my basic seed-starting supplies

STARTING SEEDS is not hard…unless you skimp on light, or your timing is off. Sorry, friends, but your windowsills just won’t do, and over-eager “headstarts” usually result in past-their-prime seedlings. I get by with some T5 reflective fluorescent hoods, a couple of germinating heat mats, and not much more. (For more info: Want to learn the science behind what makes for enough light…or need to calculate when to start what seeds in your location?)

HYDROFARM T5 HOODS: Hoods with T5 high-output tubes range from 2 to 4 feet and with 2 to 8 bulbs. Must be fitted with hardware to raise and lower from a stand or shelf you provide.
GROWEASE SELF-WATERING SEED STARTER: A felt-like capillary mat between cells and lower water reservoir wicks moisture up to seedlings. (Sizes up to 24 cells/flat.)
SOLO 2-LITER ONE-HAND PRESSURE SPRAYER: I mostly bottom-water seedlings, but during germination and when seedlings are tiny I mist them with this handy sprayer.
10-GALLON TRUG FOR SOIL MIXING: A 10-gallon trug or larger plastic bin is a great vessel for slightly moistening germinating mix before filling flats.
SURGE PROTECTOR TIMER: No more one timer per growlight! With 8 outlets, program multiple lights to turn on and off for the required hours per day.
HYDROFARM JUMP START T5 SYSTEM: One 4-foot T5 high output bulb on an adjustable super-lightweight frame= can accommodate two flats. (2-foot size also.)
JOHNNY'S 512 MIX: I've ordered this for germinating purposes for years. Has organic nutrients (fishmeal, not chemicals) added. Works for soil-blocking, too.
SEEDLING GERMINATING MAT: I use single tray-sized mats (approx. 8.5x18.5"), but mats also come in double-wide or double-long (for 2 trays), and up to 5-foot-long pro versions.
LADBROOKE SOIL BLOCKERS: Many experts swear by soil blocking (as opposed to sowing in cells or open flats without blocks). The tools for making blocks, in various sizes. Note: The mix you use must be rated for blocking.
NITRILE-COATED GARDEN GLOVES: I like mine black, and by Atlas or Bellingham. I eventually poke through the right hand middle finger from digging with my hands...but other than that they'd last a long time.
PULLEY HARDWARE FOR GROWLIGHT: To hang and adjust your hood, you'll need to rig S-hooks and chain, or even easier pulley with store-bought hardware. (Shown: Vivosun brand.)

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