Author Topic: Starting Seeds  (Read 20121 times)

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Ed Sutton

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2011, 07:26:41 PM »
If bees can get to a blooming tomato = pollination worries over.   Hand pollinate inside the house because there are no bees inside.  if not intense enough light the plant gets taller and skinnier as it tries to reach sufficent light. 

Needs 5000 lumens minimum fairly close to create bushyness and thicker strong stalks, and a fan blowing on it for artifical wind or the plant stem gets weak and breaks.

A walmart shop light with two full spectrum bulbs suspended on light duty dog chain with  " S " hooks about 8 inches above the plant ought be fine.   Plant the seeds 8 weeks before transplant date.     Too early and maintence becomes a headache.   

Plant in a deep container like a 3 - 5 gallon bucket and planting can be earlier than 8 weeks before transplant, because of more room for the roots to develop.    With enough drain holes in the bottom already , plant the 3 - 5  gallon bucket 3/4 deep in the garden .

 Or if it was in a horizontal 40 lb bag of potting soil, planted in a small cut out  X on top of the flat horizontal bag ( like green houses do )     Keep it simple.  ;D

BTW a bee in the house in winter (if a honey bee = possible hive in the wall, chiling, crawl space etc ).    Call a bee keeper in your area, if it's etable split the honey with them.

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Mimi

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2011, 08:31:27 PM »
A friend got married tonight. At the wedding someone said they water their plants with hot water and supposedly, the plants love it. Have never heard of such a thing. Have others?
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Richard Myers

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2011, 02:57:15 PM »
Never heard of feeding plants hot water. We put the hot water under the soil to raise soil temps. It would be steadier than just at feeding time. It is an interesting idea for those who are not set up to warm the soil. My first thought was to not do so because I will not use hot water (from the water heater) for internal human or pet consumption. But, these are just plants.  :)
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Mimi

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2011, 03:15:40 PM »
And that was my concern. It comes from a water heater, plus - it could actually burn the tender roots. I googled it and apparently many people do it.
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Ed Sutton

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2011, 05:12:44 PM »
hot is relative without saying what temprature in F. or C.     if the water is comfortable to the touch some plants would love it ,  they would also love a chaser of tepid sugar sweetened ginger ale with all the fizz still there, a dilute squirt of miracle grow, or miracid, or miracle grow bloom formula - steight up not on the rocks - shaken not stirred.  

And who says plants are all dumb canes ?     ;D    

all that in a bed of sand, rotted sawdust, good garden or woods dirt, lime flour if a non acid loving plant, alaska bounty brew worked in, pea gravel, half rotted leaves or hardwood bark, granite dust, and lots of the stinkest marigolds

and cleome's

planted thickly to repel moles and attract all the hummingbirds and

Edward plant freaks who love them;  and that would be a happy garden plot - be it basement, sunroom, or garden in the backyard.     ;D
Grateful for Psalms 32 and Titus 2:10 - The divinity of Christ is acknowledged in the unity of the children of God.  {11MR 266.2}

Mimi

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2011, 06:02:51 PM »
Oh, Ed! I grow those! Cleomes. I never knew the name. They grow well in this awful soil and I share them with anyone who will drop by to take some.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Ed Sutton

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2011, 01:24:55 PM »
Don't cleome's have the wildest smell  ;D       eau'd  polecat on the prowl.    ;D    I guess I am weird but I like the smell.

What are the colors, and do they stand up tall in the wind or blow over and break ?

more cleome & marigold pictures.





Grateful for Psalms 32 and Titus 2:10 - The divinity of Christ is acknowledged in the unity of the children of God.  {11MR 266.2}

Mimi

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2011, 06:24:26 PM »
Mine are pink just like those in your photos. They are not as tall because of the elevation ... maybe 2 1/2 feet tall - three feet at the tallest. They are beautiful, though! This summer when they are at their peak, I will photograph some. Come to think about it, most of the flowers in my garden are some shade of pink and that was not intentional. One half of the hollyhocks are pink and all of the sweetpeas and cleomes, and the peonies and now the belladonna lilies! I guess I love pink more than I knew.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Ed Sutton

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2011, 08:26:55 PM »
I bet the garden and yard is pretty when it blooms.
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Richard Myers

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2011, 02:09:41 PM »
You need to post these pictures in the "Winter" topic.  It reminds me that soon winter will be over! We all look forward to that day when Jesus takes us home!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Ed Sutton

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2011, 08:48:09 PM »
Since there are 150 foot tall treefern fossils how big will be the flowers and vines, trees, bushes, in heaven ?   
Grateful for Psalms 32 and Titus 2:10 - The divinity of Christ is acknowledged in the unity of the children of God.  {11MR 266.2}

Mark W

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2013, 09:00:55 PM »
Vicki, sorry I just reread my earlier post and realized I had  spelled Baker Creek wrong.

