paul678
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:36 am

Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Ok, so I'm using a Jiffy windowsill greenhouse I got from Home Depot, and
the six tomato peat pellets are all sprouting nicely after I move the tray to
my bedroom, where I have a space heater on most of the time (I live in Arizona).

However, the six bell pepper pellets are doing nothing so far (about 3-4 days).

Do the pepper seeds take longer to germinate? Or do they need more warmth
than the tomatoes?

Also, any advice from this point out? The instructions say to move to a sunny
location after all seeds have sprouted: Does this mean indirect sunlight?
And then after first true leaves have formed, to cut back all but the strongest
seedling in each pellet.

Thanks for any advice!

Rairdog
Green Thumb
Posts: 373
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:46 pm
Location: Noblesville, IN Zone 5

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Welcome! Here is a great tool for sprouting temps and how many days to germinate.

https://tomclothier.hort.net/page11.html

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27803
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Peppers need more warmth AND take longer.
IT'S BEST NOT TO KEEP THEM IN THE SAME TRAY.

The sprouted seedlings need direct sunlight -- not after all seedlings have sprouted but as soon as the very first seedling sprouts -- and as much of it as they can get unless your noonday sun through the window is extremely hot -- it's very difficult for me to imagine that it could be at this time of the year when it's freezing outside here.... :P

BUT!!! make sure to take the clear dome off or they will cook inside. If there are any Unsprouted, you can loosely cover those with a clear plastic wrap.

...how many seedlings are you seeing per pellet? You should already limit to no more than 3, IMHO.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11269
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Tomatoes will germinate even at 50 degrees. Peppers need at least 65 but prefer 70-80 degrees. Use a heat mat to start earlier or you will need to wait until it gets warmer. Peppers that germinate in the cold will grow very slowly and are very susceptible to dampening off so you need to be careful with the watering.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

paul678
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:36 am

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

applestar wrote:Peppers need more warmth AND take longer.
IT'S BEST NOT TO KEEP THEM IN THE SAME TRAY.

The sprouted seedlings need direct sunlight -- not after all seedlings have sprouted but as soon as the very first seedling sprouts -- and as much of it as they can get unless your noonday sun through the window is extremely hot -- it's very difficult for me to imagine that it could be at this time of the year when it's freezing outside here.... :P

BUT!!! make sure to take the clear dome off or they will cook inside. If there are any Unsprouted, you can loosely cover those with a clear plastic wrap.

...how many seedlings are you seeing per pellet? You should already limit to no more than 3, IMHO.
Ok, thanks much. I've separated them, and put the peppers closer to my
space heater! Hopefully it will be enough.

The instructions say the seedlings need to be "hardened" first, in the shade first, before
being gradually exposed to full sunlight.

There are about 2-3 seedlings per pellet.

When I transplant these, do I need to remove the netting around the pellets? Or are they designed to disintegrate?

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11269
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

You can plant the whole thing, it is designed to degrade. Roots will grow through the netting.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

I have never used peat pellets and don't really know what they are like, so can't comment about the netting (I think people at least cut it, to help it not be too restricting). But I have used peat pots in the past. I have learned from experience not to plant anything in them. They are supposed to be biodegradable, but at least in my circumstances, they don't biodegrade in any reasonable amount of time and in the meantime they keep the plants from rooting out in to the soil and smother the roots. Stuff dies, put in the ground inside a peat pot. I just peel them off to put the plant in the ground.
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

pepperhead212
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

I'm with you, rainbow - those peat pots are worse than just about anything! I learned this in my first couple of years, and couldn't figure out why some plants were simply not growing like some others of the same variety! I dug them up, and lo and behold, the peat pots had just a few roots growing through them after about 6 weeks from transplant. I salvaged them by removing the peat pots carefully, and the plants caught up, eventually. I never used them again.

Peat pellets and coir pellets I use for some things, like squash, cukes, and other large seeded things, that won't be inside very long - maybe two weeks, if that. Otherwise, even the large ones are not big enough for peppers or tomatoes, and they dry out very fast.
Dave

Susan W
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1859
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Paul, I'm trying to see what you are doing. I for one use peat pellets (not to be confused with peat pots). I use the small trays, 10 -12 per tray, have many things going on at the same time. Check my thread on seed start that has a couple of pics.

Suggestion is to have one plant variety per tray. I cover minimally, done set to side for a few days, and remove when 1st growth is seen. Then try to get tray in best light possible. Temps vary by variety. Temps for my starting range from 60's night to 70's day. House less than 70, but with additional lights bump it up a notch in the small spaces. As for tomatoes and peppers, not sure. I am going to try a couple of tomato starts from the garden center this spring, and see if I can get a ripe one before the squirrels do. I dislike peppers of any kind, but it seems they need warmth to do.
Have fun!
Susan

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11269
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

You must be watering properly. I gave up on peat pellets long ago. I had a lot of dampening off from them staying too wet. But a few things did survive in them once I put them in a draining tray. The roots do come through the netting, but they did dry out very quickly. I used peat pots a long time ago. I had similar problems to the peat pellets. The pots in a non-draining tray would be so wet they would crumble. The few I did plant out, I peeled first because as mentioned if the pot was put in the ground and it was dry, it took a long time for the roots to break out.

