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Old March 6, 2017   #1
ARgardener
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Default (Another) Paper Towel Method question

First off, I'm using coffee filters and not paper towels.

I'm wondering- after I transplant the tiny seedlings to soil, should I cover the soil with some plastic until the seedling emerges to keep it moist? Or should I simply sow and leave uncovered?

Also, what's the time frame for this method?
I'm starting tomato, peppers, and eggplants. So far, on day 3, I've got 3 sprouts from one variety of tomato. My other 4 varieties of tomato, my 2 of eggplant, and my 6 of pepper show nothing yet.
Just wondering so I can know when to start freaking out
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Old March 7, 2017   #2
rhines81
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You do not need to cover sprouts. Just make sure the soil is moist at first. Coffee filter method takes the same time to germinate as sowing in soil. Your peppers and eggplant could take 3 weeks, but 7 - 12 days is more normal. Depends on temperature too.
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Old March 7, 2017   #3
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Depends on temperature too.
They're atop my hot water heater.. It's consistently 80-85
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Old March 7, 2017   #4
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No cover, and on tomato seeds, should definitely be activity by 6 days. I can't comment on peppers and eggplants.
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Old March 7, 2017   #5
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8 hours later, seeing activity in 2 or 3 more tomato varieties!

Was wondering about covering since I'll be transplanting just tiny seeds with roots; not sprouts. Since people cover trays until emergence, I thought it would make sense to keep it all covered until things actually break the surface
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Old March 7, 2017   #6
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Update: I've now got germination in all but 1 variety of tomato (Dr Wyches) and 2 of pepper (tobago seasoning and golden marconi)! Incredible!

I think I'm goig to cover the trays until seedlings emerge.. Only makes sense. I mean, when you sow in your cells, you cover until emergence. What's the difference if they're started in the soil or the paper towel? The covering/ uncovering depends on emergence (feedback?)
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Old March 7, 2017   #7
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You'll want to be careful of mold if it is too wet with the cover.
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Old March 7, 2017   #8
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You'll want to be careful of mold if it is too wet with the cover.
I get that.. don't most people keep things covered till seedlings emerge though??
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Old March 7, 2017   #9
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I get that.. don't most people keep things covered till seedlings emerge though??

Covering trays initially traps moisture and heat allowing the seeds to germinate. You already did that in the bag so it will only be a couple days at most for them to break the soil if you are sowing at the correct depth. I agree with K.C. you increase chances of damping off by covering at this point, I wouldn't do it.
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Old March 7, 2017   #10
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Even before the germ puts up cotyledons it drills for water. Assuming that your starting dirt has some moisture-retaining power, there is little need to try to retain moisture. There will be plenty below.

When I got my 4xT8 fixture I left the dome on as I'd always done with the old 2xT12 fixture and found that the temps under the dome exceeded 105°! Since then I pretty much don't use the dome at all.
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Old March 7, 2017   #11
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I don't understand why y'all are saying that there would be an increased risk for damping off. People cover their seed trays for the entire length of germination plus the time it takes for the seed to sprout… That is days longer than I would need to cover. So why would there be an increased concern for what I mentioned??

No matter what, The aforementioned plan is less risky for dampimg off I'd say
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Old March 7, 2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARgardener View Post
I don't understand why y'all are saying that there would be an increased risk for damping off. People cover their seed trays for the entire length of germination plus the time it takes for the seed to sprout… That is days longer than I would need to cover. So why would there be an increased concern for what I mentioned??

No matter what, The aforementioned plan is less risky for dampimg off I'd say
Unnecessary moisture. And no, they only leave it on until they can see visible sprouts, i.e germination. You already know your seeds have germinated, its really just unnecessary for a dome. If you think there is a benefit to the dome, then go for it. The plastic bag germination, did everything the dome would have. It just plainly isn't needed though.
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Old March 7, 2017   #13
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Grasshopper, do as you will.
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Old March 7, 2017   #14
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Originally Posted by Hunt-Grow-Cook View Post
Unnecessary moisture. And no, they only leave it on until they can see visible sprouts, i.e germination. You already know your seeds have germinated, its really just unnecessary for a dome. If you think there is a benefit to the dome, then go for it. The plastic bag germination, did everything the dome would have. It just plainly isn't needed though.
Agreed. Curious, why do you want to cover them so much? Airflow is one of, if not the best ways to be sure you don't get damping off. I never ever use a cover or dome, indeed, my seedlings are put near a ceiling fan for airflow. The one you'd I covered, I got horrid damping off.

They are your seeds, you can do as you wish.
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Old March 8, 2017   #15
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Alright... Got my seeds planted and they're not covered. Figured you folks know more than I! Haha

Now. When do I need to water these itty bitty things? How to tell and how to water (top or bottom)?

I'm using Speedling trays if that makes any difference.
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