, they are moved out of the heat and into the terrarium (it's just a glass case, like an unheated propagator, anything would do) where they are cooler but keep some humidity. Gradually I decrease the humidity in there till they can just be out on the work surface near the window.
In early spring (like now), I start off the hardy plants. By the time they are taking up too much space indoors (around March), I harden them off until they are outside by the end of March in the coldframes.
This leaves space indoors to get on with the half-hardy and tender seeds which are then about ready to go out by the time the last frosts come along, give or take a couple of weeks.
Hope that helps


xx-Sal-xx





xx-Sal-xx
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