I just use 3.5 plastic pots for seedlings and 4 inch pots for community pots. By the time it is ready to transplant, the soil holds together and so it is not a problem getting them out of the pot in one piece to transplant and the pots for the most part are reusable.

I have a friend who does successfully grow things in the peat pellets but she hardly waters.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

paul678
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:36 am

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Susan W wrote:Paul, I'm trying to see what you are doing. I for one use peat pellets (not to be confused with peat pots). I use the small trays, 10 -12 per tray, have many things going on at the same time. Check my thread on seed start that has a couple of pics.

Suggestion is to have one plant variety per tray. I cover minimally, done set to side for a few days, and remove when 1st growth is seen. Then try to get tray in best light possible. Temps vary by variety. Temps for my starting range from 60's night to 70's day. House less than 70, but with additional lights bump it up a notch in the small spaces. As for tomatoes and peppers, not sure. I am going to try a couple of tomato starts from the garden center this spring, and see if I can get a ripe one before the squirrels do. I dislike peppers of any kind, but it seems they need warmth to do.
Yes, this is the Jiffy peat pellet tray, with 12 units.

6 for tomatoes and 6 for peppers. I have separated them as per the other poster's advice.

When you say "best light possible", do you also mean for as long at possible for each day? I read somewhere
that tomatoes should get about 6 hours of sunlight each day, and perhaps even less in Tucson, AZ! Also, the instructions say to "harden" the seedlings in the shade first, before full sunlight exposure.

The instructions say that when you see the first true leaves, you should cut off all but the strongest
seedling in each pellet. I assume you can't really save the weaker seedlings, because trying to transplant
them to another empty pellet would probably kill it, right?

Thanks for all the advice, everyone!

:D

paul678
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:36 am

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Haha! The first white seedling from my pepper pellets has emerged! Hurray!

Very excited! The key was placing the tray on top of my space heater! Yes, they
are much slower than tomatoes, but they are gonna come now!

Awesome! Thanks, everyone!

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27803
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Now the fun begins! Good luck :D
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

My Anaheim chilis mostly sprouted at 8-9 days. I just planted the bell peppers yesterday, but in my past experience, they are a little quicker, more like 6-7 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

paul678
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:36 am

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Ok, next question:

Do tomatoes need more sunlight than peppers? or the other way around?

The answer will affect their placement in my yard, which has shade from a wall starting around
1PM or so. I read tomatoes need 6 hours of sunlight, but remember I am in Tucson, AZ, so here
it might even be less.

Thanks for any advice.....

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27803
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

What kind of peppers?

In my experience here in NJ...

Hot peppers will be productive even in less hours sun than Tomatoes, but hot peppers can take more blazing sun and drier conditions than tomatoes.

Tomatoes can benefit from noonday shade and more even moisture levels but too much will water down their flavor and cause some varieties to split/crack.

Sweet/bell peppers need more LIGHT than tomatoes to fruit well but is a wimp in heat and hot sun, and need more moisture to develop juicy and crunchy thick walled fruits.

BTW -- it's EXCELLENT that you are paying attention to the micro-climates around your garden.Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Oh man! I didn't realize you were in Tucson! You are right to be starting your tomatoes now, like probably around Feb 1. Tomatoes are not a summer plant where you are. Do look for heat resistant varieties. They usually have something in their name to indicate that: Heat Wave, Solar Fire, Sunmaster, etc.

Once the weather has warmed up, definitely provide some shade from hottest afternoon sun.
Even so, you can expect your tomatoes to be done once temps are in triple digits (or maybe even high 90's) They just can't set or ripen fruit in that kind of heat.

In the summer you can grow the really hot weather stuff, like eggplants, okra, hot peppers, sweet potatoes, lima beans.

But you still have a longer tomato season than I do, because you can start tomatoes again for a fall/ winter crop.
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

redneck647
Senior Member
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:18 pm
Location: Pa.

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

I know I'm late to this one. I don't use heat mat with mine. I just keep the peppers close to the place heater until they sprout. Usually takes them 2 or 3 weeks depending on the kind. Then they go down under the grow lights in the basement.
Also when I use peat pellets I usually have to move them to something bigger before I can transplant outside. When I do that I slice the netting off and toss it.

paul678
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:36 am

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

applestar wrote:What kind of peppers?

In my experience here in NJ...

Hot peppers will be productive even in less hours sun than Tomatoes, but hot peppers can take more blazing sun and drier conditions than tomatoes.

Tomatoes can benefit from noonday shade and more even moisture levels but too much will water down their flavor and cause some varieties to split/crack.

Sweet/bell peppers need more LIGHT than tomatoes to fruit well but is a wimp in heat and hot sun, and need more moisture to develop juicy and crunchy thick walled fruits.

BTW -- it's EXCELLENT that you are paying attention to the micro-climates around your garden.Image

Ok, on the seed package, it says California Wonder Pepper, "Bell Type", "good for stuffing".

So perhaps these need more light than tomatoes?

