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Old 03-13-2008, 02:49 PM   #1
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Starting from Seeds - need help

Okay, so I bought a bunch of seed packets. Flat leaf parsley, Italian parsley, two kinds of basil (sweet and something else), chives, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, chili peppers, and cerrano peppers. I bought six 4" pots to start the peppers and the chives and I have several large pots. What do I do now? Can they all be planted now indoors to start? I'm in North Carolina, it was 40 this morning and it's 72 right now. We have big temp swings. Should I move all the big pots inside?

I can attach pictures of the big pots.

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Old 03-13-2008, 03:09 PM   #2
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I would start them all inside, in a sunny window. You need to find out when the last average frost date is in your area - you can take them outside after that. Here in SE VA, it's April 20.

Here's some info on starting seeds indoors and growing in containers:

Starting Seeds Indoors | Tips & Techniques
Growing Herbs in Containers

HTH.
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:24 PM   #3
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I'd suggest you start them in bigger pots so you won't need to transfer them later - transplanting really knocks them back IMO.
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:26 PM   #4
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I'd suggest you start them in bigger pots so you won't need to transfer them later - transplanting really knocks them back IMO.
Interesting. I haven't found that to be true. I usually buy small herb plants from our local herb society and transplant them into my garden - they go gangbusters
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:10 PM   #5
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I'm sorry - I didn't realise you were going to put them in the garden.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:13 PM   #6
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I'm sorry - I didn't realise you were going to put them in the garden.
I'm not. All mine will be in pots but if you start them in too big of a container sometimes they won't grow. I think with chives and cilantro, they can stay in the little pots. It's the peppers I'm curious about but then again, the packages are confusing the heck out of me.

I thought maybe experienced seeders could help me decipher the packages. Some of which all say the same thing.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:13 PM   #7
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You can also just plant your seeds in the garden after the last frost. I know the package says to start them earlier indoors, but I planted all of mine last year in the end of April and they all grew very well. Especially the parsley and basil. Keep an eye on the parsleys too, if you are not careful they will take over everything! They require a lot of thinning. You can see what my herbs looked like by Aug in this thread: http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...ces-44153.html Those all came from seed except the thyme and the lemon grass. My disclaimer is the front plants were transplanted from another area in the yard where it was too hot for them so they are a little smaller.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:27 PM   #8
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I've started herbs from seed and transplanted them into a whiskey barrel (before I had an herb garden in the yard) and into the garden and haven't noticed any problems. I have also bought herb plants and transplanted them with no problems. In containers (which is what Callisto, the original poster, wants to use), they will need more frequent watering, but otherwise they should be fine. HTH.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:36 PM   #9
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Potting soil ~ I bought some at Wally World today to mix in with what I have and it's got red clay clumps in it. It wasn't that expensive. Should I chuck it and go get something a little more expensive? They had something actually called HUMUS that looked much better than this stuff.

Chives -- I used a whole seed packet in a 5" pot. Too much?
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:24 AM   #10
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You are better getting some Seed Raising Mixture as it has the nutrients that seeds need. Potting mix over here comes in a huge range and the good quality stuff has Quality Assurance ticks on it. Those ones usually have water retaining crystals in as well as some form of ferterliser. I would assume the red clay clumps are there to act as drainage.

A couple of tips I was told:

- get a back of seed raising mixture and run a knife down the flat front of the pack in two rows and plant the seeds direct into those rows. As they get to the right height, they can be transplantted out or alternatively depending on the plant, just left there for the duration, although weeding out the weaklings would be required with the latter.

- put an iron can - like tomatoes or cat food - at the base of the pot before you put the potting mix in.

- Put a clear plastic bag over the tops of the pots so you create a mini-greenhouse for the seeds to rise in. Good spray of water every so often with a sunny position. The bag makes the conditions humid, amplifying the heat and protects the seeds from the wind, birds and bugs.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Chives -- I used a whole seed packet in a 5" pot. Too much?

It's fine to do that if you want to make sure something grows. You will just have to thin out the plants later so it doesn't get overcrowded.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:46 AM   #12
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Well, I did some research this morning into "humus" and found out it's just compost that you can buy if you can't actually have your own compost pile. I would love to have my own compost box, but that's not feasible in apartment living.
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:41 PM   #13
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I learned something when I took my Master Gardening class (actually, I learned a lot, but. . .)and that is that potting SOIL and potting MIX are different. Potting soil is cheaper, and may be of lower quality, full of clay lumps, bits of wood, and stones.

