I started my seedlings on jan. 1st. I used the ihort plugs again, and had 100 Per cent germanation. I was really pleased with my results last year...so i am doing everything the same this year. I really like the plugs because they are so easy to use, and no mess to deal with. I highly recommend them for anyone...posted from iphone..not easy for me to do..
Cups are good ...it is a proven method for seed starting...i am just saying there is another way to skin a cat so to speak...just suggesting different options...it seems to work for me...maybe someone else can learn something new...i thought that was what this forum was all about...learning how to have success ...learning different ways folks do things...thank you for your reply
True j7 might have meant that ,lol but Stryrofoam and in and out of the garage for months, as our host of the thread had said different strokes for different folks.
Besides j7 will not be doing much after eye surgery next week.. Can't grow em blind, at least not yet.lol
1lisac...Those two mater plants in the 4" pots are the offspring of the 5 Indian Stripe seeds you sent me last year, I actually saved the seeds from the bountiful I.S. crop from the spring, and fall. I saved the seeds two ways, and I wanted to do a test to see if both seed saving methods worked. I planted one seed from each method in the glass planter (pictured above) on Dec 17. Both germinated, and I potted up on Jan 4th...Thank you again for the original seeds!! ...I also found some old Sun Gold seeds, and I am doing a test on those seeds in the glass planters above now. I plan to start a second batch of seeds (72) this weekend.
horn, that looks like a nice system. Apart from the system itself, I really like the labels/stakes. I always end up cutting up some of the solo cups to use as stakes. And jabbing and cutting myself in the process LOL. I used to buy up a couple of blinds at yard sales to cut and use, but I don't see those at yard sales anymore. Could be they aren't as popular down here as they were up north...
juhur7, good luck with your surgery. Hope all goes hunky-dorry and you are back in the garden soon =).
Well supposedly surgery ain't nothing but a thing , it is the cataract production line these days.Goes pretty well unless your the one in 8 or 9 hundred that ends up wearing the patch (worry there maybe?) lol
Waiting until I can see again to start some chocolate cherry tomato seeds sent to me from from 1lisac, (a nice thing)!
Like the song said ,for week or two I will be like a one -eyed cat in a seafood store, (see-food), looking over tomato seedlings!!
I will keep that in mind (making the best of the worst) All in good fun!! I appreciate it!!
One little Burgess Lemon All by myself(almost)
Broad Ripple Currant A family get together This happens as these are both small seeded tomatoes(lol) Who needs to see (right)!!! lol
Only expressing my five year old self) Wonder how long ago that was... and always will
Juhur for most, cataract surgery is merely a minor inconvenience.After mine it was amazing to wake up that next morning and realize I didn't need to reach for my glasses! I now only need cheaters for reading. Life is good! I usually hang out at the hosta and daylily forums but I do grow tomatoes and more and more I am interested in hierlooms. I wish you luck.
I found some used mini-blinds (1 " wide) locally on Craig's list for $10. I probably overpaid but I was holding up my tomato seed starting until I got something to mark what they were and I will get a ton of markers. The couple selling them to me were so proud of how new looking the blinds were after 15 years and how they had all of the hardware. I think that they were devastated when I told them how I was going to use them but they still sold them to me. :)
hrp50, I tried that with the mini blinds, but I guess the ones I had were too cheap- they bent badly when I stuck them in the ground (I have very rocky soil!) So I will just get some white plastic knives- I have found they work very well, and are inexpensive in dollar stores.
Horn, them is some good lookin' starters... I guess I don't feel too awful bad being 2 weeks late at this point... Maybe I'll be able to salvage the season after all...
Just saw 2 week prediction for Austin weather tonight on the news. Until the end of January warmer than normal and drier than normal. We only got 2.75" of rain that last storm, so I hope we get some more soon.
I guess I may be able to get by with the IHORT I've got, but I may get another just to be safe...
kevcarr59...I believe you still have plenty of time. I started a second batch of 72 on Jan 11th. I plan to up-pot the first batch tonight (see pic below), I am also linking a video of my winter greenhouse lettuce garden. Actually this is where I start all of my seeds, and grow lettuce, and herbs ect. during the winter months. At the end of the video you will see an an oregano plant that has been growing in my greenhouse for four years. I don't know what variety is is but it is delicious, so I just let it continue to grow, and I give it a haircut every so often...