To Rainbow: The package says Burpee's Summer Choice hybrid tomato. So indeed, it looks like they
are heat-resistant type. The peak in Tucson gets around 114 degrees or so, but it doesn't last long, maybe only part of one day.

The lady at Home Depot recommended 30% netting cloth to shade the tomatoes, if in full sunlight, but
as I said, the wall I share with my neighbor will put a shade down after 1 PM or so, so maybe I won't
need the netting?

When you say I can do a fall/winter crop, what date would be good to start that cycle? The tomatoes are indeterminate.....doesn't that mean they will have tomatoes year-round?

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

re: The tomatoes are indeterminate.....doesn't that mean they will have tomatoes year-round?


No, I don't think it does. Marlingardener lives in your kind of climate; I don't. So by her report, if you cut them back when weather gets too hot, you can keep them going until it cools off and then get some more tomatoes from them. But they will not just keep going endlessly. At some point they get exhausted and will continue declining in performance.

But to keep them going through the summer, means they keep taking up space and you have to keep watering them, even though they aren't producing anything. I haven't had to do it, but I think in that situation, I would get hard-hearted and just pull them, and start again in late summer with fresh plants. They will produce a lot better. Hendi_alex, another regular here, talks about keeping frequent fresh starts coming for that reason.

I looked up some Tucson weather data. It looks like your average high temps are essentially 100 degrees June, July, Aug (!). In Sept, it is 95. That would still be high for expecting much tomato production, but it wouldn't be bad for just growing young plants, if you can keep them well watered. So I'm thinking if you can start tomato seeds indoors, anywhere from mid July to mid August would be a good time to do it.
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

paul678
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:36 am

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Ok, so it sounds like indeterminate or not, it's best to start a new fresh cycle of plants each time
after the harvest. Should I just stick with determinants, since they have a higher yield per cycle?

It sound like I may not need the 30% shade cloth, but if I do, it would be easy to lean some 2x4s against the
wall to prop up the cloth.

"I cut the tomato plants back by 1/2 to 1/3 in late June." So Marling, what do you mean by this exactly? You simply
snip off about 1/3 of the off shoots?

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11269
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Tomatoes are frost sensitive so usually are grown as annuals. Technically in frost free areas like mine tomatoes can be perennial but disease usually kills them. I have grown Heatwave and Heatwave II and they will keep producing up into the mid 90's before they stop flowering but will produce again once the temperature drops. Cherry tomatoes tolerate more heat than larger tomatoes.

The University of Florida has developed several heat resistant tomatoes that can still fruit near the century mark.

Sunflare, Sunmaster, Sun Leaper, Sun Chaser,Phoenix, Solar Fire, Sweet 100, Sweethearts, Sweet Treats, Porter or Porter Pink are some of the heat resistant varieties.

Arkansas Traveler, Sioux, Super Sioux, Pruden's Purple, and Quarter Century (aka Matchless) are heirlooms that have good heat resistance. Even Brandywine has good heat resistance up to the 90's.

When selecting a tomato heat resistance is one consideration, flavor and disease resistance are others.

To get tomatoes all year round I do need to have heat resistant ones, but they also need good disease resistance. I tried but could not get Solar Fire to grow because it does not have the disease resistance.

It would not be a bad idea to grow your plants under shade cloth. As long as the shade house is not that big and open on the sides, your humidity will increase. With larger shade houses, both humidity and temperature increases so you need to use fans.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

paul678
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:36 am

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Yes, I have heard cherry tomatoes do better here in the desert.

I will try them if the ones I have don't do well.

You people are sooo helpful! Thanks, much, and will keep you all posted!

paul678
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:36 am

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Ok, update:

One of my tomato seedlings is too tall, and it drooping over to the side.

I would assume not enough water will cause a plant to lose stiffness, but I have
been making sure the pellets have remained dark brown, and not light brown.

I'm tempted to help prop it up with a toothpick! Anything I should do?

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27803
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

Give it more light. That's the usual suspect. Is the stem pale? Tomato seedling stems should be frosty green or somewhat purplish and fuzzy.

Other reasons are damping off fungus (too wet) -- is the stem pinched and brown at soil?
Too warm and too much fertilizer.

A gentle breeze from a personal fan, re-wired computer fan, or oscillating fan set on timer blowing on the seedlings helps to develop stronger stems -- isometric training for those wimpy indoor seedlings that get no other exercise. :wink:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

paul678
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:36 am

Re: Tomatoes are sprouting, but Peppers are Not!

applestar wrote:Give it more light. That's the usual suspect. Is the stem pale? Tomato seedling stems should be frosty green or somewhat purplish and fuzzy.

Other reasons are damping off fungus (too wet) -- is the stem pinched and brown at soil?
Too warm and too much fertilizer.

A gentle breeze from a personal fan, re-wired computer fan, or oscillating fan set on timer blowing on the seedlings helps to develop stronger stems -- isometric training for those wimpy indoor seedlings that get no other exercise. :wink:
The stem looks fuzzy and the same color as the other stems, just somewhat longer.

I didn't know you could exercise seedlings!

Ok, I'll try to give it more light, thanks.

Return to “Seed Starting Forum”