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Old April 5, 2017   #1
poeticchampion
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Default Tomato and Pepper seedlings: Fertilizer?

Hi all,

I wanted to ask the community what they think about using fertilizer for tomato and pepper seedlings. Does it help or hurt the new plants?

I have been starting my own tomato and pepper seedlings for several years, and they always grow well but I wonder if fertilizer might help. I have used the Jiffy organic mix as a starting medium the past few years, which has no fertilizer.

Thanks in advance for all comments and suggestions.
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Old April 5, 2017   #2
MissS
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I don't know how you missed this information since it is all over the place, but most of us fertilize our seedlings once they have their first true set of leaves. Most, but not all, use a mix of fertilizer at 1/2 strength and only feed sparingly.
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Old April 5, 2017   #3
garyjr
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What MissS said... plus a little bit of Epsom Salts dissolved in a small spray bottle works nicely to darken the leaves up..
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Old April 5, 2017   #4
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My solo cup seedlings are a little light in color. Should I add a pinch of plant tone or tt. Also, is thirty inches enough room between plants in raised beds?. Jimbo
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Old April 5, 2017   #5
pecker88
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I would always mix at 1/2 strength and somehow still manage to burn the heck out of my seedlings.

So, this year, after they were potted up (about 1-2 sets of true leaves) I used fox farm ocean forest mix, which contains tons of bat guano, crab meal, bone meal, ect...

My seedlings look awesome so far, and NO BURNING!
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Old April 5, 2017   #6
MissS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbotomateo View Post
My solo cup seedlings are a little light in color. Should I add a pinch of plant tone or tt. Also, is thirty inches enough room between plants in raised beds?. Jimbo
Yes, go right ahead and add a pinch of either one. As for the spacing, it depends on how you intend to prune and stake them. What are you planning on doing?
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Old April 5, 2017   #7
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Thanks MissS . I'll have overhead cable similar to Gerardo's setup, with clips and strings. Like to go single stem with pruning, except for determinants I only have one or two of those.
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Old April 5, 2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbotomateo View Post
Thanks MissS . I'll have overhead cable similar to Gerardo's setup, with clips and strings. Like to go single stem with pruning, except for determinants I only have one or two of those.
Pruned to a single stem, your 30 inches will be spot on.

Enjoy the garden!
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Old April 6, 2017   #9
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I use full strength Blue MG.
Its not the mix it is how much.
Tricky on small seedlings.
I use the spout they have to make mixed drinks to measuer by way of counting.
I feed then water.
1/2 is fine too but they do need to eat like the rest of us when they are babies.
Just not as much.
In the little octagon cells it is just a wee bit, maybe a teaspoons worth or less.
Be prepared for them to grow like crazy.

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Old April 6, 2017   #10
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I am experimenting this year with slow release granules.
I used about 1/4 tsp per plant of miracle grow shake and feed for tomatoes fruit and vegetables. (9-4-12) with calcium and other micronutrients: magnesium, iron ,copper, sulphur,zinc, iron and manganese.So far they are looking very good. How they will be in the long run remains to be seen.
The one time app at planting was convenient and so far no evidence of either deficiency or leaf tip burn or sign of excess.
Had it leftover from a year or two ago when I used it in hanging baskets. I do notice the pros use granular osmicote or other long acting slow release granules in potted plants and baskets. Thought I would give it a try.
I will use it again when I pot them up from the cell packs to quart pots.
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Old April 6, 2017   #11
Jimbotomateo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissS View Post
Yes, go right ahead and add a pinch of either one. As for the spacing, it depends on how you intend to prune and stake them. What are you planning on doing?
I must be crazy. Looks like they perked up overnight! . Jimbo
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Old April 7, 2017   #12
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I starve my young plants as much as I can, because they are exposed to cold temperatures. The worst part about excess fertilizer in the media is that when it is cold, your beneficial bacteria die off, and the nutrients are then consumed by pythium, alagae, and other detrimental organisms.
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Old April 8, 2017   #13
poeticchampion
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KarenO, those are amazing.
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Old April 8, 2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poeticchampion View Post
KarenO, those are amazing.
Thanks! Peppers are not my forte but I am pleased with how they are doing so far. I think I will use it in my tomatoes too
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Old April 8, 2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
Thanks! Peppers are not my forte but I am pleased with how they are doing so far. I think I will use it in my tomatoes too
KarenO

Works great in the tomatoes too.
I used up some from stuff I had for years last year with great results in my beds along with everything else I tossed in.
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