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Old 10-12-2017, 11:05 AM
1 posts, read 220 times
Reputation: 10


I am new so please forgive me if this is a subject that has been trampled to death and I am just ignorant of how to find what I am looking for.

This past year was my first time growing tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers from seed. I started out with 48 of each and ended up with 12 tomato, 4 eggplants, and 9 pepper plants. I was thrilled with how wonderful my babies performed. My problem is I don't know when is the best time to start seeds in Zone 6b-7a. Also do I need growing lights and heat maps? If so, where is the best place to buy them?

I appreciate your help.
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:49 AM
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
1,259 posts, read 487,522 times
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Hi Ballerina. Welcome to the forum and to vegetable gardening. I've always said that growing your own veggies isn't really any better for your physical health, but it does wonders for your mental health.

I start tomatoes & peppers indoors around the end of Feb/early March. Peppers especially seem to need an early start. I've never used heating mats, and we keep our house on the cool side (64*).

The seeds don't need light to germinate, but growing lights will make them grow more vigorously once sprouted. With a window with good southern exposure, you may get by without extra lighting, but the plants tend to get "leggy"-- tall & spindly.

Also, make sure your plants are well ventilated to help minimize risk of mold killing 'em.

Transplant outside after the last frost. Be patient; don't rush it (and don't ask me how I know that. Fools learn from their mistakes. Wise men learn from the mistakes of fools.).
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:51 AM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
27,528 posts, read 48,700,247 times
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Same here, and we plant in a greenhouse window facing south, so the seedlings get light from the top, front and sides. I will also rotate them every few days. Most years I plant them into the ground Mother's Day weekend, that is almost always after our last frost, but in 8B so you may need to wait another week or two. They don't really take off until it stays above 50 at night, and if you rush it they will usually survive but may never catch up. This year I've been surprised to still be getting tomatoes and cucumbers now, though this morning we went below 40 (38F).
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