The Q&A Archives: Tomatoes

Question: I do not have much space to garden,i am using pots to grow some tomatoes, how can i keep earwicks of them
how can i grow some cornations from seed?

Answer: Growing carnations from seed is extremely easy. My favorite to grow is the Chabaud series, or florist-type (not the border-type). Any container is fine. If you wish you can recycle half-gallon milk cartons by stapling the opening shut, laying the carton on one side, stabbing a few slits on one side for drainage and cutting out the opposite side. Other "recycled" containers work equally well. January and February are the best months to sow carnation seeds. Here's my step-by-step procedure: Use any good potting mix for your soil and fill the carton to about an inch from the top. Scatter the seeds evenly over the surface and then lightly cover them with soil. Water sparingly and insert the container into a clear plastic bag (a produce bag from the grocery store will do), and seal with a twist tie. The bag maintains an ideal level of humidity, which aids seed germination. My kitchen stove is a gas range with pilot lights and has a work surface between the burners. I use the heat from the top pilot lights as a source of bottom heat for my seedlings. By doing this I have seedlings emerge in 2-3 days. If you don't have a bottom-heat source, you can still start carnations from seed indoors; germination will just take a little longer.

After a good percentage of the seedlings have emerged, I remove the container from the bag and set it out into direct sun. It is early enough in the season so sunburn should not be a problem, but don't forget to water as necessary to prevent the soil from drying. When 2-3 true leaves have developed, it's time to repot into six-packs or other small containers to allow root and shoot growth to continue.

You can trap earwigs by rolling up a sheet of newspaper, getting it damp and laying it in the container with your tomato plant. The earwigs will hide in the newspaper overnight and in the morning you can fold up the ends (trapping the pests) and either release them away from your garden or toss them in a sealed garbage can.

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