Starting Tomatoes and Peppers from Seed

Starting warm season vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers from seed is easy. And though there is a little time involved, the savings will be enormous. Here in the Mid Atlantic area we are perhaps two weeks late on starting the seed, but this should be of little concern for the tomatoes will catch up, and the peppers loath cold nights in May. We are planning on planting in late May so this will be just right. Growing plants from seed enables a certainty of variety; gives you, the gardener, a greater range of choices, and provides less chance of disease, insects and weeds.

The tomato seeds need to be kept warm and should begin to germinate in 10 days or so. The peppers depending on whether they are sweet or hot may take up to 14 days or more. We use a peat based seed mix for the tomatoes and sometime the little expandable peat pots. For the peppers we split the difference and fill the bottom of our seeding containers with a seed-peat mix and the top inch or so with cactus soil. The soil is sandy where the peppers grow wild, so this just seems to make sense. Bottom heat is good; lack of heat will lengthen germination times.

And speaking of being late, the onions are in, but the potatoes still wait for this afternoon’s gardening. Last year we tried to go organic and of course lost our potatoes mid season to the dreaded Colorado potato beetle. This year we shall try lightly dusting the leaves with pulverized lime and see if we can ward off the voracious appetite of the pest. The radishes are up, and I suspect the beets are too, so its time to plant another row or two for later harvest.

All of this while I await the tractor repair man; I thought that after four years of starting spring with flat tires I had overcome this nuisance…but no..took the tractor forth..drove it 500 meters from the barn and…voila…a new

old flat tire.