I now officially have seedlings. Whoohoo! It took them about a week, but even last years seed germinated. Not every cell is up but most of them are. Above is Copra the most vigorous of the germinating onions. I tried to put three seeds in each cell since the seed was old, but it looks like in many, there are four coming up. Now THAT is vigorous germination. Either that or I can't count.
And my Ailsa Craig is the slow poke in the bunch. They are coming up but slowly and feebly. They are supposed to be huge onions when they finally get big but as baby onions they have a lot to be desired.
And last time I showed my set up Mark was asking if it was to help harden off the seedlings. I answered there, but figured most of you haven't read it yet. So on to the plant vocabulary lesson. Plants grow more spindly and tall inside than they do if grown outside. Plants will change how they grow if they are touched. This could be by your hand, by the wind, or by the rain. The word for it is thigmomorphogenisis. If the plants get touched enough they will grow much more stocky and branch out sideways more. For onions I always just pet them. Yes I pet my plants. I just run my hand over them every day or two. For mixed plantings I'll use a fan as the mixed heights are harder to pet. I'll turn the fan on every couple days and let it run for a bit. If you want to read more about it there is a nice article on it. I warn you there is a lot of science involved.
But to answer the Mark's question, yes it helps to harden them off. Tall spindly indoor plants don't react well to being planted outdoors. My hope is that when I harden my plants off outside all that they need is to harden against the sun and the temperature fluctuations. I'm hoping they are mostly hardened off to the wind already. With the soil blocks they don't get a lot of root disturbance. So transplanting is a lot less stressful than it otherwise would be.