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Old March 26, 2018   #16
TomNJ
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Not at all too late to plant peppers for Long Island. I used to live in NJ and routinely planted pepper seeds around April 1st. Yes mid March is better, but you still have a good eight weeks to plant out. Just give them some heat to speed germination. My hot peppers (Serrano) were up in five days, and my sweets (Ozark Giant) in six days.
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Old March 26, 2018   #17
sdambr
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Thanks Tom, I usually start them on the floor of the den as it's heated. May do the paper towel method just so that I can see what germinates more quickly and keep them covered.
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Old March 26, 2018   #18
henry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdambr View Post
Thanks Tom, I usually start them on the floor of the den as it's heated. May do the paper towel method just so that I can see what germinates more quickly and keep them covered.
Cone coffee filters work better then paper towels as the roots do not go into them.
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Old March 26, 2018   #19
sdambr
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Thanks Henry, I started with paper towels for the seedlings eaten on Saturday. I can use coffee filters for new ones tonight.
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Old March 26, 2018   #20
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I know I'm late to this thread, but I'd like you to please read the thread I started in the off topic forum quite awhile ago,and said I'd also transfer it to the seed offer itself, which I did..

So first,please read this preview thread and you'll see I have some pretty strong comments about using coffee filters,wet towels in Baggies,those dome things that often cook the seeds.
And I have those suggestions after doing seed offers at many places for almost 30 years now and knowing what can go wrong as to seed germination and damage to very young seedlings...

So here's that preview thread.

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=45775

I'd also like to suggest another possible reason for the damage to newly germinated tomato seedlings, they are Fungus gnats,and here's that link.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&....0.72PlvseSg0g

I do hope that some of the above is helpful for some of you.

Carolyn
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Old March 26, 2018   #21
sdambr
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Thanks Carolyn for the links.

It is definitely not fungus gnats, the seedlings were up 1.5" and strong with 2 cotyledons at 11:30pm. 8am the next morning half missing with just a 1/2" of stem, cotyledons were gone. A few left lying right next to the stem, two trays.

I usually start in potting mix covered only until the first sign of a seedling, but I am a bit nervous if I don't find the culprit, so this 2nd batch is getting started in a covered container.

I will remove it as soon as the culprit is found.
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Old March 26, 2018   #22
hazeldazel
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my cats did this to some of my tomato seedlings when I forgot to place a physical barrier when the flat was on the window sill. Fortunately, they didn't get all of them and most grew more leaves. I hope you can figure out what got to them.
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Old March 26, 2018   #23
HudsonValley
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Maybe try sprinkling some garlic powder, too? I do this to deter voles, field mice, etc., from entering my potting shed and raised beds. It seems to repel them. (It can get kind of stinky, though.)
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Old March 26, 2018   #24
sdambr
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Hazel, I didn't pull any of the stems just in case they decide to put on a few leaves. When I got home I moved trays to where they would never be found by the culprit.

Hudson, I tend to cook ,"Italian style". My house smells of garlic most nights I like it!

I did set a trap and placed it where the trays were. I believe in live and let live, but I don't want to share my personal space with a mouse and especially the one who got to my seedlings.
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Old March 26, 2018   #25
Worth1
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My cat Smokey does this until they get bigger.
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Old March 26, 2018   #26
SueCT
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What seeds do you no longer have? Some here might be able to spare a few and have them to you in a few days. In your zone you really have until early April, at least, to start tomato seeds. I am just starting mine now and will start more in the next couple of days. They say 6-8 weeks from last frost dates. If you go as late as recommended, 6 weeks before your last frost date, is April 1. You are not even late until after that, and you could still start seeds after that you might just have a crop a few days or a week later. If you can get a few plants locally, you can still get them in plenty early and mix them with the ones you wanted planted just a few days or a week later.

Last edited by SueCT; March 26, 2018 at 08:40 PM.
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Old March 26, 2018   #27
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Yes, please, a list of what you're missing! Let us help; it'll boost our self-esteem.

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Old March 26, 2018   #28
carolyn137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdambr View Post
Thanks Carolyn for the links.

It is definitely not fungus gnats, the seedlings were up 1.5" and strong with 2 cotyledons at 11:30pm. 8am the next morning half missing with just a 1/2" of stem, cotyledons were gone. A few left lying right next to the stem, two trays.

I usually start in potting mix covered only until the first sign of a seedling, but I am a bit nervous if I don't find the culprit, so this 2nd batch is getting started in a covered container.

I will remove it as soon as the culprit is found.
I'm glad to hear that your 2nd batch will be started in a covered container,just be sure it's not one of those dome things which can cook the seeds easily.

I had two more links to give,since for anyone here,I'm still referring to fungus gnats.

First, know their life cycle, there are 4 stages and all 4 can be on the same plant at the same time.The adults then fly away to lay eggs on another plant, and it doesn't matter if it's inside or outside. And that other plant(s) doesn't have to be tomatoes either.

The damage to the plants occurs when the eggs hatch in the first stage and they are so small you have to use one of those foldout magnifiers to even see them.

Above I'm just trying to summarize a bit without having to give the two full links I already have..

Carolyn
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Old March 26, 2018   #29
greenthumbomaha
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Now that the seed starting is resuming...

I went thru a close encounter indoors some time ago. It is very unsettling to share your home with something unknowingly. I just read to peppermint or spearmint essential oil is not a good smell to mice. I've never tested this information, but you might put some on a cotton ball and keep it very near your trays for the duration.

Sticky traps were hit and miss for me. I spent many nights awake listening for crunching sounds. You might want to pick up a few containers to store food in if you keep things like bread , potatoes, and cookies on the counter or open shelves. Ask me how I know , not!

I still see things out of the corner of my eye but now I know they don't exist. Ugh!

- Lisa

Tape the dome on to the tray. It would be easily knocked off my a mouse. In fact it might eat thru the plastic. Something ate thru the preen box a few years ago. I now store bags of fertilizer in a fancy metal storage closet.

Last edited by greenthumbomaha; March 26, 2018 at 09:42 PM.
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Old March 26, 2018   #30
SueCT
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Just a thought. If you are in a hurry you might want to get a heat mat and controller if you don't have one already. I was surprised how much it sped up germination for me. I set mine at 80 degrees. I planted them on Friday, and the first signs of germination are visible this evening, so within 3 days. The will start to pop up tonight. I can see the little green stems unfurling now they just haven't popped up yet. There have been times with the mat that I have had them actually pop out withing 3 days and without the mat it used to take me 5-7 days, sometimes a little longer. There is one on Amazon with the controller right now for about 26.00. If you have Amazon Prime you can get one before the weekend and get them planted, and maybe even have germination by April 1. NOT an April Fools joke, lol.
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