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Starting seeds outside? Empty Starting seeds outside?

Post  hsmjmommy on 5/10/2010, 7:53 pm

Hi, I'm new to the forums and also new to SFG. I live in Buckeye, AZ which is just about 25 miles west of Phoenix. My children and husband put in 2 4x4 SFG for me yesterday for Mothers Day. I have been talking about SFG for quite some time but had no idea he was planning this so I didn't start any seeds indoors. Is it too late to start the seeds indoors and transplant them in a few weeks? Or can I just plant them directly from seeds into the SFG'S? Thanks in advance for your help! Starting seeds outside? Icon_biggrin
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Post  sjtapp on 5/10/2010, 9:11 pm

What plants are you considering?

Tomatoes take a long time to grow, so you may be better off buying plants to transplant this late. Squash and zucchini can be started from seed, but take up a lot of space.

Seed packets will usually tell you whether seeds need to be started indoors and transplanted or if they can be planted directly.

Hope this helps!
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Post  hsmjmommy on 5/10/2010, 9:17 pm

Ahhh hah, read the seed packets! I forgot all about that, thank you!

Oh and I'm planting tomatoes, cilantro, cucumbers, peppers, jalapenos, watermelon, green onions and regular onions.
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Post  sjtapp on 5/10/2010, 9:37 pm

This is my first year doing a SFG (or any garden!)

I bought a kit at Lowe's or Home Depot. It was an egg-tray looking thing with pellets that swell up when you add water. My seeds all sprouted well in it. When it comes time to plant your seedlings, you just separate the cells and plant them. There's no danger of damaging the roots and the cells break down letting the roots grow through.

I started too many seedlings (being new--I thought they wouldn't all sprout!) and ended up throwing some into the compost pile. Whatever those cells are made of decomposed very quickly in there.

Also, my peppers took forever to sprout--so, keep that in mind and don't give up on them.
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Post  jenjehle on 5/10/2010, 9:57 pm

Welcome to the forums! You'll love it here... lots of nice people with lots of great information!


What a wonderful, sweet gift from your family! You have some keepers there Smile

I'm no expert, but from what I can tell the only things you need to buy established seedlings of are peppers and tomatoes. I think you should be fine direct sowing the others.

Well, the regular onions you may want to use onion sets. Green onions you can put down seed. I sow seeds for green onions often all through the growing season. We don't eat them but my FIL loves them so I try to keep them growing for him.

Good luck with your new gardens! Feel free to come back often; read and ask questions. There's a lot of experience here on these boards!
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Post  Chopper on 5/10/2010, 11:36 pm

I am in so cal and am going to try to maintain a year round garden. We shall see. In the meantime:
tomatoes - buy plants
cilantro - definitely seed - anytime, they bolt fast in the heat so pick quickly and do succession planting - if you like coriander, wait for the seeds, otherwise pull it out and plant more
cucumbers - seed
peppers - buy plants
jalapenos - buy plants
watermelon - seed
green onions - seed
regular onions - sets if you can still find them

Good luck.
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Post  Lavender Debs on 5/11/2010, 10:21 am

Choppers advice is terrific. I went to find the regional host for the desert southwest and realized that there isn't one yet.

Here is the blurb from the National Gardening Association for your area (low desert)....
Gardening is a year-round activity in the low desert. Although damaging frosts can occur in December and January, they're usually not long-lived and gardening can continue uninterrupted. There are two growing seasons; a cool season and a warm season. Cool season plants such as broccoli and spinach are placed out in the fall for a spring harvest. Warm season plants such as tomatoes and peppers are planted in late winter for an early summer harvest. Little gardening is done during the hottest part of summer.

I've never been to Arizona. In the PNW we are still waiting for nights warm enough to let the tomatoes spend the night outside. Low desert reads to me as if you still have time for vines (beans, cucumbers, melons etc) and if you can find tomatoes or peppers in nurseries, they can also go in. Expect to water regularly. Until we find a native Arizona gardener, Chopper probably is your best resource. Her garden is probably in a cooler, wetter area then yours because of the ocean influence, but otherwise she is in the same "region" according to the national gardening association.

Don't forget that every year we learn something new, nothing is a failure, but, as Einstein is credited with saying, we just learn how not to do something next time. Things should grow well for you now, then it apparently gets really hot (really hot in the PNW is anything above 85 degrees, sooooo) then comes fall and cools season gardening.

Deborah .....you are in for an adventure......welcome!
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Post  hsmjmommy on 5/12/2010, 1:08 am

You are all too great, thank you for all your help!!
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Post  ASFx on 5/14/2010, 4:27 pm

When starting seeds outside, just remember to pay very close attention to your watering. the top layer of soil needs to be moist at all times at least until you see the true leaves develop and some roots have had a chance to form. Peat based soils like mel's mix can get very hard if allowed to dry in the sun which will halt germination, so spray the top layer several times per day, or configure your drip system to wet the top layer where the seeds are a couple times per day.
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