April 28, 2015
Using this seed starting procedure, the arugula seeds sprout in 24 hours. If I leave them in darkness for 48 hours, they’re much taller. But I’d like to find out if the extra 24 hours is helpful in the long run.
So I planted 8 seeds (Burpee) in each rockwool, put them in a butter container wrapped in black tape, covered with the lid, and placed them on the heat mat.
Tragedy struck. I checked the Tower Garden and found wilting arugula. After about 5 years, the Tower Garden pump quit working and I didn’t have a spare on hand. It was a week later before I got another pump working. Lesson learned. Buy a spare pump. The plants probably have grown enough that there doesn’t appear to be much difference in 24 hours or 48 hours in darkness.
Joe says to check the seedlings once a day and remove them from the darkness when you see the first signs of life. Instead of once a day, I checked them every 12 hours and pulled them from the darkness when they started to sprout. I’ve discovered that the arugula grows so fast that if I check them every 24 hours, they can already be too tall to grow well as seedlings. Other plants would be fine checking only once a day. Like Joe says, this procedure can be fine-tuned depending on the crop you’re growing and the environment you’re using. For example: I’m using a heat mat. without it, the seeds would probably not sprout as quickly.