NaturalScience

2019 Fruit and Vegetable Gardening Thread

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Posted (edited) · Report post

First, I would like to pose the question to the powers that be; do you think there is enough interest in gardening as a topic to have its own forum?  

Second, when starting seeds on a heat mat, what are the thoughts on a cover for the tray? 

I seem to get fungus every time I use the cover and heat mat.

Even a brand new bag of seed starting mix produces this result.

I use a space in the living area of my home, so, maybe the heat mat is too much?

Any thoughts or experience?

Edited by Steve in Mass

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I think the usual gardening thread each spring is enough.  Not sure what you’re growing on your seed mix but I get some  green slime eventually, think it’s algae.  Usual suspect is too much water.  I’m considering some arrangement of trays that drain off excess after watering this year. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I get white thready stuff. 

I have gotten the green algae stuff in the past. Which I'm inclined to agree on the too much water school of thought.

Kinda what I'm thinking with the covers. Just too much warm and wet for something not to grow.

I started with moistening the seed mix to just enough so it held its shape when squeezed but not water dripping out. Trying to avoid having to water from the bottom up this year which I find soaks the cells too much for my liking. 

 

Edit:

Seems to be a humidity issue.  Air flow is recomended. 

 

 

Edited by NaturalScience
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Cover until the seeds sprout, uncovered after that. In fact, once the seeds sprout, they can also come off the heat mat, although if you have the room, peppers, eggplant and tomatoes can still benefit from the bottom warmth after sprouting. But heat mat space is usually limited, so you have to move them on once they are sprouted to use the space to sprout other stuff.

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I'm wondering if the mat is overkill for me as I have the trays in a room that's usually 70 to 75 via woodstove.

It appears the white mold itself is not detrimental but can be a sign of the fungus that causes damping off.

I'm gonna try propping the lids up and maybe just use the mats overnight when the temps will drop to 65.

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Solution is same for algae or mold.  Bottom water, don’t let the pots stand in water, let the soil surface dry, more air, less crowding.  I’m not sure that the warmth of the heat mat would contribute much if moisture and air are controlled.  

Fan on the seedlings has benefit of stronger stems. 

 

I also have problem of even watering which is why I tend to overwater.  So it’ll be trays that drain or some kind of wicking fabric in the tray under the pots.  

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My annual seed order arrived in the mail yesterday.  I try to pick 3-5 new things to try each year, and anything I like a lot stays in the annual rotation.   Never tried artichokes before; I'll put them along a border of the garden to act as a veggie plus landscape element.   The Atomic Grape tomato is by the same grower (Wild Boar Farms) that I did a multi-colored tie-dye tomato last year that was awesome.   

 

But I'm most excited about the Yellow Hinkelhatz peppers.  Hinkelhatz is Pennsylvania Dutch for "chicken heart", and they've supposedly been grown in the Amish/Mennonite communities for the past century or two.   I had never heard of them, although my family ancestry has been Mennonite farmers/cattlemen/butchers/gardeners in Lancaster county since the early 1700s.  It'll be like growing a part of my own history this year.  

 

IMG_1398.JPG.1560ba14e8cbd94b6d4806caa3f1260d.JPG

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, fishfood said:

My annual seed order arrived in the mail yesterday.  I try to pick 3-5 new things to try each year, and anything I like a lot stays in the annual rotation.   Never tried artichokes before; I'll put them along a border of the garden to act as a veggie plus landscape element.   The Atomic Grape tomato is by the same grower (Wild Boar Farms) that I did a multi-colored tie-dye tomato last year that was awesome.   

 

But I'm most excited about the Yellow Hinkelhatz peppers.  Hinkelhatz is Pennsylvania Dutch for "chicken heart", and they've supposedly been grown in the Amish/Mennonite communities for the past century or two.   I had never heard of them, although my family ancestry has been Mennonite farmers/cattlemen/butchers/gardeners in Lancaster county since the early 1700s.  It'll be like growing a part of my own history this year.  

 

IMG_1398.JPG.1560ba14e8cbd94b6d4806caa3f1260d.JPG

 

 

 

 

Big fan of baker creek. Very positive experience with them so far. Plus they are not in the Monsanto Satan family of companies.

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Agreed that Baker Creek is great.  The free seeds they send with each order is always a fun surprise (in this case, it was those Syrian sweet peppers in the pic).   Plus their seed catalog makes for great bathroom reading. 

 

I just got done starting my first seeds indoors.  Artichokes, cabbage, and a few hot peppers.   I usually don't start peppers this early but they always seem to take the longest to germinate and grow really slowly, so I figured why not.  Trying a new coconut coir based seed starting medium this year as well.  Much easier to work with than some of the hydrophobic dusty seed starters I've used in the past.  

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I ggld to check them out and I noticed a site in top few hits that said discount codes available up to 25% off in February at baker creek if anyone still looking to order.   

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Thanks Jim.

Also I've been adhering to the bottom watering technique you recommended and so far so good. 

I drilled drain holes in a few of the 1020 trays and stacked them in ones without holes.

After the half hour mark I lift out the top tray put it in the spare I keep around and drain the bottom tray of water and repeat the process for the rest. 

So far so good.

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2 mins ago, NaturalScience said:

Thanks Jim.

Also I've been adhering to the bottom watering technique you recommended and so far so good. 

I drilled drain holes in a few of the 1020 trays and stacked them in ones without holes.

After the half hour mark I lift out the top tray put it in the spare I keep around and drain the bottom tray of water and repeat the process for the rest. 

So far so good.

That’s a good method.  

 

Not it sure I’m planting yet but will be half as many peppers and tomatoes.  Will find some room again for honeynut squash.   Garlic is still buried in ice and frozen mulch so hoping it’s not another year when soil isn’t workable until mid April.  

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Posted (edited) · Report post

4 hours ago, fishfood said:

Agreed that Baker Creek is great.  The free seeds they send with each order is always a fun surprise (in this case, it was those Syrian sweet peppers in the pic).   Plus their seed catalog makes for great bathroom reading. 

 

I just got done starting my first seeds indoors.  Artichokes, cabbage, and a few hot peppers.   I usually don't start peppers this early but they always seem to take the longest to germinate and grow really slowly, so I figured why not.  Trying a new coconut coir based seed starting medium this year as well.  Much easier to work with than some of the hydrophobic dusty seed starters I've used in the past.  

Got lipstick peppers and black vernisage tomatoes as the gift.

I started pretty early this year.

Peppers are just setting the first true leaves.

Have cabbage and broccoli going for about 3 weeks now. These I am planning on hardening off starting March 1st and planting in the garden by the 2nd week. I may put the cold frame on them for a week or two. Trying some new things this year with these cold weather crops.

This year after my first run of seeds started in miracle grow seed starting mix immediately started growing white fungus I decided to go with a good potting mix to start seeds instead.

I settled on promix hd. It states having biofungicide mychorhhizae.

I am quite happy with it.

It holds moisture evenly and drains quite well. 

I got a very good germination from my seeds and the seedlings are looking very healthy.

No sign of white fungus either.

Edited by NaturalScience
Grammar

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