Peter1142
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Location: SE NY ZONE 6B

Seed starting help

So I just bought a house with a solid 1/4 acre of garden beds and extensive plantings to take care of. And I am new to all this.

My wife and I are planning our first garden and have planted a bunch of stuff indoors to start. We planted Okra, Squash of various types (don't know why we started these indoors but we did), tomatoes, peppers, beets, and eggplant, and also oregano and basil.

The tomatoes and eggplant haven't come up yet but I am sure we will have similar issues with them.

So the squash are getting their true leaves and are 2-3 inches high. There are planted in one of those containers with like 1.5" square planters in like an egg carton type thing. There are two of them per planter, and they seem to be outgrowing the planter.

So my questions are, what do I do with them? Do I cut them down to one per planter or plant them together in a hill? Also since it is not safe to plant them outside for 3 weeks or so, I will need to transplant them indoors? The planters are peat pots maybe since squash doesn't like to be transplanted I can put the smaller peat pots in a bigger peat pot? :)

We have similar issues with the Okra, and the beets we planted are sprouting up like crazy 5-10 per planter!! Not sure what to do there?? Guess I have learned these seeds sprout good we should only plant one seed per thing. The oregano and basil are sprouting up like crazy also, but they are still small.

I took the cover of the greenhouse off the squash yesterday and they dried out like crazy in half a day and nearly died that quick! I was able to rescue them though!!

I'm will be back later to ask for some help identifying some of the stuff in my gardens and asking what to do. It was covered with like 6" of leaves over everything outside, it had been neglected for 1-2 years, it took us over a month of working very hard just to dig everything out. Looks like I can kiss my free time goodbye :)

Oh, one other question, I had bought some Candytuft Purity, is it safe to go stick it in the ground right now? It seems to be happy indoors I have been taking it out for some sun during the day. We are due for another few mild frosts. Should I take the bigger seedlings outdoors during the day?

Thanks!!
Zone 6b SE NY
My blog Peter's Vegetable Garden

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Seed starting help

Welcome to the Forum! Glad you found us.


Hard to answer gardening questions without knowing where you are, but candytuft is pretty tough and can handle a bit of frost. Once it is hardened off, do plant it.

One of the trickiest parts of seed starting is knowing when to plant what for your location. Mainly comes with experience. It sounds like you started peppers and tomatoes late and squash early. If it is three weeks until squash goes in the ground, I would put it in to a bigger pot. 1.5" is a very small pot with a very small amount of soil. I don't like peat pots and inside two peat pots would be worse than one. It wouldn't be hard to just peel the small peat pot off it and put the dirt/rootball / plant into the bigger peat pot.

Be sure when you plant them in the ground, you peel the peat pot OFF. They say they are biodegradable, but they do not biodegrade in time to keep from smothering your plant.

Good Luck, keep asking questions and congratulations on your new home and gardens!
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

Peter1142
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Posts: 313
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:23 pm
Location: SE NY ZONE 6B

Re: Seed starting help

Thanks!!

Ok that all sounds good, yes I know we've got a bit of a haphazard start... This will certainly be a big learning experience.

So my main question is still what to do with the groups growing together? 2 squash/okra per tiny pot, half a dozen beets, basil, oregano (or is this normal?), and in a larger peat pot we have 4-5 peppers each. Can any of these get planted together or should I trim off one per pot?
Zone 6b SE NY
My blog Peter's Vegetable Garden

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Seed starting help

You need to get them separated and soon or they will all be stunted. You can just trim off the extra if you don't have a use for them. If you want to keep them it is not hard. Peel off the peat pot (if it were plastic you could just slide the soil out). Drop the whole ball of soil and roots into a bowl of water and soak for a couple minutes. They will all just float apart and can be individually planted.
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

gardeningwithe
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:04 am
Location: Tennessee - 6B

Re: Seed starting help

Gardening is a learning experience every year, so don't feel bad. My son was dying to start cucumbers and squash so we got an early start on those. What we plan to do is put them in the ground and plant a couple of extra seeds in case they don't make it. Worse case scenario we end up with more than we planned. Of course, this all depends on if you have enough room. You should move them to a bigger pot though, or as previously stated they will be stunted. A lot of it depends on where you are from as to when to plant things, but it seems like you have looked up in ground times for planting since you know it should be weeks from now till they go in ground. Lots of luck and keep us updated!!!

Peter1142
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Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:23 pm
Location: SE NY ZONE 6B

Re: Seed starting help

We have plenty of space... we are looking probably at 250 sq ft, we could make it even bigger if we wanted too.

We need to set up a deer fence too, or this will all be for nothing, they are a big problem in this area.

Thanks for the advice. We are thinning out our stuff today. Not sure also why we planted beets indoors... could throw the seeds outside right now except that the soil isn't ready. Hope to be planting some stuff outdoors next weekend. Onions, Garlic, Potatoes, Beets, and possibly Lettuce and Spinach could go outside right now, of the things we are thinking of planting. It doesn't look like we have any major frosts in the future, just some mild ones still.
Zone 6b SE NY
My blog Peter's Vegetable Garden

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Seed starting help

It would be real helpful if you would change your profile to show where you are. It is hard to make any gardening comments without knowing your location/ climate.

All those cold weather crops you mention could have been planted weeks ago in my climate. So either you are in some zone 4 or 5 location or you are getting a bit behind the curve. I have some of the warm weather stuff hardening off now (but will have to come back in for the next couple days!).
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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