March 28, 2011

Starting Peppers and Tomatillos

This past weekend I started all the seeds that need to be sown 9 weeks before last frost. For me, this included swiss chard, sweet peppers, and two kinds of tomatillos. Normally, peppers and tomatillos would be grouped together with the tomatoes (to be sown 7 weeks before last frost), but I've had a really difficult time with these two crops in the past. I'm hoping my heating mat will help things along this year.

Still no sign of germination in the celeriac from last weekend. Hopefully they're coming along okay.

Next weekend I will be starting broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi. The real fun starts in two weeks when I get to start sowing my tomatoes (all 20 varieties, over 100 plants total).

I can't believe it, but I sowed the entire packet of 'Carnival Mix' sweet peppers. Assuming they all germinate, I will be inundated!
I probably only need 4 tomatillo plants, but I think I must have sown at least 30 seeds! I think I'm overcompensating because I've had trouble with tomatillos in the past. 

I have struggled with starting swiss chard indoors in the past too. Maybe these peat pellets will give me better results (or maybe direct sowing is the way to go)?

From the sounds of it, my week 9 crops will be the trickiest of them all. Maybe I'll have better luck this year. If not, I can always buy seedlings from the garden center.

Are there any crops you have a particularly difficult time with?


  1. This is my first year trying celery, and it's been 10 days since I sowed, and STILL no sign of them. So I'm left wondering...........

  2. I had some issues with my swiss chard this year. The first set of seeds came up quickly and then randomly fell over and died. I replanted more seeds, raised the light higher and this next set seems to be doing ok. Glad I'm not the only one.

    Strawberries had a very low germination rate too.

  3. I thought I might write and give Sue some hope. I'm going into my 2nd year of market farming and trying Celery for the first time. I seeded mine on March 14th and it wasn't until yesterday, March 27th, that I noticed any signs of life. It looks like I'm getting reasonable germination and to think, I figured I would be throwing the trays out! Just wait a little might be pleasantly surprised :)

  4. I always direct sow my chard, and have excellent results. It is so easy that way I've never tried starting them indoors.

  5. I did direct sow some chard last year, and it was pretty sad. Maybe chard just isn't my crop.

  6. I have difficulty with chard too! I just planted some outside yesterday...I'll try one more time.

  7. I'm in the U.P. and I also sow the chard directly into the garden with excellent results! Because we live on a lot of sand we have built raised boxes but the chard does fantastic in them with direct sowing. Happy Gardening!
    'hugs from afar'

  8. I checked my chard last night and it already started germinating (after only 2 days)! In the past, I feel like I remember it germinating fine, but then petering out later on.

    Still not sign of the celeriac. Then again, I started some rosemary from seed over a month ago, and still nothing!


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