How to Start Seeds Indoors: The Non-Negotiables for Success

MoonShadows

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#1
I don't know if you are familiar with Joe Lamp'l from Growing a Greener World® He's the Joe behind "Joe Gardener". It is an award-winning TV show appearing on national Public Television that features organic gardening, green living and farm-to-table food. Each episode focuses on compelling and inspirational people making a positive impact on the planet through gardening and shares DIY information that we can all use at home. Currently in it’s ninth season, this gardening series covers everything from edible gardening, urban homesteading and hobby farming to seasonal cooking, canning and preserving the harvest.

I get periodic emails from Joe, usually early on a Saturday morning. It's nice to be able to leisurely catch up on what is happening on GGW. This past Saturday, I read a 2-part series on the subject of this post, (it's also a podcast if you don't want to read!) and I thought it was excellent.

You can read, or listen to it, here, and check out GGW website. It's really good. Enjoy.
https://joegardener.com/podcast/037-starting-seeds-indoors-pt-1/
https://joegardener.com/podcast/038-how-to-start-seeds-indoors-the-non-negotiables-for-success-pt-2/

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#2
I am having trouble getting milkweed seeds to germinate. Is there something extraordinary that needs to be done in order to get these to sprout?
 

MoonShadows

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I am having trouble getting milkweed seeds to germinate. Is there something extraordinary that needs to be done in order to get these to sprout?
Did you stratify them first? Milkweed seeds need a period of stratification in order to germinate. It helps to break the natural dormancy cycle by exposing the seed to winter-like temperatures that help soften or crack its hard outer casing. You can put your milkweed seeds in a damp paper towel inside a zipper bag, and place in your fridge for 3 – 6 weeks and then plant, otherwise they can take months to germinate, if they germinate at all.
 

MoonShadows

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I am having trouble getting milkweed seeds to germinate. Is there something extraordinary that needs to be done in order to get these to sprout?
@CanadianLori Just curious if you ever had any success with your milkweed seeds? Mine took a long time to germinate with a germination rate of only about 75%. They are also growing rather slowly...I think.
 

waretrop

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We are having a very hard time with milkweed plants around here. When I moved into this house there were tons of them across the little lane that I live on. There are none now. A few years ago I gathered tons of local seeds and planted half right away and stratified the other half and planted them in spring in a different spot along the same area that they were before. I actually had so many that I placed them farther into the edge of the lane thinking if the snow plowing may have done something to them over the years. This road has been plowed for 40 years before we started doing it.

So in the end after 2 years of doing this with my milkweed seeds. Nothing has come up. I look forward to spring to see if we have some "late bloomers".
 

waretrop

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I sure don't know...We don't use salt on that pavement. Thinking that it will be pushed over with the snow and melt into that soil, hence, killing plants. We have never used salt there, nor did the people who plowed before us...we all know we have to pay for repaving this lane and THAT WAS AND WOULD BE VERY VERY EXPENSIVE...
 
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#11
I have tropical milkweed in my greenhouse. It grows really well, and makes seed. I've let the seeds alone to see if they'd grow into new plants, and they haven't, even with the ideal conditions. They must be very finicky!