Monday 11 April 2016

Harvest Monday: April 11, 2016 - Tomato/Pepper Seedling Update

This is my submission to the Harvest Monday collection hosted by Our Happy Acres. As I have nothing to harvest this early in the season, I thought I'd share an update on my seedlings - which will hopefully lead to many successful harvests later on!

I've spent part of this weekend transplanting these from their peat pellets into 4" pots.  I rip a small tear in the bottom of the peat pellets then simply pop them into pots and fill them up with potting soil.

So far, I have transplanted the following seedlings.

8 Chocolate Cherry
7 Heirloom variety
9 San Marzano

8 Xanthia
1 Jalapeno
4 Gypsy
4 Super Red Pimiento
4 Feher Ozon
8 King of the North

The San Marzano seeds were several years old and I was not expecting so many to germinate.  I wasn't really planning to grow sauce tomatoes but felt I should use up the rest of the seeds rather than throw them out.  The Heirloom variety was a mixed seed packet including some of my favourites like Black Krim and Brandywine.

After commenting previously how hot peppers have always been so easy for me to grow, I was somewhat surprised that only one of the jalapenos has germinated well enough for transplanting, but the seeds are several years old.  There are a couple more jalapenos on their way but are just too small for now.  I also have just a few Hungarian Hot Wax (again, another surprise that I've struggled to get many seedlings) and only a couple of Ancho (disappointing for sure, but I seeded another set a couple of weeks after the first and still hoping to get some more).  I also have three more tomatoes seedlings and more Feher Ozon.  These will all need at least another week or two before being moved into the larger pots.

I also had many that have not germinated at all.  I will give them another week or two between the heat mat and the lights.  I certainly hope to get more Ancho and Hungarian Hot Wax as I have so few, but I also did not manage to germinate a single Cowhorn pepper - I tried these same ones last year as well and did not get a single seed to germinate.  I would like to blame the seeds but I really need to consider my germination methods.  I am definitely not going to make the effort to pre-germinate seeds as that is too much work for me but I have read quite often that peppers don't germinate well in peat so I may need to reconsider my approach next year.

In the meantime, I will keep my fingers crossed for the remaining seeds!  And maybe not a rush as it just snowed another few inches last night.  Ugh.  Should be gone within 24 hours with the warmer temperatures but getting very frustrated that winter won't go away.


  1. I bet the seedlings were happy in their new homes! I had some fickle pepper seeds this year too, but I was able to resow and finally get them to come up. Ironically, I had pepper seed I saved in 2009 and it got about 80% germination! I do think some companies do a better job of storing their seeds than others. Not that I did anything special to store mine, which was in my plastic shoe box.

    1. Oh my yes, they've perked up quite a bit just in a day!

      I do realize a lot of people keep seeds for years and can still germinate well (as you yourself stated). I read early on in my gardening hobby that seeds don't last more than a year or two which is obviously not true so I need to get that thought out of my head!

  2. Your seedlings are well on their way! In years past, I would often have to sub out different varieties of peppers & tomatoes for those that didn't germinate but so far so good with the peppers this time round. Hopefully my streak keeps up with the tomatoes, which I'm sowing this week.

    I agree with Dave - tomato and peppers seeds can last a very long time but a lot depends on factors that you can't control such as variety and how they were saved/stored before they got into your hands. Especially for long-lived seeds, I never get rid of them without giving them one last try, just in case. And this wet, cold weather...ugh! SO tired of it!!

    1. Good luck with your tomatoes and good to hear about your peppers so far.

  3. Peppers can be so fickle about germinating, good one year and poor the next. I went the pre-germination route this year, and one thing that I'm liking about it is that I can get at least a few days jump on resowing if needed. It takes a few days from when a root first appears to the time the cotyledons push up out of the soil so when a variety is having poor or no germination I sow more right away.

    It's been gray and wet around here but it's not been cold. I can't complain in light of your miserable weather.

    1. Yes, well, I guess if I'm going to keep seeds around longer than a few years (which I really haven't done very often) I may have to try out that whole pre-germination thing ... I'm sure it's not as much of a hassle as I make it out to be, LOL.

  4. You are inspiring me, growing peppers from seed. At this point I don't have a greenhouse or grow light system. But it is on my wish list and the first thing I want to grow is peppers. There are so many amazing varieties in the catalogs. I did grow Gypsy from a purchased plant a few years ago and really enjoyed the taste of that one. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Lexa! That is the great advantage of starting from seeds - the huge selection! I just have a 4 foot "shop light" (so fluorescent tubes) hanging over a table. Nothing too fancy but it does take up some space for sure.

  5. Your plants are looking great. Now for some warm weather to get them in the garden. It's still too cold and windy here to be comfortable working outside.