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starter plants indoors?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by treegrower1 on January 07, 2006 11:25 AM
im new to startin plants on the indoors.I would like to start some of the plants i will transplant in my outdoor garden[in april] tomatoes,sweet pepper,brocoli,etc.Do i need a heat mat for under the trays?What bout lights above the trays?If so do they need to stay on24hours a day?Also is this to early if it will be 3 months before i transplant them outdoors?
by ChristinaC on January 07, 2006 11:32 AM
Hi treegrower.
I've never used a heat mat..I put the tray on fridge where it's a little warmer..works fine. I use fluorescent lights after they sprout..the seeds don't need light to germinate. I turn my lights on when I wake up and turn them off before I go to bed...plants need sleep too. Don't leave them on 24 hours..though I've forgotten to turn my off many a times!! I'd say 3 months is a bit early. Last year because of cold weather, It was a good 3 months before I was able to get my plants in the ground and they were more than ready!!! Good luck treegrower!

Christina

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by treegrower1 on January 07, 2006 11:38 AM
ok,thanks....i"ll wait bout the first of feb. before i start them ,then tran. 2 months later
by Tamara from Minnesota on January 08, 2006 08:53 AM
I use heating pads- regular people kind- and have done so for almost 10 years. The lights should not be left on 24 hours but more like 18 so it mimics the real summer conditions. I get a timer at the hardware store where I buy lights. Buy lights (shop light with one cool fluor. and one garden light), extension cords and the timer. I have started tomatoes in March to plant the last week in May, so how long is that? Um 2 months. So wait a few weeks. Peppers can be started now though; I start those in February.
I haven't grown broccoli for a few years but you wouldn't want to heat that and then follow the directions on the packet otherwise. [thumb]

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by ChristinaC on January 08, 2006 08:56 AM
quote:
Peppers can be started now though; I start those in February
I'd be sure to pinch those flowers off before planting them. I made the mistake of leaving them last year..I just couldn't let myself pick them off. [nutz] As a result my pepper yield was very poor...Tamara definitely knows whats she's talking about with peppers!!!

Christina

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by treegrower1 on January 08, 2006 12:31 PM
do ya"ll start ur plants indoors? or just wait and buy transplants somewhere close to when its time to plant outdoors?
by comfrey on January 08, 2006 12:49 PM
The trick to starting your veggies (& flowers) indoors is to not start them too early, that is how you end up with blooms on your plants and huge plants that have a harder time adapting to the transplanting. Peppers should not be started until after you have started your tomatoes...about a 2 week difference on the start time. Another thing to consider is whether you want all of them to ripen around the same time or do you want to space it out so that some are still producing heavy when some have slowed down. If the later is the case, then start a few seeds wait for them to sprout then start another batch that way you will be spacing out the time they produce. I start all of my tomato & pepper plants in the house from seed. So any questions about this I can probable be of assistance if you ask.

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by comfrey on January 08, 2006 12:52 PM
treegrower....Oh one more thing....Try starting from seed and if that does not produce what you want, you still can buy plants. But once you get the hang of it, you'll never want to buy store bought again [Wink]

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by ChristinaC on January 08, 2006 12:58 PM
quote:
But once you get the hang of it, you'll never want to buy store bought again


Couldn't agree more!! It's still so exciting and rewarding each and every year to see the first sprout and watch them all grow from babies that you raised yourself. I too start all my vegetables indoors from seed...some flowers too. They'll always be many people here to help you along the way.
Christina

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by treegrower1 on January 09, 2006 12:23 AM
yea, u know it does sound like it would be pretty cool to start my own plants.always before i would just buy plants but this year i"ll try starting my own.I think i"ll go this week and see bout finding me a grow light.I"ll have to come up with a few tomatoe seeds. I should have saved some from last year but didnt.So if im planning on planting outside apr.15 i should start plan. some seeds indoors at aroundfeb.15?
by ChristinaC on January 09, 2006 02:33 AM
Mid Feb. sounds fine treegrower. I got my fluorescent lights at Walmart...very cheap. I think mine are 35 watt. Remember to keep them only a couple inches from the light or else they'll get all spindly...I keep a fan going in the room to circulate the air and keep them moving a little...toughens them up and gets them more prepared for outside. I keep the temperature around 70F...I think most agree that this is right. There's some great links online and like I said, they'll always be someone here to help you. Good Luck!!
Christina

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