1lisac...it warmed up today so I can plant my onions..
I went crazy and bought a 6 bunches of onions and 10lbs of potatoes. We usually plant potatoes around Washington's Birthday here. I promised my kids I would finish cleaning the house before I did anything else in the garden. Wish me luck...
Well some good news & some bad news... Got most of the seeds started that I wanted to, except for the fact that I used the wrong okra seeds. I started some of the same seeds I sent to Gymgirl, and she had the same luck that I did. Now I've got to pull the seeds out of the plugs I did & re-seed them, it could be worse it's only 12 plugs...
Finally found some Green Zebra seed locally, and had to buy it. This is in no way representative of the type of operation that I run. Any comments will be dealt with by my two big dogs, Pluto & Goofy...
The only IHORT plugs I can find locally are the 35/65 that are in the 72 cell trays from Third Coast up in Austin. What I'd like to get are the 50 cell trays and the bigger 40/40 or 45/45 plugs. TC doesn't carry them and I don't need a full case to have them ordered.
Does anyone in the Austin area carry the 50 cell trays & the bigger plugs?? I've tried to find them, but haven't caught the right rock yet. The thing is I only want 3 or 4 trays and the like amount of plugs, so I'm going to have to find them retail.
kevcarr59...Call Shawn at Third Coast, and he will sell you as many IHORT plugs as you need. You can buy by the bag, or individually. He buys them in bulk. I don't know where to buy 50 cell treys...once again ask Shawn, he may be able to order them for you,
Talked with Kevin over at Third Coast but I don't think he understood what I was looking for. I guess I'll have to call again and talk with Shawn.
If I can't find anything I could go to get the Jiffy Tomato GH, they seem to work pretty good for the 6 or 7 bucks you pay, and you can get the tomato pellets to refill. I'm using 3 from last year and just got new pellets.
Has anyone used the Burpee Self-Watering Starters?? I was looking at them & wondered how well they worked...
David, I'm still working on the house. It's a little early here to put out potatoes or onions and im not sure where I'm going to put them. I couldn't have the kids cleanup bc it is my stuff that's laying around. Lol They will dust and vacuum, no problem, but I have/had seeds, plants, catalogs, must read articles everywhere. It's much better now so they can do their thing.
I'm also taking over my elderly parents finances, and they live in CA. After getting their Costo Membership canceled I feel I can do anything. Talk about paperwork...
Thank you for your encouragement Im starting seeds this weekend too. I will get to the gardening but I have to use it like a carrot to get myself to staighten up the house. I have to admit it feels good.
The IHORT's I did Monday afternoon are doing much better than I expected. The first 5 rows are okra, the middle 3 are cukes. The peppers on the end haven't come up, but a couple are poking through the plug material, and the squash & zucchini are starting to show some signs of progress. Row 4 & 5 are the questionable Baker Creek seed, but they might give me a surprise. I can't believe how quickly those cukes have jumped up.
Was up all last night seeding another 3 trays, but these were the Jiffy 72's I happened across at Lowe's. I was looking at the Jiffy Tomato GH and was going to get another one, but purchased a triple pack of the 72's for $9... Couldn't pass that up... Certainly not as heavy duty as the other trays we've used but, for the time being they will serve the purpose.
I know Gymgirl will like this next aquisition. The Grow Um's gardens were on the clearance rack and we asked how much?? Guy checked and said $5... We threw them in the basket and talked to the manager at the register... We'll take all 3 of them for $10... Needless to say, they came home with us... Not too bad, considering they were $30.. Basically they are Earthboxes in a nice purple/pink color. Lorelai, my grand daughter, is going to take one home with her, and we're gonna keep the other 2 for our herbs we're gonna grow.
I'm starting fewer tomatoes this year, and I'm going to start them later. When I was a kid, my dad always planted tomatoes using 6-pack plants from the nursery. That means that they were only 6 or 8 inches tall at best. I'm going to plant smaller plants this year, and protect all of them with the Season Starter/Wall-o-water thermal protectors. I've had good luck with the Jiffy-7 pellets, so that's what I'll use again this year. Not going to pot-up two or three times...
