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Sun Mar 9, 2014, 10:59 PM

 

Setting out tomato plants - I'm not a very good gardener

I have a little bit of backyard with direct sunlight that is about 6' by 6'. I ordered six tomato plants and then seeds for black seed leaf lettuce, some butter lettuce and tabasco peppers. The tomato plants are coming in as seedlings, since I have been horrible at trying to gather seeds to do it myself (Craig, I wanted so badly to grow your Lucky Cross variety, but I wasn't experienced enough to keep the seeds. The sprouted even though I kept them in paper towel trying to dry them out).

I don't think I'll be horrible at it, but I have a willingness to learn, an area to do it in, and my family members could make the Gobi desert flourish. So I'm giving it a whirl this year and committing to getting some decent things growing in the garden.

Tips on how to seed the lettuce properly, how to seed the peppers properly and how to plant the tomato plants would be awesome. What kind of fertilizer I need, etc. I live in the MS delta, so we already have humid air, plenty of sunshine and rich soil.

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Reply Setting out tomato plants - I'm not a very good gardener (Original post)
Aerows Mar 2014 OP
NRaleighLiberal Mar 2014 #1
Aerows Mar 2014 #2
NRaleighLiberal Mar 2014 #3
Aerows Mar 2014 #4
NRaleighLiberal Mar 2014 #5
Aerows Mar 2014 #6
Elad Mar 2014 #7
Aerows Mar 2014 #8
Aerows Mar 2014 #9
Aerows Mar 2014 #10

Response to Aerows (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 11:09 PM

1. A few things....

Lettuce is easy from seed - doesn't like heat (it will bolt to seed quickly) - you can grow it in containers or in the soil. Either way, sprinkle some seed thinly, barely cover, gently water - it will germinate quickly - thin to a few inches between plants. You may want to think of it is as a fall/winter crop. Here in NC I start seeds indoors, move the seedlings into the garden in March - by June and 80 degree days, it is done....it can be planted again late summer to grow into the winter - hard frost kills it.

Tomatoes - plant them deep in a place where the soil drains well. Tomatoes in good soil are like weeds....if they are tall growing (indeterminate), they will get to 8 feet tall or more - even at 3 feet apart they become pretty massive - and closer planting will need suckering (removal of sideshoots) to control the plant. All sorts of diseases and pests go after tomatoes....

Peppers should be started now, in light soilless mix - barely covered - it takes about 4 weeks to go from seed to a seedling that can be transplanted into a 4 inch pot, then another month until it is ready to go into the garden. Peppers thrive in containers - they get 3 feet tall, need support of a central stake or cage.

Check out my YouTube channel (nctomatoman) for all sorts of gardening vids, including how I start my seeds.....





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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 11:13 PM

2. Excellent!

 

That's just what I need to know, NRaleighLiberal. I'll start the peppers immediately and start the lettuce inside. I guess I don't have anymore questions until stuff starts getting ready to plant. Should I leave the tomato plants in the pots they come in for a few days or so? It's getting warm here already. I was in shorts today.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 11:15 PM

3. When tomatoes are shipped they can arrive in tough shape -

be sure they are well watered, have them in the shade for a few days to recover, then ease them into the sun.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 11:16 PM

4. Will do

 

You have no idea how much I appreciate your advice

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Response to Aerows (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 11:17 PM

5. When my book comes out, all will be answered! (still sched. for December)

spent much of the weekend doing edits!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 11:18 PM

6. I hope it's before Christmas

 

because that sounds like a Christmas gift to give that will keep on giving

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Response to Aerows (Original post)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 01:59 PM

7. How cool are your nights right now?

Overnight lows below 40 will shock tomato plants. If there's a chance of it dipping to around 40, either bring them in for that night, or if they're already transplanted into the garden, you can use some sort of plastic row cover to give them some protection.

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Response to Elad (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 12:24 AM

8. It's getting in the 50's at night

 

We also have high humidity. I'm on the Gulf Coast/MS Delta area. We had some historic lows this winter, but then this spring, we are right back up to fierce, humid and stifling temperatures.

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Response to Elad (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 12:31 AM

9. It's 62F and 86% humidity here at 11:00

 

if that gives you an idea.

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Response to Aerows (Original post)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 08:17 PM

10. Update

 

I never did get seedlings, so I just took it upon myself to get some seeds, those little peat moss cups and start trying to sprout them. I hope they come up. I have Brandywine's, Beefsteaks and some heirloom Tabasco pepper plants in the little garden starter. I also picked up some cucumber seed that I can grow up around the fence. It's in the pot, too.

I haven't planted the lettuce yet, because I want to see if I'm even capable of getting tomatoes, peppers and cukes off the ground.

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