Well, finally got my grow lights up and my heating pad out. Now I need
to decide which seeds should be germinated first because I feel as if
I'm running late.
I hope to plant:
early ripening watermelons,
early, mid-, and late season tomatoes,
zuchs and crook-necks,
sweet, and hot peppers,
and an assortment of herbs.
I suppose that since the peas, and lettuce will be planted first, they
should be germinated first. The tomatoes are the most important to me,
so I will push them to the head of the line. Early April is my goal to
start planting. I hope to have the garden up full tilt by May.
My first attempt at a winter garden was abbreviated by snails and slugs.
The broccoli, and the cabbage were eaten first but the Brussel sprouts
have been more resilient but not impervious. I see few snails, and slugs
and they appear to be, historically, on the small side, adolescent if
you will (none of the 8"-10" banana slugs that typically terrorize my
Spring plantings).The rain fall is only 75% of normal, and I did mulch
with straw in the fall for the first time. I think the mulch is the
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly:-)
Wonder why you are growing things like lettuce under lights? Why not just plant
them directly into the ground, unless you want to gain a time advantage.
grows pretty fast. I would devote more of your seed starting space to things
tomatoes, which take longer to produce fruit.
William Rose wrote:
Thanks for the response. I'm not trying to grow under lights so much as
trying to germinate under grow lights. When you plant, doesn't something
usually come along (slugs and snails for example) and eats it as soon as
it sticks it's little head up? For my plants to survive, they need some
biomass, serious biomass, before they go into the soil. Even that is no
I thought peas and lettuce because they will be the first planted
because they will do OK while the season is still cool.
The snails and slugs aren't as bad this year as they have been in past
years and I attribute that, in part, to the hay that I used for mulch in
my winter garden. But if it isn't the snails and slugs, then it's those
cute little rolly pollies. It seems it is always something. So instead
of buying starters at the local nursery, I'm trying to grow my own
starters. I'm just not sure of the triage sequence.
Tomatoes are at the top of my list but I am still waiting for my seeds
from Harvest Moon Seeds. Their computer has a mind of its' own.
I'm in a 9b zone. What are you growing and what's your zone?
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
We just started seeds under lights, and I am going the route advocated
in previous posts - direct sow the greens, and start the longer-to-
fruit plants indoors. I'm in a 5B zone, so still have about 2 months
until last frost, but we do have our peppers, several perennial
ornamentals, and our early season broccoli going under lights. As for
the slugs, have you tried natural/organic deterrents - like getting a
bunch of coffee grounds and spreading them in a thick perimeter around
your veggie beds, or water in the morning to keep the beds dry at
Tis the season!!
Yeah, I'm getting giddy to. I got my first installment of seeds under
lights today. I wish I could afford more for grow lights, so that I
could get lots of momentum going into the season, Last year was reallly
wet and everyone was a month behind from the get go but the summer was
warmer than usual and the season was very rewarding with the help of
contributors to rec.gardens.edible holding my hand as I freaked out on
lack of bees to crispy peas in late July:-).
I'm still waiting on tomato seeds from Harvest Moon Seed Co. I've have
the worst time dealing with them.
The Cook sent me a web site address that is the best that I've seen so
far in dealing with snails and slugs
(http://www.eap.mcgill.ca/MagRack/JPR/JPR_29.htm ). Of course, once the
gastropods are under control, there are still my dogs from hell. I'm
still leery about direct sowing of seed because of the bad luck we've
had in trying it. We still have about 2 months before we are completely
safe from frost but mid-April is usually safe. Not much happens until
the ground warms up though (mid-May).
Gotta go make dinner.
