gardendiva at charter.net
Sat Feb 19 14:42:07 EST 2005
Impatiens seeds are light sensitive, so sow them on top of the starting
medium. Don't cover them, just press gently into the medium so seeds make
contact. Cover seed pans with a lid or put them in a Ziplock plastic bag to
trap humidity. Use a heating cable or mat for bottom heat between 70-85F.
As to light: I use a shop light fixture hung 2-4 inches above seed pans.
Go to a Home Depot or Wal-mart and get two kinds of fluorescent tubes for
the fixture. One cool light tube (blue pigments) and the other a red light
spectrum tube. The red tubes are often labeled Aquarium or Plant Lights.
The two different light spectrums provide as close to sunlight as you can
get with artifical light.
Seeds should sprout in a few days. Then, remove the heat and covering.
Keep lights always 2-3 inches above seedling tops. I hang my light fixtures
on chains so I can lower or raise them. Feed seedlings with a dilute
water-soluable fertilizer every 5 days--I use Maxi-Crop. Run an oscillating
fan in the area for at least 8 hours daily so that a breeze hits the
seedlings. This does two things. It prevents damping off and other fungal
problems, and the motion stimulates a hormone in the seedlings that produces
After seedlings have two sets of true leaves, pot them up into cell packs or
3 inch pots to continue growing.
This technique also works well for starting petunia seeds and any other seed
that needs light to germinate. Currently, I have red celery, black
geraniums and Blue Fesuce ornamental grass seeds under lights in this
More information about the nafex