Potting soil is ok for containers of established plants, but seeds should be started in potting mix.
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:46 PM   #14
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A couple of tips I was told:

- put an iron can - like tomatoes or cat food - at the base of the pot before you put the potting mix in.
An iron can? Tomatoes and cat food come in aluminum cans here in the U.S. Is this to add a nutrient?
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:51 PM   #15
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I learned something when I took my Master Gardening class (actually, I learned a lot, but. . .)and that is that potting SOIL and potting MIX are different. Potting soil is cheaper, and may be of lower quality, full of clay lumps, bits of wood, and stones.

Potting soil is ok for containers of established plants, but seeds should be started in potting mix.
Thanks. I decided it was just easy to toss the stuff or maybe I'll fill in the holes in the garden with this stuff. Our neighbors had a dog that dug huge holes, seems like filling those in is about all this stuff is worth using for. I'll get some potting soil. I noticed some stuff that said it was good for veggies and had 6 months of nutrients. Seems like that's the way to go. Kind of a generic Miracle Grow.
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Old 03-15-2008, 08:00 AM   #16
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An iron can? Tomatoes and cat food come in aluminum cans here in the U.S. Is this to add a nutrient?
Yes and it also adds good drainage in a pot. In truth, I have used both steel and aluminium cans. Very good with my parsley/sage/chives/leeks - they really thrived with this technique I found but I was originally told to use it for citrus. Citrus doesn't grow for me though so I have no idea if it works or not with them. Hate to think what my mandarin tree in the pot would look like if the cans ARE working though!!! LOL
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:17 AM   #17
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I start all my seeds - whether they're ultimately ending up in the garden or in deck containers - indoors in small plastic cell packs - one or two seeds per cell. I use bagged soilless seed-starting or potting mixes, which help to eliminate seedling-killing diseases that are present in regular soil. I start them under lights, as well as on south-facing windowsills. If you just dump a whole packet of seeds into a small pot, you're going to have one heck of a time separating those tender seedlings, what with all the roots & stems tangled together. (With the chives, however, once they've sprouted & grown a bit you can just remove the entire bunch from the pot & slice them up - soil & all - with a knife into plantable "portions", sort of like brownies. Certainly don't bother trying to separate each individual chive.)

When my cell-sown plants are a few inches tall, they're then "hardened off", which just means allowing them to adjust to the great outdoors. They spend days outside in a semi-shaded area & nights back indoors - every day spending a little more time in full sun until they're acclimated. They're then planted out into their permanent spots - the garden or containers.

Callisto - I think you need to hit your local library or bookstore & pick up a basic veggie gardening or seed-starting book. Just to have on hand for reference purposes, if nothing else.
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:59 AM   #18
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I start all my seeds - whether they're ultimately ending up in the garden or in deck containers - indoors in small plastic cell packs - one or two seeds per cell. I use bagged soilless seed-starting or potting mixes, which help to eliminate seedling-killing diseases that are present in regular soil. I start them under lights, as well as on south-facing windowsills. If you just dump a whole packet of seeds into a small pot, you're going to have one heck of a time separating those tender seedlings, what with all the roots & stems tangled together. (With the chives, however, once they've sprouted & grown a bit you can just remove the entire bunch from the pot & slice them up - soil & all - with a knife into plantable "portions", sort of like brownies. Certainly don't bother trying to separate each individual chive.)
The chives were the only thing I put all the seeds in one pot as the seeds were too small to separate. The rest got one or two seeds per egg container. It was suggested to start in those.

I started the peppers 5 to a larger 4" pot in a cross pattern, not touching each other.

I've tried parsley, oregano, basil, and cilantro in the little containers. It should be interesting to see if this works. AT best they all sprout, at worst, just the peppers will and I'll have at least two pepper plants each.

I started the plants in new soil but I sterilized my old soil so I didn't have to buy multiple bags of soil.
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:13 AM   #19
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The good thing about starting seeds in the cardboard egg containers is you can just cut up the carton and plant direct into the ground, although I think from memory (and I coulud be wrong here - it was a long time ago that I did it from an egg carton) you put a couple of slits in the sides of each to help breakdown the cardboard and let the roots grow through.
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Old 03-16-2008, 10:53 AM   #20
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OM Goodness ~ Oregano. What is up with that? I just sort of sprinkled the seeds on top of the carton and we'll wait and see what happens. Fleas are bigger than oregano seeds. That might have been a bad choice to start from seeds but I guess I can go buy plants if it doesn't work out.

I have about 9 plants of each starting for the herbs. I figure I have good odds at at least 6 plants each.
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