When to start tomatoes in relation to peppers

esox07February 2, 2014

I am getting ready to start my pepper seeds soon. I was going to start a few tomatoes as well. Should I start them at the same time as the peppers, sooner or later? I think they are some heirloom variety but I don't know the particular variety for sure.
Bruce

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woohooman

I usually start them about the same time I start my annuums. 8 or so weeks prior to harden off. Tomatoes are much like peppers as seedlings -- if you need to pot up, you pot up with no consequence. Even at 12 weeks and they start developing buds, just pinch those off when planting.

You going to try it in the 5-1-1, Bruce? I'd be interested to find out how tomatoes perform if you do.

Kevin

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 12:39AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Bruce, I am going to hold on for tomatoes for a couple of weeks more. My thinking is that tomatos grow faster than most peppers. For someone who has the resource, can start 8 week ahead of LF date. I will have to go by 6 weeks.

Kevin, all my peppers are going be in pots. And I am going to use some modified version of 5-1-1.
For seed starting, I use a mixture of starter mix, screened pine fines, perlite, and some MG potting mix ( ~1/10 th) which has some food in it.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 2:57AM
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tomt226

I always start tomatoes on Feb 1st, to be set out in late March. I used to set'em out earlier, but I lost too many to late northers. Even wrapped with row cover.
There's nothing between Texas and the North Pole but a barbed wire fence, and that blew down a few years ago...

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 6:54AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Tom, That make sense. Your timing is like 7 to 8 weeks.

Although my LF date is around first week of April, and there is no danger of frost thereafter, but it will be too cold for tomatoes at nights for some time. So I have to keep them potted for a while and shelter them in cold frame if needed. I am also going to build portable hoop to cover some pepper and tomato seedlings at nights for a while.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 9:09AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I'm starting peppers the second week of February.

I'm starting tomatoes the third week of March.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 1:07PM
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esox07

Thanks guys. I will be giving most of the starters to my mother but will probably plant 4-5 of them in my above ground garden in the back yard. It gets too much shade any more for my peppers. I am hoping the tomatoes do better. I will probably start my tomatoes mid to late February. LF is end of May here but I may be able to get them out earlier if I use the cold frame cover on top of the above ground garden.
I am gonna start my peppers within a week probably. At least the super hots and other slower growers.
Bruce

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 1:58PM
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tomt226

seysonn,
Hoop house is a life saver. Row cover is good, but plastic seems to keep more heat in. However, you have to be careful if you leave the house on a sunny day as plastic cover can get over 100 degrees quickly. Row cover won't do that. You can also warm up your soil by covering with black weed-block. It'll also allow the heated ground to radiate back into the covered area at night.
I built a temporary greenhouse a few years ago which I sold last year to the owner of Texas Lavender, just down the road. I can send you more detailed pics and some dims if you contact me by email. Easy to build and break down. Only three frames, and EMT stringers. Two doors. It was screwed to a deck and withstood 70 MPH winds.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 4:07PM
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bham_gardener

I always start peppers on 1/1, and tomatoes on 3/1. The peppers get planted out in early May, while the tomatoes stay inside until early-to-mid June. Kind of strange, I know, but that's the way we have to do things here in the wet pacific northwest.

I've found that tomatoes grow a lot faster than peppers, so they get too leggy and scraggly if I start them a long time before planting out. I've never had a problem with peppers getting leggy, they seem to really benefit from the longer time indoors under lights and with warmth.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 4:47PM
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esox07

Hmmm, thanks folks, I guess I will be holding off a while on the Tomatoes then. I was thinking about planting them along with the peppers over the next week or two, but now I think I will wait until the end of the month or into March..
Bruce

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 5:06PM
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sandysgardens

Bruce,

I usually start the bulk of my tomatoes the first week or so of March. They are always a nice size by mid/end of May for planting with nice stalks....

