It’s been almost two months ago since I started my tomatoes (two varieties) and peppers (jalapeño and habanero) inside.  Everything but the habanero peppers sprouted quickly, but seemed to get sick shortly thereafter.  Leaves turned yellow and dropped from the jalapeños and one variety of tomatoes, and the leaves on the other variety of tomatoes turned a reddish-brown, and generally looked very sick.

I tried everything I could think of.  Maybe too much water, so I let them dry out between waterings.  Maybe not enough sunlight, so I mounted a grow light above them and ran it half the night.  Nothing seemed to help much.  Nothing made it to 6″ tall, but only one tomato actually died. On the contrary, the cilantro that I planted inside, right next to everything else, is doing wonderfully.

I decided to transplant the jalapeños and the healthier of the two tomato varieties outside this morning.  They are obviously unhappy about something inside, so despite them being too small and fragile, I decided that they would have the best chance there.  I expect to lose a significant number of both, and I took this into consideration when I decided how close to plant them to each other.

If I lose them all, I’ll have no choice but to buy live plants from a local store if I want any tomatoes.  As for jalapeños, I had a lot late last year, and I froze several gallons.  There won’t be enough to use as many as I normally do, but I can get through.

I also planted the cucumbers this morning.  I need to buy a few more bags of topsoil to top off the last two raised beds, and I will be ready to transplant the last tomato variety and plant the zucchini that Roomie requested.

It looks like I won’t have any habaneros this year.  Only one sprouted, but it has stayed about one inch tall for the past month.  It is still green, but it’s not going to survive.  If any of the other seeds were going to germinate, they would have by now.  It is too late in the year to buy seeds from another source and expect them to germinate and produce significantly before frost kills them.

I thought that subsequent years were supposed to get better.  Not for me, not this time.

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6 Responses to Garden

  1. Rick says:

    Maybe I missed something in previous posts. Do you have an aversion to purchasing starter plants from say……a big box store (yea – know you work there). There are other options if your aversion is purchasing from a store. Some schools have fund raisers, farmers markets or flea markets sell starters, etc…. Better the fresh veggie you grow from a starter plant then missing out on an entire season of enjoyment (in my honest opinion).

    • alaskan454 says:

      I don’t have an aversion to it per se, and if none of these start to thrive quickly, I will. It is much cheaper to buy a package of 30-50 seeds for a couple bucks than to pay ten bucks for a 4-pack, especially when I like to have 30-50 plants so I have plenty to can. Since I do, indeed, work at a big box retailer, I have to be frugal as much as possible.

  2. Garand Gal says:

    Lowes currently has 4 packs for just under $2, and ours has some heritage OP’s too like cherokee purple. You might consider contacting your county extension office and see if they can give you advice about what’s going on with your seedlings, or put you in contact with a master gardener in your area who can help. I think that’s what the master gardening program was created for.
    Does NC have two gardening seasons like other areas in the SE? Our garden pretty much stops for most things when the night time temperatures hit the mid-high 80’s and doesn’t pick back up until they drop back down, which just give the rots and blights that much more incentive to eat my plants. About the only thing I can get out of my garden then are cow peas and beans, and that’s only because they’re pretty much indestructible LOL

    • alaskan454 says:

      It sounds like I need to head to Lowes. Home Depot wants $10 for 3-packs, but that’s the online price.

      I did the exact same thing this year that I did last year regarding the seeds, right down to the same variety of tomato, and they were perfect. This year, nothing but trouble.

      I ordered some habanero /plants/ from HD, and will be putting them in planters. I didn’t know this, but they are perennials in warmer climates, and produce year round. I’ll be moving them inside come cold weather.

      We have one long growing season here. It normally doesn’t get so hot but what everything still does OK as long as I can keep the beetles and bugs off, even in the hottest part of summer. The watering has to be increased to compensate, and some cool-loving things like lettuce and radishes won’t germinate except in spring and fall, of course.

  3. Garand Gal says:

    I forgot something. About the peppers, I think you’re a zone north of us (we’re 8a, first frost date is end of Nov/beginning of Dec) so you might still be able to get in a crop. I suck at growing my own seedlings but I’ve had good success in direct seeding them. In my yard they seem to grow faster when direct seeded and don’t lag too far behind the purchased seedlings. Last fall I planted seeds in big pots as late as Oct/Nov, the pots keep them above the cold air and helps hold off the first couple of frosts and we picked the last one right before the frost got them in Feb.
    Other things you can try are building a quick and dirty hoop house over them in the fall when it cools off with plastic sheeting and thin pcv pipe as struts or put a line of step-in metal fence posts down the row and make a “tent” shaped one, picking the ones that are almost ready and ripening them in with your tomatoes, or you can eat them immature, although they’ll have less zing, I’m sure. If you can’t find seed try using ones from the jalepenos in the grocery store. Ya never know until you give it a try.

    • alaskan454 says:

      Thanks for the suggestions. One way or another, I’ll have my fresh veggies, with enough left over to can.

      I’m zone 7 here, first frost in late October or early November.

      If all else fails, I can buy jalapeños locally. Habaneros are nowhere to be found, though, which is why I ordered the six plants from HD. They are scheduled to be delivered tomorrow, and I already have the pots ready for them to go into. Hopefully the research I found about them producing year-round if kept warm is accurate. I used my last ones in the rice I made yesterday.

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