tfoals
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Location: Southern Illinois

All kinds of problems.

Oh my where to start. I'm trying to plant my first garden theres so many problems, I don't know if I'm going to get these seeds planted.

1. The soil has never been worked before. I had a friend use this tiller thing on the back of his tractor. He broke it up really deep, but he left huge ruts and hills in it. The tiller we have is really old and after going over it all day yesterday its still not level and the soil is still in huge pieces.

2. I bought $100 or so of seeds from gurneys.com. I started tomatoes, hot peppers, brocoli, caulflower, wonder egg, husk tomatoes, lufa and sweet pepers about a month ago. I only have six brocoli plants and four tomatoes out of all those seeds. I planted in peat pots with organic miracle grow poting mix. Set them in the east windows and under uv lights. Is there any way I can save these? What did I do wrong?

3. It's almost May and I'm days away from being ready to plant. Its going to rain the rest of the week and next week. Should I start all my seeds now before it's too late?

4. I found these really old seed starter things at my grandmothers house. Their square about 1/2 in thick with small squares marked out with indentions and a small hole in the middle. Looks like the squares can be broke apart like you would a chocolate bar. Their not made of the same stuff peat pots are. Their really hard. Has anyone used these before? Do they work?

Sorry thats so long.

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Kisal
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I can only make a couple of guesses. From your description, it sounds like you did everything right. The only thing you failed to mention is how often and by what method you watered the seeds after you planted them in the peat pots. If you poured water on them, it might have disturbed the soil so much that the seed either got buried too deeply, or else floated to the surface. If you didn't give them any water at all, then they still might sprout if you give them a little moisture. I recommend using a spray bottle to moisten the soil. Many people cover the pots with clear plastic, or place them inside clear plastic containers to conserve moisture until the seeds sprout, but I always have problems with mold when I do that. I prefer just to keep the soil moist by spraying it with water when it looks and feels dry on the surface. I water less often after the seeds sprout, but give more water at a time then.

The items you found at your grandmother's are another type of seed starter pot made of compressed peat. I don't remember what they were called, but I remember seeing them in the stores. Just my personal opinion, but I never had much success when I used peat pots to start seeds. I just use little 2" pots made of hard plastic. I bought them at a local nursery, treat them gently, and reuse them from year to year. I've had them for at least 20 years now. I use a standard potting soil as the starting medium.

I think you need to put on a good pair of gardening gloves, take a hoe, garden rake and shovel out to that tilled area and work it over by hand. Did you add soil amendments when you went over the area with your tiller? If not, then you'll want to add them as you go over the plot manually. That's how I would do it, anyway, but I'm kind of old-fashioned. :)
Last edited by Kisal on Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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BrianSkilton
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I don't like using peat-pots. I first did germination in regular potting soil, then I thought I would give peat-pots a chance...however the germination rate was horrible. I had about 95% germination rate with normal potting soil and about 40% with peat-pots. They either stay to wet or they dry out to much especially with a heating pad below it. I don't know but they just don't work for me. Get some regular potting soil and some 8 oz cups and a plastic container with a plastic lid and a heating mat under it, you WILL have success with germination. Right now it may be to late to start seeds, you may have to buy them this year and save the rest of your seeds for next year.
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
-Nick

chefshelle
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Unfortunately, I think Kisal is right. A hoe would help tremendously. Just do a section at a time, and maybe the task might seem more manageable.

The good news is that your plants don't care if the soil is level! I plant everything from seeds except for Tomatoes. I've never had any problems. I just drag a line down, drop in the seeds and cover them up! Last year, my garden had just about everything, and we started the same way you did. The only thing we did different is we ran the tiller over the ground several times after the farmer plowed up the soil.

I just kept telling myself that it was free exercise! The hard work payed off. We still have several jar of pickles, salsa, sauce and green beans left!
Michele

Check out our wonderful gardening supplies in the Home & Garden section of...
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jal_ut
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tfoals, I grow about 30 varieties of produce in my garden. It is all started from seed sown directly where it will grow, with the exception of tomatoes and peppers which I plant from nursery stock.

I would use a rake to level things up a bit and plant seed directly in the garden. If your soil is rather coarse and cloddy, you can make a small furrow for the seed and cover it with some seed starting mix or sand if you have any sand available.

When it comes to plot preparation it is best to do it in the fall. Till in your leaves or compost, then in the spring do not till, unless you only till one inch deep to make a seed bed after that inch is dried out. The problem with spring tilling is that the ground is often too wet and the result is the soil turns cloddy and those clods take all season to go away. It is hard to plant when your soil is all cloddy as there are no fines to cover the seed.

Follow directions on the packets for the planting and thinning procedures and culture tips. This usually works well, however in many cases if a packet says it will sow a 20 foot row, you can probably sow a 40 foot row with it and have lots less thinning required. I usually end up planting half a packet of lots of things and saving the rest for next year. Most seed will hold for a year if you keep it in a cool dry spot.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

tfoals
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Location: Southern Illinois

Thanks everyone for the great advice.

Kisal, I watered the seeds really well the first time, just poured it in, and after that we used a spray bottle when the soil started to dry out.

chefshelle, I started out telling myself it was good exercise. My plot is so big I believe I may die trying to work the whole thing over. But I've got helpers to call on.

:( It's still raining here. Hopefully it'll dry out soon. This is sort of a victory garden for us. If anyone remembers what those are. My husbands been laid off for over a year now and neither of us have been able to find work. I wanted to plant a big garden to help on groceries and to share with everyone whos helped us so much. Hubbie got called in today to start work again tomorrow!!! So we could afford to buy some plants. I figure I'll buy what plants I can and plant the seeds that will grow this late. Probly look up what would grow in a fall garden too.

Thanks again!
Patiently they wait and hope, and God provides the rest. All we really need is The Faith Of A Little Seed

chefshelle
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The first day in the garden this year was exciting. The next day...not so much! My legs were SORE!

I think I can...I think I can

It's definitely work!

I don't know if you have plans to yet, but we canned tons of food last year & saved $$$. Just finishing up most of everything!
Michele

Check out our wonderful gardening supplies in the Home & Garden section of...
CheapWholesaleTools.com

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Faythe
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Location: Michigan

Just curious...but did the seeds you started germinate, or did they germinate and then the seedlings die?

Several people have mentioned problems with peat pots. I started tomatoes, basil, and cukes in peat pots with seed starter mix in the pots, and it looks like I have nearly 100% germination. I think just about every seed has sprouted. Only problem is they are looking a little leggy from all these overcast days and not getting enough sun (nope, I do not have UV lights, nor a heating mat), and I know I will need to get them planted in the ground ASAP as eventually the peat pots can get moldy. That is the only problem I have noticed with peat pots--they tend to retain moisture a little too well.
To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves. ~Gandhi

tfoals
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Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:33 am
Location: Southern Illinois

Faythe, only 12 germinated out of 100 or so. I had three caulflower that died affter germination. Asuming its fungus. They had no roots.

chefshelle, I did expect it to be one of the hardest things I've tried to do. I definatly need all that exercise. I was planing on canning, freezing and dehydrating. Well see how much of this accualy grows.

We have a wonderfull nursery bout 30 min away. The owner is nice and her plants are always healthy pluss shes dirt cheap. I bought some tomatoes, caulflower, bell peppers, bannana peppers, cantulope, celery and hot pepers. They look so different from the plants we've got growing.
Patiently they wait and hope, and God provides the rest. All we really need is The Faith Of A Little Seed



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