Sandy

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 8:19PM
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esox07

Sandy,
I will probably plant them early March. You are in the same growing zone area as me and I was kind of thinking the same thing.
Bruce

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 9:14PM
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ottawapepper

Bruce,

I'm in zone 5a and usually start mine around March 1. Any sooner, they get in the way of my pepper starts ;-)

Bill

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 9:23PM
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esox07

OK, first week of March it will be. Peppers are going to get started this week.
Bruce

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 9:26PM
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bham_gardener

Bill,

I agree, the tomatoes grow so fast that they outpace the peppers under the lights, and then you're left with an comfortable choice about moving the tomatoes, buying more lights, or sacrificing something. The one year I started the peppers and tomatoes at the same time, I had to sacrifice the tomatoes and start over. Always hard to do that with little seedlings that you've been nurturing for months!

James

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 11:48PM
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scents_from_heaven(z9b Orlando FL)

Being in zone 10 I have a little head start on those of you up north. Seeds went into their cups this week and though we will have more cold weather until April I will be ready to plant in April. We will see how the weather goes.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 2:17AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Very good to see that like the mother nature itself we all all getting ready to get into germinating and sprouting mood again

I have already started all my pepper, (a bit early though) and I will get on with the matoes in another two weeks or so. This week we will have freezing colds again. I think the ol'man winter still ruling and wont let go for some time to come. But I believe will will depose him.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 8:15AM
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pepperdave

6 weeks before setting out is what I do. They grow Quick ,10 weeks for most peppers. I start my tomatoes April 1st to go out may 15th ,Peppers go out 2 weeks later along with egg plant . 8 weeks for egg plant

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:00PM
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esox07

I get my peppers out last of May. I just started my peppers today and was thinking about my tomatoes in early March...I hope that isn't too soon. Hmmmm............
Bruce

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:26PM
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FANATIC79

Just my two cents. I'm in zone 5b I will plant my super hots this weekend and the mild peppers (Serrano heat down) around Presidents day. Tomatoes I will dense plant them 2nd-3rd week in March (usually a few days before the NCAA tourney starts). 2 or 3 weeks later I separate the tomatoes into their own pot. I plant everything in the garden on Mothers day weekend. Last year I got a late start on the tomatoes planting them around April fools day and they were 4-6 inches tall and stocky. My neighbors plants were huge in comparison but it didn't take long for mine to catch up and pass the others in size and volume. That is a huge benefit to growing your own pepper/tomato, aside from variety.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 5:23PM
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esox07

Fanatic79: That is pretty close to the schedule I have planned. I just planted my super hots yesterday, my more mild (annums) will go in about two week from now and I was thinking early March for the tomatoes but seems like most of the recommendations are a bit later than that. I guess I am just a little to anxious there as it is my first time growing them.
Bruce

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 12:18AM
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flipback23(9 SF Bay)

All this talk has me worried did I start my tomatoes to early now lol. Right now my peppers are about 2/3 the size of my tomatoes. I have all of them under grow lights in my garage.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 11:11AM
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esox07

zone 9, bahhhh, you will probably have them in the ground in a month or so.
Bruce

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 6:01PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I agree with the idea that tomatoes should be started about four weeks after annum peppers. This is a picture of my tomatoes at seven weeks old. They were 15-18 inches tall in quart sized containers -- a little too large to stay healthy under lights indoors. Since it was still a little cold for them to be happy outdoors, I had to plant them using WOWs, and they were even a little too tall for those.

I'd prefer to have them under 12 inches at plant out. Peppers started two weeks before these tomatoes were short and stocky and able to go another three weeks until the proper plant out date. These were all grown under t5 high output lights. When I grew under shop lights, they didn't grow so fast. So your timing depends on how you grow them.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 7:02PM
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dac596(5b)

Starting annuums first week of March, Maters third week of March. LF is mid May here.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 4:20PM
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esox07

Thanks guys, I will probably be starting my "maters" mid March as well... maybe late march. I just planted the last of my peppers today (annums).
Bruce

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 6:04PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

After so many flip flop on starting matoes here is my final answer:

First week of March. (my final answer. haha)
This should give me 6 weeks till taking them outside and start hardening off.

This post was edited by seysonn on Mon, Feb 17, 14 at 18:44

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 6:13PM
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