This bit of web gleaned info was actually true

Sweet Tatorman's picture

Two areas of great interest to me are the relationship of nutrition to health outcomes and vegetable gardening. What these two things have in common is that there is a great deal of often repeated but generally inaccurate stuff out there. The web certainly facilitates this problem as a single posting of an inaccurate or untested claim is readily picked up and repeated until it becomes "received wisdom" since it can now be found in so many placing on the web. I suspect that many of the claims for companion planting fall into this category. Given this problem, it is refreshing to find something useful once in awhile. This happened for me this past Winter while websurfing gardening related topics. Specifically, at the time I was reading about leeks which are an item that I have grown for many years. I generally have had good success excepting my very first year when I cluelessly attempted direct seeding. I have always started my seed in very shallow trays for no better reason than that a good supply of them came with the property here. Typical depth of potting soil in these trays would be on the order of 1.25". One writer on the topic of starting leek seed was very adamant that leek seed be started in deeper pots or trays. OK, here is a claim easy to test. I had over a decade of experience with the shallow trays to compare to. This year I went with trays that permitted doubling the soil depth. The benefit was unambiguous. The photo attached below shows the leek seedlings at exactly two months after seeding. They have attained an average size that exceeds what I would have seen at 3 months in the shallower trays I had been using in the past. This bit of web gleaned info is a keeper.

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I think the containers we have used have held about two inches of potting mix and we have had good luck with these leek seedlings. It looks like we plant more densely then what appears in your picture, but so far so good.

ClareBroommaker's picture

My garden buddy is growing leeks for the first time this year. He is typically stingy with his seed starting mix. I'll bring this to his attention. Hope the bigger seedlings make for finer leeks.

I once tried to start a bunch of seeds in a steel cookie sheet (well, probably really a jelly roll sheet) balanced between the mansard window sill and the copper gutter on the south side of my apartment. Germination did not go well., mostly because I could not keep the soil consistently damp. Definitely needed more soil per seed.

That does look like a useful tray, though. I regret not buying the old darkroom developing trays I saw at a thrift store. I now look for cafeteria trays. They carry my odd collection of cell packs, yogurt cups, pared down hydrogen peroxide bottles, cups, and 4 inch plastic pots. The trays have about the same depth as my old cookie sheet, so I probably would never use them to hold soil directly.

We have used those plastic boxes that salad mixes come in. We poke holes in the bottom with an ice pick then put in the soil, plant and water. Since there are holes in the bottom we put these containers in a tray meant to hold water, but also allow the water to drain. This has work pretty well for us for a few years.