I like the water heater idea been seeing 70 - 80F for starting seeds an my wife keeps this place like 68F so it will work for me.....I put my seeds in a damp paper towel, then in a zip lock bag and put on top of the water heater. I don't do this to my tobacco seeds because I usually plant way too many varieties to keep track of.
Revisiting this thread years later I have changed the way I start my seedlings. I overseed directly to the cells in the 1020 trays after the soil has taken up moisture from the bottom. Then I mist water on the seed. They stay there until sprouted and then I thin out all the seedlings except the one strongest in each cell with tweezers. The seedlings remain in the cells until transplant to the patch. I do not move the seedlings to larger cells or pots.
If I can reduce the number of different strains I grow each year, that's the method I would like to use.
But right now, I am sure some seeds would jump from one cell to the next ... and I wouldn't know which is which...
I have used both 48 and 72 cell trays and kept them in the cells from seed to patch. I think Bob did a comparison with keeping the seedlings in the cell or transferring to larger pots. The ones in the larger pots were larger at transplant but the ones in the cell caught up to them in the next few weeks and you couldn’t distinguish them at harvest time. It saves labor and $$ to just keep them in the cells without hurting them any in the long run.So I will have to buy some 1020 trays.
My home made trays contain tooo many individual cells (between 105 and 136 on each tray)
It depends on the number of cells per tray. The wet and dry volumes are listed in the chart below:What's the volume of a single cell in a 1020 tray?
Tobacco seeds are so small I would only use the baggie test to check for viability.I started my seeds two days ago in ziplock bags. Three varieties this time: Yellow Twist Bud, CT Broadleaf and Durman 904.
I have started seeds previous years in soil and a long time ago using piece of styrofoam covered with toilet paper floating in water, but never in ziplock. So I have two questions:
-Do you keep the zip lock bags open or closed? If closed, how often you open them to prevent mold?
-How big you let the sprouts grow before transplanting to soil?