Seed Start Scheduling Database

Download Compressed Delimited Text and Comma Format 31kb

Note:  Your database software will set up the 811 records and 16 fields without field names into default spacing.  You will need to add your own versions of the field names which I have listed in order below, and you will have to change field width to "best fit" for each of the 18 fields. The "word wrap" option is very useful in the sowing method and comment fields.

 The compression is 72%, so it will download very fast.  The file name is and must be unzipped using PKZIP or WINZIP before use.

Field Names used in the database:

Botanical Name
Common Name
Type of plant   (orn, vege, herb, vine, tree, shrub, grass)
Seed Stock      (in or out)
Year/source     (used primarily in trading seeds)
Quantity        (used primarily in trading seeds)
Method #        (see sowing method list - below)
Sowing method   (same as list below, but modified for specific plant)
Weeks before last frost:(Sowing date as the number of wks before or after
last frost date)(Develop your own table) Sowing Depth (covr, thin, surf) Space (transplant spacing (inches)) Life (a, b, p, ha, hp, ta, tp, etc.) Transplant to: (fsun, psun, psha, fsha, dsha) 1Comment (soil requirement, height, etc) 2Comment (other cultural information)

Undoubtedly, one could continue on ad infinitum with additional data on each plant.  This database provides enough information for printing seed envelopes or labels for each pot or tray, sowing the seed at the proper time, and carrying the seedling to site selection and transplanting.  In addition to that primary function, it is helpful for generating list of seeds available for trade, or seeds which need to be replaced. There may be several different methods of sowing for some species.  This data shows only my preferred method.

I hope you find it a good starting point for your own customized database.

List of sowing methods used in the database:  Note that pre-treatment requirements such as nick, scratch, grind, drill, soak, soak solution, length of soak, remove seed from fruit, ferment seed, # of days fermentation, wash seed, # of washes per day and for how many days, while not shown in the list below, are made part of each entry as necessary.  The use of "word wrap" in your database permits unlimited length entries for sowing method.  Similarly, the requirement of light or darkness to destroy germination inhibitors, while not indicated in the list below, must be added when applicable in your own entries. The databases for download above, already include pre-treatment and light or darkness requirements, as applicable, in the sowing method field.

1        <2 wks @ 68ºF, rapid germ. (4-14 days)

2        >2 wks @ 68ºF, slow germ.  (14 - 42 days)

3        3-4 wks @ 68ºF, if no germ. 2-4 wks @ 39ºF, then 68ºF

4        4-12 wks @ 39ºF, move to 68ºF for germ.

5        Sow @ 39ºF, germ. erratic, often many months

6        Sow @ 68ºF, germ. erratic, often many months

7        Sow @ 75ºF, rapid germ.

8        2-4 wks @ 68ºF, 4-6 wks @ 39ºF, move to 53ºF for germ.

9        2-4 wks @ 68ºF, 4-6 wks @ 21ºF, move to 53ºF for germ.

10      Sow outdoors in the fall for spring germ. Sow at once if short viability seed.

11      2-4 wks @ 68ºF, 4-6 wks @ 39ºF, move to 53ºF for germ. Very slow germ., may take one to two years.

12      Slow germ. - up to a year or more. Store seeds in moist sand in the shade. Check seeds often in the spring, and sow them all as soon as radicals appear.

13      6 wks @ 71ºF, 6-8 wks @ 39ºF, 4-6 wks @ 50ºF, repeat cycle.

14      4-6 days @ 87ºF, 12 wks @ 35ºF in dark. Slowly raise temps. & light levels.

15      Impervious seed coats. Nick, grind or puncture.

16      Pour hot water over seeds, let soak 1-3 days until swelling noticeable

17      Wash & rinse 3 times per day for 7 to 14 days.

You may well ask why there is a field for method number in addition to the spelled out text of sowing method.  When printing a schedule of the seeds to be sown this week, it is very convenient to have the list ordered by method number as a secondary sort key, in addition to {STK=in} and {WKS_BLF=target week}.  That way, you can sow all pots using the same method at the same time.  I also use sowing depth as the third sort key, so that all the pots in a given tray can receive the identical seed topping treatment.  This tends to eliminate simple errors.

Another feature of this type of record is that it makes label preparation both easy and filled with more information than you would ever care to write out by hand.  When the plants are ready to set-out, for example, the fact that a plant is a perennial preferring full shade is right there on the label, further preventing errors of siting.  I print labels for seed sowing and seed trading on plain paper. That reduces my cost for pressure sensitive label stock to zero, but increases my cost for transparent tape.  The difference between dollars and pennies is not to be ignored.

My garden journal is altogether different, but still in Works database format.  Every gardener keeps a different type of journal, and for different reasons.  Mine is keyed to identify the dates on which warm stratified seeds must be moved to cold stratification and vice-versa.  It tracks the seeds sown all the way through several potting-on stages to the final setting-out stage, and provides a record of the location into which the transplants were sited for later reference.

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Data current a/o 1/30/01