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  1. #1
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    Seed Starting: A Beginner's Attempt

    This is my first post outside of the introduction thread, but here I'm attempting to put my painful learning process on display while gleaning any wisdom that comes my way as a result. I have purchased 200 Little Dutch, 100 Small Stalk Black Mammoth, and 100 One Sucker tobacco seeds. I also have two 50 cell seed starter trays. I intend to start these seeds March 6-19, but my dilemma is that my house does not get enough sun through the windows and March in the Shenandoah Valley is too cold to start them outside.

    My latest solution to this problem is to buy a small greenhouse to place on my covered back porch and heat it with heating mats under the seed trays. Does anyone recommend this solution? As I said, my house does not get 6 hours of sunlight through any window and I hope to avoid running grow lights and fooling with timers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Seed Starting: A Beginner's Attempt

    a regular shop fourfoot florecent light is enough to grow tobacco seedlings. you have to keep it a few inches away or they will stretch for the light. be careful when you put them outside start with them in the shade and work a little early morning or late afternoon sun into there schedule. increase the amount of sunlight and you will be fine.

  3. #3
    Moderator Jitterbugdude's Avatar
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    Re: Seed Starting: A Beginner's Attempt

    Yup... what bonehead said!

  4. #4
    Founder FmGrowit's Avatar
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    Re: Seed Starting: A Beginner's Attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by bonehead View Post
    a regular shop fourfoot florecent light is enough to grow tobacco seedlings. you have to keep it a few inches away or they will stretch for the light. be careful when you put them outside start with them in the shade and work a little early morning or late afternoon sun into there schedule. increase the amount of sunlight and you will be fine.
    We got some good learners here.

  5. #5
    Northern tobacco grower Michibacy's Avatar
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    Re: Seed Starting: A Beginner's Attempt

    I use a 3 stage process when I start seeds, I start them in a small 12"x6" tupperware with a dedicated Fluorescent light above them, I then move then to cell trays (72's) with a "chandelier" of 2, 200 watt fluorescent lights and 1, 40watt inc. light for heat. After this I move them outside. Like has been mentioned, keep them a few inches away, a lot of my Izmir and Xhanti were ruined this past season from reaching too much for light.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Re: Seed Starting: A Beginner's Attempt

    Unfortunately, I rent a small home with no extra space for indoor grow lights. I plan on starting the seeds indoors according to the FAQ and then moving them outside to a small shelf greenhouse on the porch. At this point, this is my only option. Is that a terrible idea? Will heat pads keep my plants warm in March if it's too cold?

  7. #7
    Administrator deluxestogie's Avatar
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    Re: Seed Starting: A Beginner's Attempt

    Wiz,
    If the weather is indeed "too cold," which I would interpret to be below the upper 30s F, bring them inside overnight (and during the day, if the day temps are bitter). They won't tolerate freezing, and won't grow much if its just plain cold. Before I set up adequate window shelving in an enclosed back porch, I would carry the seed trays back and forth daily for several weeks, then occasionally after that. The seedling heat mats for a single 1020 tray is only about 17 watts. It will help keep the soil warmer, but you'll need to watch the thermometer inside the little greenhouse.

    Good luck.

    Bob

  8. #8
    Senior Member leverhead's Avatar
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    Re: Seed Starting: A Beginner's Attempt

    I haven't seen one in allot of years. Does anybody use a cold frame?

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Re: Seed Starting: A Beginner's Attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by leverhead View Post
    I haven't seen one in allot of years. Does anybody use a cold frame?
    i use a coldframe but mostly grow leaf letuce in it. i have good luck with it but have to be home once the days get warm to open it up in the am.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brown Thumb's Avatar
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    Re: Seed Starting: A Beginner's Attempt

    When I move my plants outside to my small portable greenhouse I use a small electric ceramic heater on cold days and nights.

    Works Good.

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