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Thread: Question for people who start their own tomatoes and peppers indoors

  1. #1
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Question for people who start their own tomatoes and peppers indoors

    As I mentioned in another post, I totally forgot to think about the possibility that there might not be a lot of veggie seedlings for sale out there this year. I quickly sent away for stuff I would need to start indoors. Unfortunately, everything is slow to be shipped these days, and I might not be able to start anything for at least a week or more........which is pretty late in the season.

    Could I just put some potting soil in a shallow pan and plant the seeds in there, to get them started? Then when the stuff arrives, I can gently (after they sprout), scoop each one out with a spoon and plant into the soil/containers?

    Maybe it isn't too late. With climate change, we might still have snow storms in June.........or even hot droughts. who knows.
    Fortunately, except for the tomatoes and peppers, everything else can be put in the ground as beans/seeds (which I ordered early in the winter).

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Yes you can do that. I had a lot of success last year using those plastic clamshells that salad greens are sold in , also small aluminium bread pans. Just make sure you make drainage holes.

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    Senior Member Rosemary's Avatar
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    Lots of household items that can be used for starting seeds, such as toilet paper tubes or pots formed from newspaper around the bottom of a glass or container.
    The biggest problem I always have is giving them enough light.
    My experience with tomatoes is that the volunteer plants, from tomatoes that fell and seeded the previous year, always produce about the same time as the plants that I buy and carefully transplant in late May. So this year my plan is to start plants indoors in early May, in "pots" that will compost, and planting the entire thing in late May/early June as weather permits.

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    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Here's another question: What kind of liquid fertilizer should I use on the small seedlings? I prefer organic stuff. Is fish fertilizer good? I don't want to burn them, so I know it won't take much in those small cells.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyA View Post
    Here's another question: What kind of liquid fertilizer should I use on the small seedlings? I prefer organic stuff. Is fish fertilizer good? I don't want to burn them, so I know it won't take much in those small cells.
    I use a slow-release like Osmacote. Also, perlite might be a good medium for planting. https://www.tomatogrowing.co.uk/html...-tomatoes.html

    I've always heard that your tomatoes might be spindly if started at home, so I'm guessing that the most light you can provide, the better off you'll be. But I've never started tomatoes indoors, so I can't confirm that. My neighbor did, and gave us some seedlings, and they grew great, especially the cherry tomatoes.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  6. #6
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    I have had excellent luck growing seedlings under a standard flourescent shop light (around $20 in my area). Start them close underneath (I set on bricks) then as they grow move them down so the top is only 3 to 6 inches from the bulb. Works excellent - I get stockier transplants than the stores are selling, and I can grow the cultivars I want rather than what someone else wants.
    You can use an uheated room, I have even used a root cellar. The cooler temp (around 50 degrees in mine) made things come up slower but they were thicker stemmed. The tomatoes & melons (warm weather crops) preferred to sprout at around 70 degrees, in an unused side room. All you need is a shelf you can hook the light to and you are good to go. Just be sure to harden off thoroughly before transplanting out to avoid transplant shock killing them.

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