There’s only 4 weeks left until Memorial Day! And yet they are forecasting snow showers for Monday and Tuesday!
My tomato seedlings are up and 3″ tall already. Pepper’s are up, too. I’m lucky to have a heated bench at the greenhouse. That speeds germination along . It makes such a difference. But a heating mat at home would do as well. Johnny’s Select Seeds and Seeds of Change both carry heating mats in their catalogs. You’ll want to keep that in mind for next year. Though who knows we may have a late cold spring.
If you started tomatoes and peppers right now, they should be big enough by the 2nd week of June. Which the way we’re going this year may be just the right time to put them out. If you put tomatoes and pepers out and they get chilled , it can stall their growth. Wait till the nights stay above 50 degrees. Unless you have protection that will keep the soil’s heat in.
For the past 16 years I have only used “soilless” potting mix for starting seeds and potting up my seedlings. so I’ve never had to worry about “damping off”, a disease that causes the stems of brand new seedlings to collapse and the plant to die. If you use garden soil or potting mix with real soil in it, (unless its been totally sterilized) you will be taking the chance that the “damping off ” disease organism is there in the soil and may infect your seedlings.
Once your seeds have germinated they need as much sunlight as you can give them in the house. Other wise they will get long and weak stems.
Don’t keep your seedlings too moist. Let the very top of your soil look a little dry before you water again.
If you notice little black “flies” coming off your soil around your seedlings (or any other houseplant for that matter), they you are keeping your soil too wet. Those are fungus gnats. If the infestation gets too severe it will stunt your seedlings because the larvae of the fungus gnat is a grub in the soil that may chew on your seedlings roots.
With 4 weeks to go till Memorial Day, it’s time to start seeds like annual coreopsis, cleome, zinnia, marigolds 4 O’Clocks, nasturtium and annual phlox.
During last weeks warm spell it was probably tempting to buy some annuals at the garden centers. If you did, keep those plants away from the frost. It’s forecasted to go down to 34 degrees Monday night.
Bye for now. Happy growing! Judy