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Royiah
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When to start seeds?

Ok so last year I started my seeds WAY to early and ended up having to buy starts in the end after all my plants died because they were to spinly and stuff.
So Question is When Should I start planting which seeds and when? I heard that some seeds take longer to grow. like peppers.
I live in tangiphoa Louisiana.
I want to start tomatos,peppers,and some melons. :)

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rainbowgardener
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Here's a vegetable planting guide put out by LSU:

https://www.lsuagcenter.com/NR/rdonlyres ... IGHRES.pdf

but like any of these, you have to take with a grain of salt and develop your own experience.

I looked at it and it says plant tomato seed starting 1/1 and pepper seed starting 1/15. That doesn't make any sense to me since peppers are slower germinating and considerably slower growing than tomatoes. I would reverse it.

The melons will need to wait for awhile. Tomatoes can go in the ground as soon as danger of frost is past. They are actually pretty cold tolerant once hardened off. The peppers can go out very shortly after. But the melons need the soil actually warmed up and they are very fast growing. Some people just put them directly in the ground once the soil is warmed up. I still start things like melons and squash indoors, but not until my average last frost date.

The other way you can figure this stuff is to find out when your average last frost date is and count back from there. Pepper seeds would be planted 10 -12 weeks ahead of last frost date, tomatoes 8-10 weeks ahead, melons 0-2 weeks ahead.

But along with the dates, what is important is the conditions you have for starting your seeds. "Way too spindly" sounds like they were not getting enough light. It does not work just to put your seedlings in front of a window, you will need to provide supplemental light, like fluorescent tubes set just a couple inches above them, on 16 hrs a day.
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ElizabethB
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Royiah - Rainbow posted the link that I was going to post. Thanks Rainbow :!:

I live in Lafayette and I use this guide as my planting bible. I just ordered some tomato seeds. I will be planting them as soon as they come in. Since I am trying some new varieties I will have some traditional Louisiana suitable varieties as back up. Unless we have a freak cold front the information in the publication has proved to be very reliable. I will start my pepper 2 or 3 weeks later. I don't grow much in the way of melons because of space restrictions although I did grow canteloupe vertically 2 years ago with amazing results.

I moved my work table to the patio. It is in a corner with the house on one side and lattice on the other. I tacked visqueen to the lattice. The patio cover will protect the seedlings from frost and I can always hang a shop light over my trays in the event of freeze. I have lots of trays and 6 pack and 4" nursery pots in G's shop from my landscaping days plus broken bags of soil that I picked up at Lowe's cheap cheap. In the past I have planted transplants in March. Tomatoes early march and peppers and cucumbers mid March. I have not grown from seed in a long, long time so I am excited about getting back to real gardening instead of lazy gardening.

Keep an eye on the weather forecast. If an artic blast is predicted, delay your planting, protect your starts or bring them in over night. I can't remember the last time I lost March transplants. Just in case I am thinking about starting a second crop of seeds 2 weeks after the first. If I don't lose my starts then I will share my later crop with my family.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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cedillamuerta
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So would it be okay to start my peppers and tomatoes now if I have access to a greenhouse?
At once I knew I was not magnificent;
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and I could see for miles, miles, miles...
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ElizabethB
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Of course you can. In fact if you look at the LSU planting guide that Rainbow provided you can start direct sowing. I am starting in flats on the patio just because I want to try something different. If I had a green house I would have been growing summer crops all winter long...Happy New Year :lol:
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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cedillamuerta
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Alright! I had talked to my boss about it but he said that it was too early for peppers and that I was getting too excited. :lol:
At once I knew I was not magnificent;
hulled far from the highway aisle;
jagged vacance thick with ice;
and I could see for miles, miles, miles...
-Bon Iver, Holocene

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Royiah
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Thank you all! The link is great I'm going to study it a bit more. :D Thanks again! :D

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Royiah
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@Rainbow: I used a light last year and only moved it when the plants were almost touching the bulb. I think it was mostly the fact that I didn't up pot them at the right size and it kinda made them do that. But I'm not sure. could've been anything really.
I used a grow light so it shouldn't have been the light.

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applestar
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As usual the earlier start of gardening season among the more southerly members has pushed me into wanting to start... And I ended up compensating by placing my first seed order.

It's just as well since I really wanted to try some edamame varieties from Fedco and they'd run out by the time I went to place my order last year. This time, I'll be able to try Sayamusume and Shirofumi. They also had a few other seeds I was interested in trying as well. Since they are further north than my zone, I get seeds for those faster maturing melons dry beans and early spring cold tolerant varieties of other vegs. Next, I'll be getting seeds for bolt resistant early spring/cool weather crops from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange which is slightly further south than my zone.

Midnight here soon! Happy New Year, everyone! :clap:

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Trisha
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seed starting charts

Royiah, Ive started too early so many times its embarrassing. Its so crowded in here by spring. Im in Chicago (zone5) our weather is so unpredictable I gave up growing by date and started growing by temperature. I scoured the net and labored together some charts of my own a while back. Might help those of us less lucky members with a much shorter growing season.

I havent tested about a 1/4 of the plants on the charts so if some of the data is wrong, let me know and I'll update it. Also, if theyre confusing at all, I can explain them.

I printed them out and taped em back to back.
Hope they help!

Image

Image
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Royiah
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Hmm looks interesting. Maybe I'll try it.

