Clippings by AmyCrawford

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RE: suitable planting containers (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: trudi_d on 02.17.2012 at 10:48 am in Winter Sowing Forum

I often use 16 ounce bottle to sow tomatoes, I have a bunch of them on hand. To prep them, at their equator, I cut almost all the way through leaving a pit of plastic for a hinge. I add a snip or two with the scissors to the base for drainage. Of course, no caps. Transplanting is as easy as pie. I use scissors and in one long vertical slit I cut open the side of the bottle and pop out the soil mass like it's a plant plug--which, in effect, it is.

The nice thing about the 16 ounce bottles is that they are wonderful if you're sharing your seedlings. They are little units and don't need separating or rewrapping for sharing. Just give as is.

I do a lot of charity work and donate tomatoes for non-profit plant sales. For them, on sale days, you just cut off the top, add a plant tag and voila, ready to sell. Because the bottles are small I group them together in a larger container--jamming in just enough that they will stand upright.

T

NOTES:

Using 16oz water bottles for WS tomato germ...
clipped on: 02.17.2012 at 05:03 pm    last updated on: 02.17.2012 at 05:04 pm

RE: Experiences winter sowing peppers? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: ralleia on 01.20.2012 at 06:08 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

During the winter, you want too keep them fairly cold (but now freezing of course!) and provide minimal light. I put them in my frost-free basement (temps are in the 40s and 50s), and cut them down hard, leaving about 6 inches of stump. Water VERY sparing during the deep part of the winter, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.

I've got a single two-lamp fluorescent fixture down there, that I have turned on only for my convenience to find things.

As the seasons head towards spring, increase the light, temperature, and watering. As you do, if the plant is still alive you will see small green pepper leaves break from the dead-looking stump, and you know that you have a winner!

Bring it into the light, slowly increase watering, and when it comes time, harden off and plant out as you would a pepper seedling.

NOTES:

More info on creating pepper dormancy
clipped on: 02.16.2012 at 01:40 pm    last updated on: 02.16.2012 at 01:41 pm

RE: Experiences winter sowing peppers? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: ralleia on 01.20.2012 at 05:52 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

Tomatoes and peppers are so durned easy to sow, and the plants are so big (thus limiting the numbers that you will want to grow), that I don't see any advantage to winter sowing them.

Plus, they are quite frost-tender, so it would be more prudent to start them under far more controlled conditions.

The only extra work that is really justifiable with pepper plants is overwintering mature plants. Peppers are actually a tender perennial, so each fall when the hard frost threatens, I dig up and pot each of my pepper plants. Then when you set them out in the spring they already have a monstrous root system and you get big peppers weeks earlier than if you had started from seedings.

Some of my pepper plants are five years old. I may have erred this fall by not devoting enough energy to properly potting my peppers--I was distracted trying to harvest green tomatoes. In a couple months I'll be able to tell if any peppers survived my poor handling. It will be a shame if I lost the five-year-olds...

NOTES:

Treating peppers like perennials - who knew?
clipped on: 02.16.2012 at 01:40 pm    last updated on: 02.16.2012 at 01:40 pm