Since I live in Texas, it is necessary to sew seeds a little bit sooner than you would do further North. The last frost date for my area is March 15th and it’s usually pretty safe to plant outside any time after that. You can look up your frost date on The Old Farmer’s Almanac website.
I sewed the seeds using the Jiffy tomato greenhouse starter kit (for my tomatoes) and the smaller Jiffy greenhouse (for my peppers) on January 31, 2015. Everything else I plan to plant in the Spring/Summer garden can be directly sewn.
It was pretty easy to use these two products. You just fill the tray up with the recommended amount of water and wait for the peat pellets to rise. Once they have been fully saturated, you just pull back the netting and fluff the pellet a bit. Then it is as easy as poking a small hole and dropping in the seeds!
I put 3 tomato and 3 pepper seeds in each pellet. Then, I just put the lid back on them and let them be! I tried not to disturb them to much. But, the anticipation was excruciating! I did sneak a peek at them a few times!
After 5 days the tomatoes germinated! I had an excellent germination rate and just about all the seeds germinated!
The next day nearly all of the seedlings stood up!
On Day 8 it became more noticeable that the Kanner Hoell tomatoes were growing twice as fast as the Italian Heirlooms.
And by day 15 things were growing up nicely! I kept the light approx. 2 inches away from the plants at all times. I had to water them a lot once they started growing. Some days, I had to water them twice a day! The temperature was cold outside during this time and therefore the temperature under the light was a bit cool too. It ranged from 65° to 70° during this period. But, from what I understand that is an ideal temperature.
At this point, the pepper had not started to grow. A few had germinated, but…they have a much slower germination rate. I kept a heating pad set to low under the peppers. I read they like warmer soil temperatures. So far, so good!
Please note; the images and links above are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. If you do purchase through my affiliate link, THANK YOU! You’re helping to not only support my garden…but, to you’re aiding in saving the heirloom seeds!