Which seeds need to be germinated first?

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: snow peas, string beans, romano beans, early ripening watermelons, charentais melons, acorn squash, corn, early, mid-, and late season tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, zuchs and crook-necks, sweet, and hot peppers, lettuce, basil, 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.
Any suggestions?
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 major difference.
- Bill Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly:-)
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Hi William,
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. Lettuce grows pretty fast. I would devote more of your seed starting space to things like tomatoes, which take longer to produce fruit.
Sherwin D.
William Rose wrote:

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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 guarantee.
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? - Bill
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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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 night.
Tis the season!!
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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.
Thanks again. - Bill
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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.
Thanks again, - Bill coloribus gustibus non disputatum (subject to change without notice)
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wrote:

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. http://www.eap.mcgill.ca/MagRack/JPR/JPR_29.htm
--
Susan N.

"Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral,
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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 ground whole.

This too will prefer a bigger pot, though not as fragile when transplanting as the other cucurbita.

plant directly.

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 transplant.

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.
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"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?
Thanks again,
- Bill
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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"simy1", 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.
Thanks,
- Bill Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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