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Welcome to my new blog... My First Vegetable Garden. It is dedicated to new gardeners and I plan to blog about and video the entire 2014 gardening season.

I will cover and teach you about every aspect of home gardening that you can think of! Please follow my blog as it will take you from starting your own seeds to harvesting 2 pound heirloom tomatoes and more! Learn how to grow the vegetables on your right...

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Starting Mixes, Seed Cells and Seed Starting Set Up

Friday, January 24, 2014

How and When to Start Peppers & Tomatoes Indoors: For New Gardeners

How and When to Start Peppers & Tomatoes Indoors: 
For New Gardeners

So... many people say to start your peppers and tomatoes 6-8 weeks before last frost. That is true as a frost or freeze will kill off the plants. But... they are warm weather plants and they won't take off and grow until the soil is warmed to the 50's. You won't get bigger plants faster by getting them out 3 weeks early in cold soil. The plants will just sit still and often they look stunted and can get some purple hue to them. That is the cold.

Now there are some tricks you can do to warm the soil and keep the plants warm at night and I will show you some of those tricks over the 2014 season in videos. The tricks are how you get them out into the cold and get a jump on the season.

I recommend starting your tomatoes and pepper 6-8 weeks before you have soil temperatures and nights that stay mostly in the 50's. The days will certainly be warm enough as will the soil. A few night of 40 degrees won't hurt the plants. Warmer soil means your tomatoes and peppers have what they need to take off and thrive.

Tomatoes and peppers need mid 70's temperature to germinate in a timely manner. Tomatoes actually germinate in about 5-10 days and peppers can take 7-14 days. Lower temperatures will slow germination down and warmer temperatures will speed it up a bit.

They will need 10-14 hours of light to prevent them from becoming 'leggy.'  I keep mine about 2 inches under my grow lights and the timer is set for 12-14 hours depending on a few factors. You can use a windowsill if that window truly get 8 or more hours of direct sunlight. That is... sun that can actually be seen from that window for 8 hours.

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