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applestar
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What a handy guide and I love the way you color-coded it! Thanks for sharing this. :D

What do the grey-lighted numbers mean? optimum temp?

I've had cabbages germinate in 3 days, but I couldn't tell you at exactly what temp.

Have you seen this thread? (I think I need to update the first post though :oops:)
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... 711#125711

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Trisha
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applestar, Im glad you like the charts :D
yes, I highlighted the grey boxes so I could quickly see when those babies WANT to grow.

I havent seen that thread, MORE great information. Thanks for linking me there. Im loving this forum. I'll be studying your potato thread for days, and i spent half the night psyched over the prospect of an affordable solar heated greenhouse, running calculations and everything.

ElizabethB told me when I joined how amazing this forum is. Man she was right!

Thanks SO much!
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rainbowgardener
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Trisha - your chart looks nicely done, but I'm not following it all. The temperatures on the charts are outdoor highs for the day? So the highs have to be getting up to at least whatever?

When you have kale and broccoli listed at 75, that would have me planting them sometime in May. But that is exactly the wrong time for those cool weather crops. I plant broccoli seed indoors in January, transplant into the garden in March (when average high is about 50) It starts bolting when it warms up. I direct seed it in the garden for a late crop, in Aug or Sept (or October to over-winter)

The trouble with the temperature as a guide is that in my climate anyway, we can have temperature spikes, where it gets really warm for a day or two and then goes right back down to freezing. If you put plants that don't like to freeze out when it warmed up briefly, you are in trouble. I do a lot of bringing things in and out in early spring, but they aren't going in the ground just because it warmed up briefly.

All of the planting guides, including the one I linked don't seem to make allowances for starting things indoors and transplanting. When I gave the dates like plant your peppers 10-12 weeks ahead of last frost date, that is of course planting them INDOORS under lights.
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Trisha
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rainbowgardener, ooh, you're right kale is definitely in the wrong category, and the broccoli, thanks for catching that. My friend just harvested her last batch of Kale and radicchio, gorgeous harvest. its 16 degrees here!

If im starting seeds indoors, the cool temps in the 'seed starter' chart were mainly to help me know, when I can start hardening things off and get them out of this tiny room. Which plants can withstand what temps and how soon I can get them into a coldframe. I'll check the historic weather data on Farmers almanac for temperature in my area, then count back the number of weeks indicated on the seed packet. I know its not exact science, but its a good estimate.

If im direct sowing in the garden, I look at the germination chart, to estimate when, by temp i can start sowing and how long it will take before i see anything popping up. Even in the garden, I'll build a hoop house over my raised beds. If the cold doesnt creep back in, rain and animals will still mess it all up.

We're in the exact same situation weather wise (chicago zone5 - COLD and WINDY). hot/cold until mid may. Last springs early heatwave followed by another coldsnap did a number on so many things. Plus, much of our stuff is in pots, so we don't have the advantage of much ground heat. thank god PVC, Plastic and White Sheets(resaleshop) are so cheap. Were constantly running around building shelter for the little guys. coldsnaps, 100mph winds, drought, 100 degree temps for weeks. and that was all just LAST YEAR. Im still always in awe at how much these plants can withstand.

Thanks for catching that mistake. I'll be going over the charts again with a fine tooth comb!
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DoubleDogFarm
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Image

I heat my propagation chamber about this range. Maybe slightly warmer for tomatoes and peppers.

I start all seedlings by counting back from our average frost date. April 15th.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... hp?t=33290

Eric

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rainbowgardener
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I start all seedlings by counting back from our average frost date. April 15th.


I do too and I have the same average last frost date.

12 weeks ahead of 4/15 is 1/15, so by then I will be starting the first seeds: petunias, parsley, broccoli, cabbage, canterbury bells
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ReptileAddiction
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is their anything special with starting petunias? Mine never ever grew well (or even sprouted).

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Trisha
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ReptileAddiction wrote:is their anything special with starting petunias? Mine never ever grew well (or even sprouted).
mine either. I got 2 out of a whole 128 flat of seeds, and it took ALL summer to grow into an 'eh' sized plant. would love to know this answer.
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rainbowgardener
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Petunias need light to germinate, so you don't want to cover the seed. Just scatter them on the surface of damp potting soil, press them lightly to be sure they are in contact with the soil and leave them under the lights. The soil needs to be warm (between 70 and 80 deg F) and the seeds need to stay damp. I start them on the heat mat.

Most of my seeds I only bottom water, but the things that need light to germinate, I also sprinkle lightly with water to keep them from drying out while they are exposed to air and have no roots. Once they have sprouted, I quit the sprinkling.

They are kind of slow, that's why I start them in January. By last frost date in April they will be big sturdy 8" or so tall plants and blooming already.
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ReptileAddiction
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Mine had no heat and were 1/4 inch down :? I might order a few. I can grow them year round here so it doesnt really matter when I start them as long as they stay warm I guess.

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rainbow gardener, youve convinced me to try petunias again, seeds should be coming in the mail, thank you!

I also came across a spreadsheet for seed starting time. Enter our last frost date and it calculates for you. pretty snazzy.

https://www.johnnyseeds.com/e-PDGSeedStart.aspx

whatinspiresu
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doh! one more, by ZIP code. even easier

https://allthingsplants.com/apps/calendar/

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ReptileAddiction
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That lsat one told me I have no frost but the other morning I had to scrape my windshield.

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