Mimi, a few specifics as you asked for or at least a few tid bits to ponder. I assume most already know these things, but will throw a few out periodically for those interested to glean from. I like your thinking on getting you some good compost. When I start seeds this is my main ingredient in my seed starting mix. I use composted horse manure and sawdust which seems to have a decent carbon to nitrogen ratio. I will run it through a sifter to get the big stuff out and as well add a little peat moss to the product. I will through a little kelp meal in it for a seed boosting agent (but not too much) and maybe some soft rock phosphate and Epson Salt (magnesium).

Many will say you must sterilize your soil but I never have and have never had any problems. Main problems I have seen people do is go and buy bagged seed starting mixes. You make your own out of some good compost and they will grow circles around the store bought. I know for I have tested them with the Miracle Grow brand being My worse choice. I have a sifter that fits on a 55 gal. plastic barrel that has had the top cut out and I will sift the compost and peat into the barrel. Then add amendments and mix. You are then ready for some serious seed starting.

When starting seeds, I have a green thumb so I like to handle my seedlings. That means that I will sow my seeds in a plastic plant tray filled with dirt, leveled off with a board, and as well tamped down gently with a board till smooth. The I myself like to take my seed and place them on top of the soil in nice neat rows using fingers of tweezers.  I like to put a inch spacing between each seed in all directions for it is nice to have the room to dig the seedling out later with your fingers. After sowing the seed (and sometimes I will plant several varieties in one tray but will write the name of each on a cut piece of plastic venetion  blind) I will again lightly press them into the soil with my tamping board. Now we are ready for a fine layer over the top to cover the seed. You will need to water them and for me, I like to plant seeds in moist mix and not wet mix. It is best to cover trays with a piece of clear plastic till you see seeds germination taking place. Now when I start peppers, I like to put them on a heat mat for best germination. 
 
After germination and after a week or so of growing, it is time to transplant the little seedlings. Now as I said I like to do it this way but some will place seeds on a two or three inch seed grid and skip this next step altogether and just cut them out in squares with a knife. but I like to get some seed packs like the four or six packs that your store bought plants come in ( and yes I have reused them without issues) And as well fill the packs with soil mix. Just a note, I mainly use the jumbo six packs or the larger 3"x3" pots for best results on larger plants like tomatoes or peppers, but like the smaller 4 packs work fine for things like lettuce and such. Now that you got them filled with dirt, you can stick a finger down the center of the pot and then with two fingers dig down beside the seedling you are wanting to plant and while gripping a little dirt with the root ball, gently pluck it up and transfer to the hole you made it the final pot. poke it down into the hole and like tomatoes that might be a little spindly, poke them down further to shorten them up and then tamp them in with you fingers. Do this with the seedlings then water.

Main thing is to show then a little tender loving care. Many just think of a plant as just a plant, but they do not realize that plants come from the creators hand with some marvelous ingenuity. You would be amazed, There are reasons I talk to my plants and love them, but maybe more on that later. To some the process sounds tedious which it is when you are doing thousands, but the rewards are worth it.

Got to go for now but hope Mimi this gives you some food for thought. At least Makes you wish for spring LOL. PS. I guess I need to make a youtube video so as to let people see how it is done. At least a thought. God bless






Richard Myers

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2013, 07:31:07 PM »
Thanks for sharing on seed starting, Mark.  It is time to be getting ready where some of us live.

How important nutrients in the medium for seed starting if transplanting occurs very early? It seems that the seeds really do not need a lot of nutrients in the first week or so?
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Mark W

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2013, 09:20:13 PM »
The seed starting  mix i make is the very same thing I use when I transplant as well. i like to have a little bit of nutrients within the mix to insure adequate growth. You are right in the fact that seedlings don't need as much nutrients as older plants, but yet I like to think it helps to have a smidgen, and have not seen anything in my trials to show otherwise. And yes you can overdo it on very young plants so that is why I only use modest amounts in my mix. Like I said, the bigger plants still get the same mix, but for their growing nutritional needs I feed them with an organic foliage spray. Just seems like the easiest way to do it is to mix up one universal mix formula that works for seedlings and older transplants alike. I forgot to mention I will put a little vermiculite and perlite in the mix as well but is not a must.
I'm just throwing out here what I have found that works best for me, but there are so many ways to do it. You could use strait compost i would imagine and some people would say you will even need sand in your mix. So really you need to experiment, maybe look at some mix recipes on the net and find the one best for you. For the one I laid out is just what works best for me and the plants seem to like it.
Just think, it will be so much easier when we start planting our own gardens and vineyards on the new earth. I figured I better get to liking it down here which I do so as to prepare me for one of the things I will do throughout eternity if I am faithful and true. God bless

