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first timer: want cayenne, collards, and tomatoes

unfortunately I will have to grow these in pots. I am looking to have some that are VERY nutrient dense and grow as fast as possible. taste is not so important. so, what recommendations do you have for starting off?

also, does one have to use the potters soil when potting? it's much more expensive than the other stuff.

I am looking to do this organically and cheaply.

also, is this ferry morse brand alright. I've read mixed reviews on them.

I'd really like to avoid any GMO cd's and any company even closely associated with monsanto.

also, I should note that I live in an area that gets cold at night, but hot during the day. we're still seeing 30 degree temps on some nights.

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Sage Hermit
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Location: Finlaysen, MN Coniferous Forest

I know cayenne likes to be grown in warm weather. Just to get your seeds to germinate takes like 80 degrees or 90 degrress so look into getting a heat pad to get things going or crank that thermostat. :)

People I have spoken to use a propagator tank to get the heat up for the seeds. Probably you are going to really enjoy planting these guys because they kind of look cool no? Chilles at least look really cool in a pot.

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

By your mention of Ferry Morse brand, I'm assuming you're talking about growing from seeds. All three germinates better with bottom heat 75~80ºF, even a warmer for cayenne like Sage Hermit said, but Collard is a cool weather crop and will want to grow in cooler temp after sprouting. Technically, you could even direct seed the collard outside now (but it would take about 2 weeks to germinate in the cold). With heat, tomatoes and collards should germinate in about 3~7 days, cayenne more like 10~14 days.

I usually mix my own soil mix of 1/3 compost, 1/3 good garden soil and 1/3 sand. BUT you need to know what your seedlings are going to look like. I pluck out any weed seed sprouts. You might consider buying a small amount of potting soil and plant a control sample so you know which seedling is which.

Are you asking for variety recommendation? Why would you not consider flavor? Most of the time, the more flavorful they are, more nutritious they are too. I think you'll find plenty of tomato recommendations here if you use the "Search the Forum" function. Hot Pepper recommendations abound too, not necessarily just Cayenne. Collard? Hmm... I like the Dinosaur Kale (Lucinato Kale) -- EXTREMELY cold hardy and grows right through winter snow. Very very dark green too, which speaks for nutrition levels. The one I have is an Heirloom variety from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

HUH. I just realized *I*m talking about KALE. Have not grown collard before so ignore my previous growing suggestions. :roll: Let's wait for someone else who knows about how to grow COLLARDS. :wink:

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