BOLTS
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Seed Starting Year 2 - Need Help!

Hi, as the subject line states, this is my second attempt at starting my vegetable garden from seeds (my first attempt was not a success). This year I have the burpees 72 cell auto irrigation seed starting kit.
I am planning on growing 4 Amish Paste tomato plants, 4 black plum tomato plants, 4 sungold cherry tomato plants, 4 Jamaican Hot Chocolate hot pepper plants, 4 fatalii hot pepper plants.
In order to ensure success I planted 2 seeds per cell, and doubled what I wanted (4 amish tomato plants*2=8 cells).
I started with the hot peppers as they take the longest (supposedly) to germinate.
I am also using a heating mat on top of rigid insulation.
Germination occured in 7 days for the majority of Jamaican Hot Pepper seeds planted, and so far (day 9) only 2 of eight fatalii seeds germinated.
MY QUESTIONS ARE:
How long do I keep the heating mat on?
How long do I keep the humidity dome on?
Do I wipe the dome of the condensation? (I have been)
If I have double germination in one cell, should I remove the smaller plant?
When I want to plant the tomatoe seeds what can I do....everything will be in the same 72 cell kit, I can't use the heating mat as it will destroy the hot peppers that have grown (or am I wrong?)

Sorry for the long write up and thank you for any responses.
DV

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rainbowgardener
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I germinate all my seeds on a heating mat (set on medium) which is on 24/7. Usually after the plants have true leaves, I transplant them off the heat mat, but that is only to make more room on the mat to start more seeds. If I don't have more seeds waiting to start I leave the plants on the mat and they continue to benefit from the extra warmth. It does mean you have to be extra careful with watering -- plants/soil on the mat dries out much faster than without it. But they can stay on the mat as long as you want them too. Start the tomatoes on the mat, it will not harm the peppers.

The humidity dome is a different story. Personally, I don't use them at all. The humid/ no air circulation environment under the dome is perfect for fostering damping off and other fungal diseases. If you are using the dome, you should remove it as soon as some seeds have sprouted, even if others haven't yet sprouted, or risk losing the sprouted ones.

If you have too many plants in a cell you have a choice of thinning (just cut the extra off with a small scissors, so as not to disturb the roots of the one you are keeping) or transplanting the extras out, if you hate to kill plants. They can stay crowded in the cells for a little while, at least until they have true leaves.
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Ruffsta
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Re: Seed Starting Year 2 - Need Help!

BOLTS wrote: MY QUESTIONS ARE:
How long do I keep the heating mat on?
How long do I keep the humidity dome on?
Do I wipe the dome of the condensation? (I have been)
If I have double germination in one cell, should I remove the smaller plant?
When I want to plant the tomatoe seeds what can I do....everything will be in the same 72 cell kit, I can't use the heating mat as it will destroy the hot peppers that have grown (or am I wrong?)
1.) use a digital thermostat and set the appropriate heat setting. i set mine at 83 - it will drop down 3 degrees and that back up to the 83 automatically... that's a normal cycle. it'll never shut off until you unplug it, it'll just keep running the cycle. simply plug the heat mat into the thermostat and the thermostat into the wall and the sensor into the soil in the tray (any cell). see thermostat pic below

2.) & 3.) i have 2 domes, when 1 condensates, i switch them and let the wet one dry standing vertically over a towel. use the dome until seedlings just about touch it. i transplant my sprouts pretty much right after they sprout

4.) you may remove the smaller/weaker one if you like, just be careful!

5.) use a fork to loosen the seedling - as it is most unlikely to hurt the seedlings.

[img]https://hydro-earth.com/3372-2204-large/digital-temperature-controller-for-heat-mat.jpg[/img]
I am proudly CROWDFUNDING to open my own bistro: Devil's Cut Bistro

BOLTS
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:05 am
Location: Richmond Hill, ON, CANADA

Thank you for the replies.
I have a heat mat that doesn't have a control. I would love to get the digital thermostat, but the price is what stops me. I'd also love to get the lights for above...but again, too much money...probably next year.
what should I do now that I want to plant the tomato seeds...they will need the heat mat, buy the hot peppers no longer need them...should I cut those cells off and place them somewhere else?
Are there any other tips anyone can give?
DV

BOLTS
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Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:05 am
Location: Richmond Hill, ON, CANADA

Thank you for the replies.
I have a heat mat that doesn't have a control. I would love to get the digital thermostat, but the price is what stops me. I'd also love to get the lights for above...but again, too much money...probably next year.
what should I do now that I want to plant the tomato seeds...they will need the heat mat, buy the hot peppers no longer need them...should I cut those cells off and place them somewhere else?
Are there any other tips anyone can give?
DV

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rainbowgardener
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Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

The sprouted pepper plants don't need the heat, would be ok if you wanted to put them somewhere else, but they still benefit from it. That is, if you took half the pepper plants off the heat and left half of them on, the ones with the heat will grow faster and be bigger than the ones without.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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