Richard Myers

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2013, 07:50:04 AM »
God is going to have to create a couple of worlds for us who like to plant seeds. From what I understand, the plants won't ever die!  :)   We will need to be continually moving to find new ground!  :)   

Tell us about lighting for our seeds and seedlings.   Last year I had problems with some of my heirloom tomatoes.  I don't ever recall not having seeds germinate like that.  I start them indoors with no special lighting. I put them on the floor by a window. Always worked in the past, but not last year. 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mark W

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2013, 09:11:34 PM »
It is hard to imagine picking a bouquet of flowers and making a nice center piece out of them and a million years later there beauty and fragrance will be the same. Finally after a few million years we decide we want a change, so we go and stick them back in the ground and wallah, they begin growing again. It is nice to be able to dream of what it will be like in heaven but yet we know our best dreams will pale in comparison. 

Now to your question. Most seed that I am aware of, do not need light for germination to take place. There are a few flowers like begonia's, geraniums, and impatient's that use light to aid in germination, and as well lettuce as a vegetable. But for the most part seed should be covered with a little mix. I have found that there can be several factors as culprits of low germination, but without looking and observing first hand it is hard to tell; but I will through out the obvious and you can see if one or more might have been the problem. 

My #1 concern when planting seed is whether the soil is at an adequate temperature. Cool soil equals low germination, seeds rotting in the soil, and the seedlings that do germinate being susceptible to rotting at the soil line. As well they are susceptible to more diseases like powder mildew and such. Now tomatoes can usually handle this hardship better them some vegetables like lets say Peppers. Unless you have them right beside a stove or good even heat source you will have problems. I have found bottom heat is the best solution for germinating peppers and if I have room on the heat cables, I will place the tomatoes there as well just to be certain. now you say  you placed them on the floor in front of a window. Just to throw out some things to ponder, were they in direct sunlight where they would have got too hot and have the germination killed? Was it maybe cloudy that week and didn't get warm enough? Maybe the air under the floor was cooler then usual? Many variables to consider. I would at least find a piece of styrofoam to place under the plant trays to try and minimize any coolness coming through the floor.

Another concern people face when planting seed is whether it is fresh seed. Seed that is bought through catalogs are supposed to be guarantied a certain % germination. If you save seed like I try to do, you might want to make sure the seed is dried adequate before storage, and for longest storage life I would store it in a freezer. Some seed has longer shelf life then others without proper storage. And another thing to consider is that I have seen seed saved under lets say a not so ideal growing season sometimes have a lower germination the following year.

Another factor for lower germination is too much soil on top of the seeds. When I plant like tomatoes or peppers, I like to put like a 1/8 inch to 3/16 inch of loose mix over them and then tamp it smooth with my tamping stick. Many will say as a general rule, vegetable and flower seeds should be covered about four to five times their lateral diameter or width (not their length). So try to always keep this in mind as well when planting.

too much water can be a factor in low germination as well. I like to water the flats that I have planted pretty thorough and then cover with plastic and not bother them any more unless they show signs of getting dry on top or seedlings start coming up. This usually makes for a little micro climate under the plastic so that the soil remains moist and is less prone to sudden temperature changes unless in direct sunlight witch would be a no no.

Like I say, many many variables can play a factor in low germination, but it is hard to say what contributed to your low germination.

Now after germination lighting is essential. You will know if you have adequate lighting by how the seedlings grow. if they grow short and stocky take that as a sign of good lighting. but if the start growing spindly, you know for certain more light is needed. I hope something here made sense and maybe of some use. God bless.

Richard Myers

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2013, 07:51:21 PM »
Thank you, yes. It does help.  For many years I have been starting a few tomato seeds indoors and sometimes outdoors in a cold frame.  Never had a problem and never have been very careful. I guess God just blessed. But, now as we are understanding we need to get very serious about this, we have to learn from our mistakes.  Time will not last much long and what has been a hobby or fun, will be a matter of providing food for our families. I take the Bible seriously when it tells us of what is coming upon the Earth. And, I can read prophecy and connect the dots. We are very near the second coming.  We need to follow the counsel we have been given. We need to make preparation to the degree with have been instructed.