The coffee grounds, when I toss them usually go on my peaked looking
blueberries that I have planted next to a redwood stump. For a gastropod
deterrent, on going experimentation, I laid down straw as a mulch. That
has compacted and I've just tossed on some caoca nut shells or microbark
to give the mulch a crust. Fingers crossed. The article at
http://www.eap.mcgill.ca/MagRack/JPR/JPR_29.htm suggests traps (tiles of
wood on 1 inch legs) which can be harvested in the morning and also
serve as an indicator as to the severity of the infestation. Old news
but seemingly more elegant after years of dragging my old bones out for
late night raids on dining gastropods.
The water has been one of my bright spots. Everything is on drip. I go
get the paper in the morning and turn on the drip. An hour later, I turn
it off. There is some esthetic down side to having black plastic pipes
running all over the yard but Buddah it is simple. I do miss the
relaxation of watering by hand and when I can, I'll hose down the corn
or mist the lettuce patch in the morning.
coloribus gustibus non disputatum (subject to change without notice)
Where do you live? What is the last frost date?
Tomatoes and peppers usually need 6 weeks before setting out.
Lettuce and peas are cool weather plants.
It's your estimate about how big you want the plants before setting
out. I start squash & cukes about 3 weeks before setting out since
all I want is to make sure of germination
The best idea is to attack the snails and slugs.
"Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral,
All these need to be planted outside at the appropriate time. They do
not transplant well.
Because of their taproot, use a big pot and transplant shortly after
they make true leaves. Be extra careful when transplanting, and leave
two plants per pot. You will kill the weakest one
later. You could also condier using those paper pots that go in the
This too will prefer a bigger pot, though not as fragile when
transplanting as the other cucurbita.
These do gain from being grown under lights. 6-8 weeks before
transplanting is fine.
same as acorn.
I failed repeatedly with these guys, but, they need a warmer
temperature inside and also outside, compared to tomatoes. Still ,they
As Sherwin says, lettuce may get shocked if transplanted too early and
end up maturing at the same time as lettuce directly seeded later.
same as peppers, needs to be transplanted late. Watermelons, peppers,
and basil should be the last (okra and eggplants also may go out last,
but I have no experience with them).
oregano and thyme are extremely hardy when established, but put them
out too early and they will die.
The main reason I like transplants is that I can lay down the mulch
and then plant through it. In a nutshell, transplanting eliminates
weeding. But the season extension adavantages are minimal. Stuff grows
so much better when it decides on its own to get out of the ground.
"simy1", you da man (regardless of your gender). You've done it again.
This is exactly what I was looking for:-)
I don't think I'll ever plant basil in the ground again. Large pots have
been too successful for me to ignore.
Actually, I already have parsley in a large pot, not doing much though.
I'll be happy to start my garden planting by mid-April and have the
initial garden in by mid-May. The Sun is almost completely above the
tree-line now. Sometimes we have rain in June, and other times we have
100F temps in May. Both are unusual though.
This is only my second season trying to germinate seeds, so I'm still
into the steep part of my learning curve. That's my excuse and I'm
sticking with it.
I saw part of a video that recommended sprinkling sphagnum moss on the
planted seed trays. Any thoughts?
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
with respect to the above, did you mean that you haven't been able to
germinate peppers, or you haven't been able to grow peppers?
For me the trick is germination, I've been growing "starter" peppers for
years. Last year I grew a lifetime supply of habaneros, about thirty
peppers. I have yet to find a recipe that calls for more than 1/2 of a
habanero. I am much more confortable with jalapenos, which I also grow.
In keeping with my long tradition of not waiting to freak-out, I am
commencing as of now. My first go at germinating with a hot pad, grow
lights and, an enclosed incubator worked like a charm for everything,
except the peppers.
Peas, tomatoes, and herbs were all precocious, germinating in seven days
but the cells that contain the peppers show nothing. I understand that
it can take as long as 18 days for peppers to germinate, so for now, I'm
just concerned. The pepper seeds were from last year, which adds a
wrinkle to the plot. I now have fresh seeds, which is to say, I just
bought them, in case I have to re-run the germination.
Anyway, I am trolling for ideas and hoping you have some.
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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