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.

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Arugula seeds in rockwool

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Arugula seeds inside the butter container on the heat mat.

Both have just started to sprout after 24 hours. The 24-hour rockwool I removed from the covered butter container and put under the light. The 48-hour, I put back in the covered butter container.  Ironically, the seeds haven’t sprouted as much as they usually do in 24 hours.  Since both are getting the same treatment, I’m going to continue with the experiment.
24 hour in darkness
48 hour in darkness
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April 30, 2015

One day after the 24-hour in the dark seeds sprouted they have turned green.

One day after the 24-hour in the dark seeds sprouted they have turned green.

I just removed the 48-hour in the dark seedlings.

I just removed the 48-hour in the dark seedlings.

May 11, 2015Placed in Tower Garden

Placed the arugula into the Tower Garden.

Placed the arugula into the Tower Garden.

Placed the arugula into the Tower Garden.

Placed the arugula into the Tower Garden.

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May 23, 2015 20150523_182714 20150523_182657

May 28

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.

I followed most of Joe of Level2 Concepts’ advice in his seed starting procedure to start the below arugula seedlings. 

Arugula seedlings taken from darkness right after they've sprouted.

Arugula seedlings taken from darkness right after they’ve sprouted

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.