I'm also thinking of growing fewer varieties. It seems like that, without fail, about half the varieties I plant do grow many tomatoes. This year I'm going to limit myself to the more productive heirlooms that I have experience with and some of the old-style hybrids that have done well for me. I don't have the energy this year for a lot of work that doesn't produce results.
Hornstrider-haven't heard from you in a while. I'm wondering how your plants are doing and if you could review your methods, that you might have left out?
I'm doing much the same as David. I'm actually growing hybrids, which is unusual for me, and Dwarfs, with some other O/Ps regular, cherry, and currents. This is the first time that all 72 cells actually germinated. None are empty and some have multiples so I should have plenty to sell a few. I sowed them on Feb. 8th so far so good.
1lisac, if find that a few hybrids are good fail safes. I'm still just learning what diseases and bad bugs (many, many) might be hanging out in my garden and what to do about them. Everywhere I move, the bad bugs are new and I have to learn to identify them. Each year here in Texas I seem to find a new set of baddies. So no matter what, a few of the hybrids make it and we have some tomatoes. Which is still better than store-bought tomatoes or (shreeeeek) no tomatoes at all.
Since this is a good IHORT thread, I'd like to ask a question about them... Does anyone reuse the plugs that don't germinate?? I've picked some seed that didn't go to germination out of the plugs, but they seem to have a whitish fuzz on them this time around. This tray has been sitting on a seedling mat so the temperature in the root zone is pretty warm, would this contribute to the growth? Some of the affected plugs do have germination going on, but I'm worried about the plant being damaged later in the growing cycle. Will try to get some pics by Sunday...
Kevin...yes you can re use the plugs that do not germinate.
I planted a few tomato plants early this year. My first plants went in Feb 8th. That is the earliest I have ever planted out. I have had to protect the plants from freeze, and frost approx 5 times so far. I also had to withstand wind storm on Monday the likes I have never seen before. We had wind gusts of over 55 mph. I lost a few plants because I did not secure the cage with a piece of re-bar, or a t-post, I linked a video of the wind storm, I must say I am impressed at the minimal damage. I thought it would be worse than it was. I also had to protect from a predicted freeze the next night. See pic of how I protect using t-shirts to cover the plant. It has worked five times so far. I hope I can make it until the freezes are over this spring. I hope this link works...
I have a couple of questions regarding ihorts. Do they contain fertilizer? I purchased some ihorts last year and not a single seedling lived. I don't know if it was because I added fertilizer, or I over-watered them, or what.
Is it okay to drop small seeds into the hole and not cover them with soil?
Hornstrider - the new link worked. Your protected tomatoes sure look happy :)
Gymgirl I didn't bury the plugs in dirt, just sprinkled a little of my (home-made) pottting mix on top. I was concerned that the seeds needed to be in total darkness in order to sprout. It wasn't the home-made potting mix that caused the problem, those seeds I sowed in it without the plugs produced seedlings as they usually do. I've been using the same soil recipe for twelve years.
The seeds sown iin the plugs sprouted, but all the seedlings died within a day or so.
I think I may have over-watered the plugs. My soil recipe is very light and allows me to keep the 3oz cups I use standing in water. I never let the home-made mix dry out once seeds have been sown in it. I did the same with the plugs.
Tomato, pepper, and eggplant seeds don't need darkness to germinate. I use peat pellets or some other medium and I always surface sow them. I've read that the light can help them germinate. Im not sure if that's true but I never cover them. The plugs are meant to be used as is. That's why there isn't any mess and it is so easy and convenient to use them. They aren't meant to be used with anything else.
Lisa - I might experiment with some seeds in plugs outside once the weather warms up. I've been toying with the idea of growing flowers in the vegetable garden this summer. Or, perhaps some herbs. I'm sure something will jump into my shopping cart - it always does. LOL
Bee...FYI. I plant a rather large field of zinnia plants. I start the zinnia's in the greenhouse using IHORT plugs, and when they get their first set of leaves I just put them into the ground. Seems to work for me. I don't up-pot into 4" pots...just stick the plug into the ground.