Monday, March 5, 2012

Rule #12: Start Your Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant EARLY!

In the past years I have been so jealous to see the gardening stores have huge plants by May, so every year I have been starting my seeds earlier and earlier.  Last year we got some relatively inexpensive lights and I rigged them to a low plastic container if front of the basement window.  It worked out pretty well, but this year not only did we start a bit earlier (yay) but John rigged an even better lighting system in the same location (on Petey's dog crate).  Talk about DIY and use what you have! I love it.  The lights were a little higher than I would have liked, but they worked out fine so we just left them.  Please ignore the books in the back.  We are in the midst of reorganizing the basement.  Anyone want some old MLA or Holt Handbooks?????  So the 6 varieties of Tomatoes (Brandywine, Italian Heirloom, Gold Medal, Federle, San Marzano, and Cherry), Eggplants (Listada and Diamond), Peppers (Heavyweight, Healthy, Bull Nose, and Orange Bell), Basil, and Flat leaf Parsley were all started on February 23rd.  The next week I also made some newspaper pots for the Fuju Dawn flowers I ordered and Royal Carpet Alyssum flower seeds I have had for a few years.  Another new experiment was that I planted some Marigold seeds and Sensitive plant seeds in an egg carton.  We'll see how that goes!  The Sensitive plant seeds are very old, so I'm not sure that they will come up.  Today is officially Harvest Monday where you can check out what people around the world are growing at Daphne's Dandelions (on my blog list).  I am sprouting some mung beans and that's about all that is new this week.  I am not going to add anymore pics of the radicchio and arugula but they continue to be plentiful and producing for us. Guess planting almost 100 will do for us and last the whole winter.  Many of the plants are on a second crop for us as I cut at the base of the plant and they sprout up again!  I am excited to potentially have a few newer types of Chicory, Swiss Chard and Tatsoi under the hoop house next winter.
The DIY Set Up!

Another Shot of the New Set Up!

Baby Tomatoes- March 5, 2012

Baby Tomatoes

Couldn't Resist Another Perspective!

The Newspaper and Egg Carton Pots (some baby plants are emerging).


  1. Love your set up. Everything germinated, congratulations.

  2. Thanks guys:) Almost everything germinating...had a few peppers pop today but most are still not up.

  3. I usually start tomatoes, peppers and eggplant in Jan. I delayed until March 1 this year because I had to go out of town a few days and there's no one to watch over baby plants. But some are sprouting already and I'm hoping for a bumpercrop. Yeah, peppers are always last to sprout it seems.

  4. Great rule to start early(i'm always a bit late) love the set up and looks like its working a treat!

  5. Wow...January. That may be next years goal! We'll see how this timing works out this year:)