Seed Starting 2014 Edition

Hello there, it is fast approaching for the time to get your seeds started so I thought I would cover some of the things you could do to help them out.

I’ve covered seed starting in the how to section and in previous posts as well as made a couple of videos about it so there is a lot to check out.

So every year I usually try something different, this year will be no exception.  Everyone is different, and what works for you might not work for other people, take the information you need and do some trial and error, maybe even use some of that kiwi ingenuity we are so famous for.

When to start your seeds?

I almost overlooked this fact if it wasn’t for Tim asking me via Facebook I might not have even remembered to write about this.  For me I know that it takes around 160 days to grow a giant pumpkin from a seed into something bigger then the seed.  I also know the date of The Great Pumpkin Carnival I am taking my giant pumpkin to.  The handy countdown timer is on the right over there —>

So I headed over to the handy website which allows me to subtract 160 days from March the 30th 2014.  I get the date of the 21st of October.

I will be starting my seeds around that time, hopefully missing all the late frosts.

Seed Starting – Things to do

The aim is to get the seeds off to the best start possible, here are some things that you could do to help your seeds along.

Sand the edges of the seeds – A pretty basic idea of helping water penetrate the seed to kick start the process.  Do this by using either an emery board, fine sandpaper etc.  File the sides until you see it change color, and whatever you do, DO NOT file the tip of the seed as you can damage it.

Seed ready to be filed

Soak the seeds in a bleach solution – Use a 10% bleach solution and water to soak your pumpkin seeds, this only needs to be done for an hour.  I found this good explanation about it:

Treating vegetable seeds with household bleach such as Clorox helps the seed fight off fungal diseases such as damping off. Crop scientists at the University of Illinois Extension suggest that treating the vegetable seed reduces the need for fungicides later in the plant’s life. Agriculturists with the Tomato Genetics Resource Center at the University of California claim that bleach also helps break down hard seed coats, prompting the seeds to sprout. It is easy to soak seeds in Clorox but do so in a room with good ventilation and wear protective clothing and gloves.

Soak in seaweed and humic acid – If you are going all out for this giant pumpkin season you will want to be doing this for around and hour, and the liquid seaweed will be half strength.  This gives the pumpkin seed a great kick start to the season.

Germinate your seed – There are a couple of different ways of doing this, so check out the video below where I explain them.

Plant your seed into a pot – Plastic or peat are your two options.  I’ve spoken about them in previous years so check out the links above.

Seed raising mix – This year I am using some Tui seed raising mix, I will let you know how it goes and will do a future post on this product.

Tui Seed Raising Mix

Check out the video – A bit more information on getting your seed started.  I managed to whittle it down to 8 mins in length, and it covers a bunch of different stuff.  Some of the items I mention in the video I will put up in their own posts in the future with more detail.

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