So....I am not happy watching my seeds rot.  I think it probably important that we have a heat source for the seeds and seedlings. I did not and the seeds were in direct sunlight at times. As far as I remember, they have always been in direct sunlight. So, God has indeed blessed me in the past!!  :)  Cuttings I have kept in the shade, but seeds, I have put in the sun. They have not been covered most of the time and when there was a little plastic cover, I was careful to open it when it was hot.

Keeping in mind expense and that many will not have a lot of money to invest in seed starting, what can we use to provide bottom heat? When I was starting hundreds of orange seeds I ran pvc under my seed trays and used hot water.  But, when we are only starting a few tomatoes, that seems a little too much. And, I want the warmth of the indoors. That rules out the pvc.  I like the hot water since it is gas heated and cheaper than electric heat. But, maybe the electric heat is not that expensive for a few seeds?

While we are talking about seed starting, some will want more than a few tomatoes.  What other plants do you recommend we start indoors from seed? I have never considered squash or cucumbers or any others veggies, but maybe I ought to?  I am in a climate where we have a good growing season and the seeds come up quickly outdoors. Tomatoes seem to do better starting in trays. They seem to transplant easily, and we want to get early tomatoes!!  :)  Give us some guidance.
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Mark W

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2013, 09:25:03 AM »
You are absolutely right when you say we need to take gardening more seriously. We  as Adventists have been counseled and counseled as to why we need to know how to properly work the soil and care for the things we grow in it. It is very sad to see not only public institutions but Adventist institutions getting away from the practice of teaching young people the simple techniques of raising crops. For as you said, if there were a time in which we need to know this stuff more then ever, it is now. many will find themselves facing extreme hunger during the little time of trouble. Hunger that could have been avoided it if counsel had been heeded. Sadly I see many yielding to the beast power just because of appetite. 

Now  back to your post. I do want to say that having your seed trays in direct sunlight may or may not have been the problem. I just want to emphasize that I have seen seeds get cooked in soil before that was located in direct sunlight. But again a few factors can contribute to failure. You have to remember that a dark soil like what a good soil mix should look like will heat up faster due to being dark. And as well a few degrees temperature variation in the environment they are located in can maybe be the tipping factor in the temps getting to high.

It is nice to have a bottom heat source but not a must if a few of the guidelines listed earlier are heeded, but the bottom heat seems to make the germination a little more uniform. I like the idea of the warm water as a heat source and have thought about that, But what I use are heat cables located in a bed of sand. You can do a Google or Ebay search for soil heat cables and see what I am talking about. But for a small home gardener, you could as well use a heat mat that is made for plant trays. You can get a single flat size mat that would let you start a few seeds that need planted early and then work your way down the list of plants that need started. Like I say, it is mainly used just to achieve germination so A small mat for $30 or $40 dollars might be worth it.  You think about it, if you plant a standard 10" x 21" flat on a one inch grid, then that means you will have around 200 seeds in one flat. So for most home gardeners this would be the way to go. I use the heat cables under sand so I can germinate 6 or 8 flats at a time, but again this is according to my needs. I never found the electric heaters to be that bad on electricity for you have to remember they are just trying to maintain a bottom heat of around 75deg.

Now for some different varieties. for most home gardeners that want to start there own plants I suggest you find your exact planting zone which can be found on line and as well try to follow the recommended time the seeds need planted before the last average frost  date in your area. If you buy packets of seed, they will sometimes tell you that info, or you can do a online search for the info as well. My first seeds to plant are peppers, lettuce, cabbage, celery, pak choi and broccoli. Peppers seem to need a longer period of time to develop into plants ready for transplant, and the cabbage, lettuce, and broccoli grows quickly but can be set  out in cooler temperatures. I have had Chinese cabbage with snow on them that went on to develop nice heads so just know the characteristics of what you are growing and if the seed was bred for the application (spring, summer or fall planting). once these are up, I will plant a few tomatoes for some early ones and after these germinate it is about time for the main crop and as well the Oriental eggplant, and any herbs you might want like basil and such (By the way herbs were my specialty in the plant retail business). After these have germinated I will sometimes plant me some hills of early cantaloupe in pots. I use the plastic bag pots made for this type of plants for you do not want to disturb the roots on these plants so you just cut the gallon pot off the soil/root ball after placing it in the hole. I like flowers to but again follow the recommended planting times for you zone.

Now with all those plants for the garden and your spring planting complete that, you would think that should be all seed starting you would need. May I suggest after all your planting is done and the radishes are being picked and maybe the edible pod peas are starting to set on, that you break out the seed trays once more for what you will need for your fall and winter planting. Like fall cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts and the like. As a matter of fact it got down to 14 deg the night before last, but I still have cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts out in the garden ready to eat.

