I planted zuke seeds in these cute little 3" peat moss
cups. Three per cup. Not all the cups have sprouted
(I know, PATIENCE!).
When I go to plant them in my garden, can I separate
the multiple sprouts from the same cups, or should
I just prune out the two small ones?
I like to leave the 2 strongest in each hill . You think zukes take
patience ? Try sprouting Anaheim peppers . My record is zero sprouts for two
years effort . Grrr . Which reminds me I need to get the okra seedlings in
the ground .
Never ever been successful with Peppers. Grew Poblanos
(called Ancho after they are dried) one year. Got like
three tiny peppers off of two plants. I feel your pain.
As an experiment last year I planted nine zukes on a particular
hill. And ALL NINE sprouted. So I left them to see what would
happen. They all came out stunted. I got one pickle sized
fruit total from that mound.
Well , nine IS a bit much ... on the peppers , once I can get them to grow
, I usually get pretty good yields . This year I have red bell peppers and
got some Serrano's to grow . Last year I grew some cayennes , year before it
was jalapenos . 3 or 4 plants will produce a couple of years worth for the 2
of us .
Unless your seed is old it is common to get very high germination rates for
curcubits so I wouldn't be putting more than one seed per pot anyway. If
you do, chop the weakest and don't disturb the roots of the best, curcubits
resent this and it will tend to set them back. This is the reason that the
traditional planting advice is to sow directly.
My system is to plant them in tubes, the square-section plastic sort that
you buy tubestock in that are about 15cm (6") deep and 5cm (2") across.
These encourage the roots to go down not around and you can get the whole
plug out in one chunk at transplant time so there is no transplant shock.
These are much more effective than shallow jiffy pots. If you want (say) 3
plants you can sow 5 or 6 and plant out only the best. This system costs
almost nothing and invariably produces strong seedlings that take off in the
rolls, neatly cut of course. They rotted out quicker than the peat moss
cups and just disappeared.
Hot as Hades outside now, having to water the raised beds daily. Squash
is dying out from the heat, green beans are blooming again, crowder peas
just started blooming, tomatoes are coming in ripe heavily as are the
eggplant and cukes. For some reason the sweet chiles aren't doing well,
haven't found out why yet as last year we got tons of chiles.
I finally got off my butt and planted some more green onions today ... and
decided to go ahead and plant some herbs , a couple of hills of gourds ,
some habaneros and a row of red ripper peas and some whipoorwill peas .
Pretty late , but most of that seed came from the seed swap a couple of
weeks ago . The swap was supposed to be in Feb, got snowed/iced out .
This is my first attempt at growing dried peas/beans , we'll see how that
seed for the next season. I pick some of the biggest and best to be seed
and mark them with twine or a piece of cloth just so I don't forget and
Just got the power back on here after loosing it for about an hour. 96F
outside and it got up to 86F inside before the power came on again. I am
seriously thinking of installing a natural gas generator since we have
so many outages here. There are at least a thousand more homes being
built within a square mile of us and outages can only get worse.
That's why there's a 5500 watt genset set up out in my machine shop . We
don't often get power outages , but when we do they can last for days - if a
tree falls on a line out here in the woods , they often have to bring in
specialized equipment to even get to it .
I kept seed from last year's spinach , bok choy , romaine lettuce , cukes
, some tomatoes , acorn squashes , etc . I have found saved seed has a MUCH
better germination rate than bought seed . Another big plus is that you know
exactly what the seed came from ... last year I planted "beefsteak" and
"Rutgers" tomato seeds from WM . What I got was some mutt slicers and a LOT
of cherry toms .
I'm heavily invested into saved seed , all heirlooms , and plan to be
present again next year at the Ozark Seed Swap .
I been schooled now , and have discovered that black eyed peas are
probably the least desirable of the cowpea/crowder pea types . we are going
to eat well this coming year , assuming things continue to go as well as
they have started .
It's the crinkly heirloom , and I don't know how it compares . We don't buy
spinach and I only eat it raw in salads . Just based on everything else
commercially grown , I'd have to say it tastes better ...
FWIW , I only grow heirlooms , and from now on I think pretty much
everything in my garden will come from seed either saved or swapped .
peas to plant. My family grew black crowders for over a hundred years
but after my Dad died my Mom tossed out the saved seed as she didn't
intend to garden anymore.
I've found that tomato plants bought at big box stores, even the fairly
decent "Bonnie" plants, are most often not what the card says. I'm in
the process of going back to starting my own seed. Slowly cleaning out
and reorganizing the garage and will set up my starter shelves again.
Like you I'm tired of getting "weed" plants that aren't what they were
supposed to be. Grow lights are much cheaper than they used to be.
I've always had good luck with off the shelf sugar snap peas for fall
planting, last year the seed bought at a big box store had very poor
germination and the few plants that did grow didn't produce very many
pea pods at all. Total loss of crop ensued. I've moved away from the big
box stores and back to mail order. Ordered spring seed from Territorial
Seeds and had 98% germination, actually had to pull some plants to make
room for the growth.
Sustainable is great. I have ordered from them.
I tend to be a bit odd in my seed ordering and order a lot of
leftovers at the end of the season in fall, to be used in spring.
And I am an inveterate keeper of seeds.
if you really need that many plants you can try
to untangle them, but disturbing the root systems
does cost some time/growth in recovery after
i would plant them out as they are and then
give them a week or two and then snip the weakest
plants to give the stronger plants the space.
I separate all the time with with tomatoes and corn. Some seedlings I
would not dare mess with but these have proved no problem.
There is a bit of method to the madness, but my success rate is
I also overcrowd some beds beyond any sane recommendations. At times,
it takes a different kind of tending in season, but with most of what
I grow it works well. Only complete failure with overly close quarters
has been consistent and occurs with broccoli.
Not to say all other crops will thrive this way, but some will
tomatoes, various bush and pole beans and corn.
In other cases the crowding is done deliberately to affect the sizes
of the crop - I love micro/small greens and itty-bitty radishes.
I use the garden as one vast laboratory.
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