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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Pre-germinating fall crop seeds in hot weather

I sowed some pre-germinated garden peas in the last couple of days.
(of course the overnight temps had fallen to mid-60's for several days previously but for the last two nights, only to 70°F and more heat wave coming :x -- hopefully, they will still grow. I better water them this morning.)

Anyway, last year, I had to rinse and re-rinse the peas in the hot weather to keep them from spoiling while they germinated, so this year, I borrowed Bobberman's idea to mix them in soil and tweaked the idea a bit:
I soaked them overnight in zip bags, then after rinsing well (already giving off that smell so I wanted to make sure), I added fresh moistened potting soil -- using Dr. Earth brand with mycorrhiza this year -- until the bags were nearly full, then distributed the peas evenly in the bags of soil, and put them in the refrigerator.

I made sure the potting soil was just damp and not too moist or wet for easier distribution of the peas and to prevent too wet/cold situation. The refrigerator I used is a mini-fridge attached to the bottom of a bottled water dispenser -- not very reliable but good enough for keeping beverages cold. So, when using your kitchen refrigerator, I would put them in warmest part of the fridge like the door. BTW, If you are inoculating the seeds, I would put the inoculant in the bag first to thoroughly coat the seeds before adding the potting soil.

They germinated nicely within about 5-7 days. Make sure to sow them as soon as you see the white roots starting to grow. (that means timing when you prepare them -- not sure how well I did as far as that goes... I expected them to take a little longer to germinate :roll: ). Hmm... Belated thought -- you COULD probably move them to a colder part of the fridge to slow them down... Should have thought of that. :?

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gixxerific
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Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Nice Apple, do you have them in the garden now?

I need to get some fall stuff going myself but I have som much going on in the garden it's hard to find time.

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Yep, I sowed them -- now its 75° outside at midnight. :roll: I did sow them deeper and mulched with a single layer of grass clippings, but maybe I should have waited another week when it's supposed to get down as ow as 60°F overnight. But I was afraid of running out of time. Maybe fall peas are not in the cards in my area.... But we shall see.8)

Other fall plantings: Beans came up no problem of course, but Asparagus peas and some of the Sunset runner seedlings have been eaten down to stubs -- I suspect slugs or maybe the baby bunny rabbit that I have seen hiding in my garden. Swiss chard (Cardinal chard) are up, as are broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. I'm still thinking about sowing rutabagas. I'm going to pre-germinate spinach and sow them as well as try sowing carrots when current heat wave is over.

I transplanted some fast maturing melon seedlings that are growing fast under an insect barrier tunnel which retains heat. I'm going to cover over the tunnel with slitted plastic as an experiment.

I scattered the Brussels sprouts, beets, cilantro, dill, and kale that went to seed and they have promptly sprouted.

I plan on sowing Asian greens and beets as well as more spinach and maybe broccoli as well for late fall and overwinter for early spring harvest -- these will be sown a little later on along with some lettuce. I also have a large pot of leek seedlings that I plan to transplant to the ground and am hoping to overwinter.

I have a couple of dwarf tomato varieties (18-24"H -- really?) I want to try growing this winter under lights. One of them is a determinate and the other one is semi-determinate. I was thinking of asking you for some other dwarf seeds, Gixx. So save me some good ones? :wink:

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Just reporting that my peas have sprouted. :D
-- Temps in the last week have been low 90's/high 60's.

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