As you said Mr. Myers we do need to get serious and I hope those that read this will at least glean some ideas to further there knowledge and understanding of the God given program for a better mind, body, and spirit, gardening. God bless     




 

Richard Myers

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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2013, 12:34:49 PM »
Amen!  Thanks, Mark.  You are right about the cost of electricity for the seedbed.  Insignificant when we realize the small amount needed for a small flat of seeds.  The information is helpful.

Yes, I love to plant collard, kale, and snow peas in the fall. They always do well. Never thought of starting the seeds in trays, though. Maybe you can explain the benefit of starting them in trays rather than in the ground.  Lately,  have had some problems in starting seeds in the ground, whereas, I don't recall having problems in the past.  I think it may have been my seed. I have gotten a little careless and have been using some old seeds. Not worth the lost time if they do not germinate. 
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Re: Starting Seeds
« Reply #39 on: January 24, 2013, 07:23:32 AM »
Thanks again for your interest in this subject Mr. Myers and whom ever might be reading. I am glad to answer your questions to the best of my ability but I must reiterate that I am no expert on the subject. But I fill like what God has taught me on any subject over the years, He gave me to share. To me it is like when Mrs. White says "He who begins with a little knowledge, in a humble way, and tells what he knows, while seeking diligently for further knowledge, will find the whole heavenly treasure awaiting his demand."  {COL 354.1}  I know she is referring to the light given out of the word of God, but we should always want to give God the credit for what little understanding He may give on any subject. So with that thought, I fill like what He has shared with me, I should share to others whatever that might be.

Now to your question about what are the benefits of planting certain crops that could be direct seeded? I will say if you fill like direct seeding works for you I would not discourage it. I direct seed many varieties but will say that from experimenting, I have seen crops that were direct seeded and allowed to come up on their own time especially when seeds are left to overwinter it seems like the plants when they do come up are superior in vigor compared to transplanted. But sometimes that is later then we would like. So yes we plant early so we can transplant in the spring when the seed that may have overwintered is just starting to come up. By doing this we have extended our growing season by six to eight weeks which for those in the northern regions an extended growing season is a great welcome.  But you asked why do this in the summer for the fall garden? The reason I do it is for one it does save seed, for me anyway. It is like precision planting, only placing a seed where I want it to grow. If you are like me, I seem to plant seed a little on the heavy side when direct seeding. By doing so one can weed out the smaller plants as you thin or have extras for compensation when you catch a few with the hoe.  But my main reason for doing this is because I have greater control on the plantings. Take the 2012 growing season for instance. I started the seeds the first of July when it was so hot and dry it would have been a real challenge to plant them in the direct heat of the garden. I was able to grow them in their pots for over a month till mid August in intermittent sunlight till we had a break in heat. As well I saw a really good chance for rain so I put them in the ground and let a rain seat them in. I truly believe I was blessed with a harvest this fall just because I started my fall plants this way. I as well tend to like an attractive looking garden with perfect spacing between the wide rows so when planting them in pots, I am able to achieve a better looking result.

I see you did mention peas and I will tell you I do direct seed them. I have seen garden experts transplant them, but for me it wouldn't be feasible. For I usually plant a pound of pea seed or more at a time (love them edible pod peas). A list of fall varieties that I usually will transplant would be as follows. Romaine lettuce, kale, European cabbage, Oriental cabbage, Pak choi, and Brussels sprouts. So actually many other things like spinach, mustard, radishes, turnips and the like get direct seeded but yet only a few get transplanted.

You also mention problems with old seed. If you know you have old seed and are not sure if it is good, try doing the following. Take the seeds in question and place ten or twenty on a damp paper towel. Fold the towel and place in a plastic bag and place in a warm place like on top of the refrigerator. After a few days you will want to look and see what ratio of seed have germinated. Good germination is usually in the 90% range, but if you get a lower percentage then this you can just compensate by planting the seed thicker to achieve the same desired results. I like to put my seed in a medicine bottle or in plastic bags and put it in the freezer. I have had good results with many varieties even after ten years. And with the price of seed now days, you really don't want to be wasting seed and money. 

Like I say, I hope someone can glean something from this rambling that will help then in better understanding the different garden techniques and tips that they could maybe utilize. I would like to hear some tips or tricks others might have to contribute. For we all face the same curse that was pronounced to Adam, “cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.” It is no easy task to coax the ground to produce a harvest. Often times it turns out exactly like God said it would and we get thorns and thistles, maybe obnoxious weeds and diseases instead of what we so desire. So any tips or tricks that make the gardening process easier, is a welcome to my ears. God bless