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BrianSkilton
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Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:59 am
Location: South Dakota

Germinating Seeds: (Peppers, Tomatoes etc)

Hey guys, I am very new to gardening...but I am an avid cook, just love cooking (so thats where my love of gardening is coming from). Anyway I need some pointers on the best way to germinate and grow some tomatoes (Cherokee purple) and a variety of peppers. Basically I want to get them started so when they are ready to go into the garden I can just transplant them. I've heard of propagation trays and the like, whats best? Also I don't really have a south facing window...except south west-- in a corner. I do have some fluorescent lights which I'm going to use. Soils types, I could be educated on as well. Anyway any tips at all to get a new indoor gardener started would be great ;).

-Nick

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hendi_alex
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Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

I just planted the remainder of my tomato seeds today. I don't think that the planting medium matters that much, fine text and loose in best IMO. The most important factor in germinating seeds this time of the year is bottom heat. Either find a warm location, get a heat mat, or improvise something (like a 100 watt bulb under a large cookie sheet for example). Bottom heat of 70-75 degrees will increase both the speed and the success rate for germination. Keep the medium constantly moist until germination. Also after germination, put the plants in direct sunlight as much as possible, and give the plants at least 12 hours of light per day. Lowes sales a small clip on reflector style lamp for about $6. Put a 15-20 watt compact florescent bulb in it and place it within a couple of inches above the seedlings. Also move the seedlings to individual pots after the first true leaves appear. Plants placed outside in the direct sunlight and breeze will be well developed and hearty. But I don't move mine outside unless it is sunny and relatively warm. They can go outside at over 50 degrees inside a coldframe on a sunny day. Or they can go outside in a sunny exposure in the open with the temperature over 60 degrees, at least that is my method which gives me good success.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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