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ATP Podcast #42: Seed Starting of Tomatoes and Peppers

By dave
January 17, 2014

For today's episode, in addition to our usual segments, Dave and Trish will share all their favorite tips and tricks for starting tomatoes and peppers from seed.

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jan 16, 2014 10:06 PM CST
Thank you for another great, interesting and informative podcast! Thumbs up

The "Pot Ghetto" topic had me laughing. I'd never heard that term before but over the years I've had many not so pretty (and some down-right ugly) mish-mash containers hiding behind the shed where they remained until the plants looked good enough to move over to prettier containers ... so I guess I had a pot ghetto and never even knew it. Rolling on the floor laughing

I enjoyed the podcast segment regarding growing tomato and pepper from seed! I have a very tiny yard, so there's no space for growing veggies in-ground. I've never grown tomatoes from seed although I've talked about it for a few years now. I've always just purchased the little jiffy pots of tomatoes and herbs and pot them up. I was browsing the Garden Harvest Supply website and I think I'm going to order some Organic Sweetie Tomato seeds; I think they'd probably do okay in pots. I also saw the Merlot Sweet Pepper plants and was wondering if those would work in containers; my husband and I love green peppers and sweet peppers and that Merlot Sweet sounds great!

Again, thanks for another good podcast!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Jan 17, 2014 6:34 AM CST
I enjoyed the podcast as always.

I'm so glad that Trish caught the wintersowing bug. You were a tough sell, Trish! People are always skeptical about the technique at first, but then become quick converts with the first success. This will be my ninth year (I think) of wintersowing, so my neighbors are used to my pot ghettos.

Thumb of 2014-01-17/kqcrna/50c539

It's often buried in snow for months in Ohio
Thumb of 2014-01-17/kqcrna/04dc48

Karen
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Jan 17, 2014 8:11 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Honestly, probably the only reason why I did it the first year was out of desperation. With all of the seed starters in this house, growlight space is at a premium! I had more seeds I wanted to start than room to grow, and the bug was caught!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Orchids Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator
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terrafirma
Jan 17, 2014 8:41 AM CST
I agree This was a great/fun podcast! And I also agree with Dave…I'll take a ripe pepper over a green one any day!!!
Such great tips! I tip my hat to you. I'm getting some seeds started this weekend! Thumbs up
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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vic
Jan 17, 2014 11:52 AM CST
I once asked @Horseshoe why I couldn't start seeds in a big pot and he explained in detail why I shouldn't. He has your answer @dave.

I plant seeds like Trish with vermiculite on top and peppers like Dave in that I heat the bottom. I don't have a heat mat but I put them on top of the upright freezer and they germinate quickly.

I use TTO for everything from finger cuts to all things plants and everything in between.

Great podcast!

Thank you so much!
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 17, 2014 12:44 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Thanks Vic, I'll ask Shoe about that if and when I interview him. Smiling
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
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Horseshoe
Jan 17, 2014 1:17 PM CST
You hound dawg, you!~ Whistling

I haven't gotten to listen to the podcast yet, just came in to cool off for a minute then heading back out. (Yes, cool off, it's a balmy 55º out and I'm running a chain saw, rake and hay fork, and an antique machete today. Whew.)

Looking forward to the podcast!

Happy Day All!

Shoe (clearing room in my head to put in more knowledge I'll get from the podcast!)
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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vic
Jan 17, 2014 2:03 PM CST
Just don't answer the - seeds in a large pot - question here Shoe. We'll wait for that when you and Dave chat Green Grin!
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Jan 18, 2014 3:26 PM CST
Well, this is my first pod cast. Wonderful. Just sat knitting and listening and then ran to get a note pad. I buy my tomato plants locally but now think I will try to grow from seeds. I grew peppers but when they were outside in the raised beds they got a lot of rot. I think I am going to keep one bed covered to keep it warmer and to control the rain that gets to them. Even the tomatoes were rotting on the vines. Our average ambient temp is only about 55-60.

I did the SFG thing and need to recharge with compost this spring. I have had some luck finally with making compost in my rotating black plastic bins. I grind up stuff fine before adding it. Works much better. Last fall we ground up tons of stuff from the yard along with grass and a bale of straw I bought (certified weed free) and by golly it got up to 120F in the middle. I was amazed. I had DH put it in two carts so I could haul it and spread it in the garden and noticed it was steaming outdoors last fall. Felt it and it was warm. Then tested with the long thermometer. I was thrilled. I had barely enough to go around all the beds, but if I do this every fall I think I will forget store bought fertilizer.

"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
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Horseshoe
Jan 18, 2014 4:38 PM CST
Great podcast! Ya'll covered a lot of territory. Yay! I bet lots of folks will now feel comfortable starting their own pepper and tomato seeds this year.

Shoe (jealous ya'll are starting tomato seeds already!)
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 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Newyorkrita
Jan 18, 2014 5:13 PM CST
I really enjoyed this podcast also. I was really interested in the subject of starting tomato seeds. I have never done it before so I was really glad to hear all the tips for success. I already have my tomato seeds, now I really want to try for my own tomato seedlings.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Jan 18, 2014 7:23 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

We love hearing that you all enjoyed the podcast!
Mary Stella and Rita- keep us updated if you start your seed and how they do! They really aren't difficult Thumbs up
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
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 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Newyorkrita
Jan 18, 2014 7:34 PM CST
I am getting excited about starting my own tomato plants.

Does anyone wintersow veggies like tomatoes? Or is it only for flowers?
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Jan 19, 2014 4:35 AM CST
Rita, I'm not a veggie grower except for tomatoes. I wintersowed them for about 5 or 6 years with great results. They were always small when planted out but produced fruit at the normal time for Ohio, around late July/ early August. However, last year spring was especially cool, cloudy, and rainy and my tomato seeds didn't sprout. My wintersown flower seeds didn't do as well as usual last year either. (Where was that global warming when I needed it?)

I can say with confidence that if you wintersow tomatoes they SHOULD do well for you. But you can't control Mother Nature. A few started inside and a few wintersown might be like insurance. I haven't decided how I'm going to start mine this year. It will probably depend on whether I have any space left under lights.

Karen
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 19, 2014 8:10 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Trish wintersowed tomatoes last year and they came up and grew, but were, of course, much smaller than the ones I started indoors. They did make it and she transplanted them into a bed where they grew and produced fruit for us.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jan 19, 2014 10:13 AM CST
Looking forward to listening to the podcast tomorrow while I'm doing some winter sowing containers! Hurray!
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


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 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Image
Newyorkrita
Jan 19, 2014 10:53 AM CST
Thanks Karen and Dave.

I am planning on starting the tomato seeds indoors. But I have plenty of seed so if I get ambitious I could try winter sowing some tomato seed. Nothing to loose really by trying it.
Name: PrairieGirl
Central Illinois (Zone 5a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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prairiegirl
Jan 21, 2014 9:26 PM CST
Loved the podcast! I was surprised you didnt talk about hardening off? This is the trickiest part of starting seeds (particularly tomatoes and peppers) for me.Can you point me to some resources on the website that may provide tips? Thanks D and T for the time/effort you put into the site and podcasts!
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Jan 22, 2014 7:47 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I suppose we think of hardening off more in the "planting" category, and not so much in the "seed starting" category.

We'll certainly be covering planting topics as the season moves on a bit Thumbs up
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jan 22, 2014 2:04 PM CST
Great podcast, Trish & Dave. Thumbs up

I was going to mention that I'd read somewhere about why we progressively up-pot seedlings, but that information likely came from 'Shoe anyway, so I'll sit on my hands and be still. Whistling

Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


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