Seed starting time!

My seed-starting corner in the greenhouse is getting crowded, might be time to pot some of them up to make room for the next round.

I should call that my seed starting area minus the avocados, those get their own corner of the greenhouse:

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I’m “chitting” my potatoes. Potatoes that have been in cold storage are dormant and won’t wake up very easily. Put them in a dry location at about 70 degrees for a week and they should start to expand buds. They are then ready to plant and will begin growing immediately. If they are not chitted, potatoes may sit in the ground for a month and emerge erratically over several weeks.

I planted a row of peas a few days ago. They are older seed and many will not germinate. I planted up to 4 times as many seed as normal to ensure a few grow. My rows are 170 feet long which should produce a LOT of peas!

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I went through the trays of tomato seedlings and put together a list of 158 varieties to grow in my garden this year. Other varieties that I started either did not germinate or I already have seed from 2020 or 2021. I will start making up trays of seedlings tomorrow. It will take 14 trays of seedlings at 48 plants per tray just to get all the plants for my own garden. Then there are the thousands of seedlings to sell…

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Today 2023/03/08 was potato planting time. I put in a row with about 10 different varieties of potatoes including Kennebec, Charlotte, Sarpo Mira, Red Pontiac, Yukon gold, and about 100 mini-tubers that I don’t recall the parents of. The row is 180 feet long and should produce about 500 to 600 pounds of spuds. The weather was cloudy with light rain after noon so I got up early and tilled then fertilized and planted. The soil was just about right for tilling after 3 sunny days to dry things out.

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How many of each tomato variety do you plant out, and how many sq ft of garden space do you plant (of all veggies, not just tomato)?

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started more Hubbard, Seminole pumpkin, and tomato. I’ve got a lot of peppers coming up. mystery peppers.

planning to get as many going as I can, I do a free swap table in April and want plenty to give to the neighbors

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I will wind up with about 400 tomatoes and 200 peppers in round numbers. Most will be 3 tomato plants per variety and 4 pepper plants per. There are some varieties with only 1 viable plant. I grew a LOT of old seed this year in an effort to retain the genetics accumulated over the last 25 years. Many did not germinate.

My garden is about 180 feet long by 100 feet wide so 18,000 square feet of growing area. That works out to almost 1/3 acre.

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Question. I planted a 25’ row of tomatoes last year and I want to plant something else this year so I can get a rotation of the soil. Of these options, which do you think would be best to plant this year? Squash, okra, green beans, or peppers. Thanks in advance, Bill

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It is easier to tell you what NOT to plant after tomatoes. Peppers are also solanums so don’t plant peppers. Squash can be a bit problematic if nematodes built up in the soil from tomatoes. The same for beans, but there are beans with decent nematode tolerance. That leaves okra which would be a very good crop to rotate with tomatoes. Alabama #1 pole beans have decent nematode tolerance so something similar would be a choice. I would go with okra.

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Thanks. I will go with okra.

Today I planted Honeylocust seeds. They are from two thornless landscaping trees in my village. They are next to the parking lot of the church. Today I noticed that there is a litte step in the parking lot against which about twenty pods were laying. There are pods all over the churchyard, but these pods were really well protected and still almost whole. I took them all home and took the seeds out. Most of the seeds were small and very hard, seeds that were bigger, softer and a lighter brown had all a little worm inside them. These I tossed into boiling water and then on the compost.
Since I read online to nick the seed coat and then soak the seeds in warm water, I made an experiment: some seeds (45) I nicked with a sharp knife and 69 seeds I left alone. Both treatments were then soaked about 10 hours until I planted them. Im looking forward to seeing if there is any difference between the treatments in speed and rate of germination.
As the pods were more or less still intact, I could see that they are remarkably big for ornamental trees (about 30 cm) and had still some pulp inside even though they were quite dried out and beginning to rot with the weat weather we had last week. It still smelled sweet, but I didn`t dare to try it. There are still quite a lot of pods on the trees, but I can’t reach them. I’m exited to see, how many of these seedling turn out thornless like the parent trees. I have read that some thornless honeylocust have thorns as a juvenile trait. If this is the case, how long until they loose the thorns? And is there a way to see early if they are truly thorny or if its only in the juvenile stages? I would hate to grow a tree for 30 years always hoping that it loses the thorns…

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I’m not a locust expert, but its my understanding that nurseries that grow thornless honey locust seedlings to sell cull any seedlings with thorns right off the bat. If you’ve got a lot of seeds like it sounds like you do, I wouldn’t waste time with any time with any that have thorns.

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I finally got changed over to LED’s and retired the fluorescents for other use. I reduced the number of varieties of tomato and pepper, but then found all my old unused seed and decided to sew them since they’re getting old. I also have a lot of annual and perennial ornamentals I’m starting, trying to revive the flower beds I’ve neglected the past few years. The upstairs of the garage is unheated, but the lights produce enough heat to keep the grow box at about 80F. At 11 pm the timer goes off shutting the lights down and a small heater on a different extension cord takes over and keeps the temps between 60-70F. The grow box itself is just 2" rigid insulation foam and my shelf and lights are supported by pvc plumbing sections. I keep an AcuRite remote sensor in the box and can check the temps with my phone and I can even set an alert for this sensor to warn me if the temps are dipping too low.
Bottom shelf:


Top Shelf:

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Nice setup! If it were me I’d lower the lights a bit so the seedlings start out nice and compact. Those kind of tubes can really be a couple inches away without any problems.

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Echoing Swincher, lights too high, also, not enough of them. Seedlings need about twice as much light as your setup provides. You can still grow plants, but they will have problems from low light intensity.

I set out a row of brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower today. It is 180 feet long.

15 - Divino Brussels Sprouts
15 - Gladius Brussels Sprouts
11 - Ruby Perfection Cabbage
11 - Early Round Dutch Cabbage
11 - Tiara Cabbage
20 - Monty Broccoli
8 - Punto Verde cauliflower
8 - Lavender cauliflower
8 - Clementine cauliflower
10 - Flame Star cauliflower

I still have 2 varieties of cauliflower and 1 variety of kohlrabi to finish with the brassicas. Tomorrow I will try to find time to finish them and plant some onions, lettuce, carrots, radishes, and beets.

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Thank you! I have sown 114 seeds and want only about 10 trees, which means I can cull hard.

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For some reason my tomato seedling doesn’t like led lights. I have two set ups - one with LED’, full specter, about 18’’ above the pots and one fluorescent about 5 inches above the pots. Peppers and one tomato were under fluorescent lights for heat. Tomato grew 2 times faster then peppers so I had to move it to the LED set. Next morning I can see a new leaf coming up started to curl. I started the same tomato variety last year in December for indoor tomatoes and it has more then severe curl under the LED as adult plant. Is it something I am doing wrong with the LEDs? Or it is just tomato thing?

Do you think the led lamp, even at 18inch may still be too close to the plants. I don’t think the leaf will curve if it was too far.

The instruction said 18 inches for starters, 10-15 for flowering plants