Post by pepperhead212 on Apr 19, 2021 16:05:36 GMT -5
That's why the stores do that - to sell more! I've said before that I feel sorry for those plants, but not the idiots that buy them! They can't get it into their heads that "average last frost date" is just that - average.
Unfortunately some of those plants don't make it long enough to be sold. Walmart had an entire rack of Bonnie plants that were dried out and dying because nobody bothered to water them. Lowes does do a better job of taking care of plants.
Post by pepperhead212 on Apr 23, 2021 13:25:23 GMT -5
Here are the tomatoes - started on 4-5 - and eggplants - started on 3-27. Many of the eggplants sprouted slowly, and some of the tomatoes simply grow slower, depending on the variety. But the tomatoes are doing well, for just planting on 4-5! This is why I can't imagine planting them as early as some do, unless they will be in a pot like those large peppers, by the time they go out! Tomatoes on 4-23, started on 4-5 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
BTW, I found no significant difference in the groups of tomatoes that I soaked in the weakened peroxide solution compared to the saltpeter solution (the one I've used for years with peppers). Some sprouted sooner than others in both, and the earlier ones were 4 days in both. Also didn't seem to be a higher % with either - some varieties in both had slower and less sprouting, as well as some of which every seed sprouted - and I put extras in, because they were old!
That's why when I transplant to larger pots, I write the germination % on the list I make of what I am planting. I make the planting list from the inventory list (cut and paste) and write the number of seeds planted right on the list. That way it's easy to get the germ percentage. Also write the approximate number of seeds left in the packet. Just takes a little bit of time on a rainy day to put the info on next years inventory list so I am ready for the next year.
Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 23 little gardeners.
Post by pepperhead212 on Apr 23, 2021 19:14:54 GMT -5
Good ideas, gardendmpls. I do something similar with my peppers, which I sprout in vermiculite, and transplant to the pots. Tomatoes I just start in the pots, usually 2 per pot, except the old ones, as noted, or ones I am short of, then just one.
Post by pepperhead212 on Apr 24, 2021 12:57:53 GMT -5
centralilrookie No special secret here; I don't even use a heat mat for my tomatoes, and no fertilizer, until new leaves appear. The starting mix is just one I mix myself - I used to buy various types, but always had some leftover, and a couple brands I got through the years dried out too fast. I make a mix of about 2/3 peat and 1/3 coir, then about 20% perlite, about 10% vermiculite, about 5% granular diatomaceous earth, and about 5% worm casings (the only fertilizer). And I add a small amount of mycorrhizae powder, then I moisten all this with a Bt israelensis solution, to prevent the fungus gnats. I keep the seeds moist, but as soon as they begin to appear, I stop any top watering, to prevent damping off.
When the true leaves appear, I add a small amount of fertilizer when watering. I use some of my hydroponics fertilizer - not organic, but it has everything in it, I figured! I also add a few drops of silica solution - something used in hydroponics to get stronger stems. I only put very small amounts of these things in the gal watering container, and wait for the surfaces to start getting slightly dry, then water from the bottom.
I’m trying some varieties I haven’t grown before this year. I have about three dozen Brandywine Yellow, five each of Green Giant, White Tomasol, Crimson Cushion, and Beefsteak, 10 Mariglobe, 10 Honeycomb, and about fifty that are a mystery “Rainbow Mixture”, all new to me. I always grow a few Red Cherry and Yellow Pear for reliability. 1/4 are in the ground, 1/4 are in raised beds, 1/4 are in fabric pots, and 1/4 are in 5 gal buckets. Some in sun, some in shade, all different mixes of manures and composts and soils. Most just fend for themselves, a few I support with a single bamboo stake. I started about 400 seeds, got about 350 strong plants, kept about 100 for me, and give away the rest. I often notice that 80/20 effect, where a handful of plants produce tons of fruit, and the rest I get a a few tomatoes apiece from before disease and heat wipes them out in July. I had great luck with Marion last year, but lost the seed I saved.