Ask a Question forum: When is the next podcast?

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Name: Kandace
New Iberia, LA (Zone 9a)
Kandy477
Jan 3, 2014 8:40 AM CST
Can we make topic suggestions? How about starting seeds? I need to start my tomato and peppers soon.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jan 3, 2014 8:48 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

We're starting the podcast very soon, probably as early as this coming week. As for topic suggestions, yes, definitely! You can tree mail your ideas to me or @Trish.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Jan 3, 2014 1:21 PM CST
I Have never started tomato seeds but would like to try this year. I have seeds, so would love to hear about starting tomatoes from seed.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Jan 7, 2014 9:55 PM CST
Tomatoes & peppers are fun to grow. You should get close to 100 % germination. I like to start tomatoes in a bigger size than peppers...since they grow a lot quicker. Tomatoes start 4 to 6 weeks before average last frost; Peppers 6 to 8 weeks before average last frost
My preferences:
container soil mix over seed starting mix
pre-moisten soil (like a damp sponge - feels damp and when you squeeze it you will get a dribble)
fill your seed starting cells (32 x 2" works well or even 4" pots/cups etc) Be sure to have drain holes
Do not compact the soil. Tap the cup or tray to settle the soil without too much compacting. If you water with a watering can with rosette end, the soil will settle a bit. You want good soil contact with the seed, but also oxygen to the roots.
make a tiny divot in the soil (about 1/4" deep).
Sow seed in divot
Cover with soil mix and/or damp vermiculite
Cover with a plastic dome
Bottom heat will speed up germination (even on top the fridge will work)
As soon as you see sprouts, you need to put them under lights.
seedlings need to be 2" or less under the bulbs - any more and the seedlings will become leggy
Remove bottom heat once germinated
Remove dome once 2nd leave forms
water with Chammomile tea to prevent damping off until 2nd leaves form
Spray bottle works great for tea
Run a fan to strengthen seedlings and promote good air circulation
Feed seedling diluted fertilizer after 2nd leaf forms
Move light as plants grow
transplant into bigger pots when the roots escape thru the drain holes, usually 4 weeks after germination

Most important: moisture, light and air circulation. room temps are fine
Hope this helps
Joanne
[Last edited by Joannabanana - Jan 7, 2014 9:57 PM (+)]
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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Jan 8, 2014 12:11 PM CST
Joanne, thank you. Excellent and detailed instructions. I will be starting a few tomato seedlings this year for the first time ever.

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