Too late to start tomatoes and peppers from seed in my area?

justin_linker(7)May 16, 2010

Hello, I got a late start on my garden this season. I was wondering if it's too late to start my tomato and pepper plants from seed? I live in North Carolina and it doesn't get cold until mid-October. I was actually able to germinate a watermelon seed in October last year outside and it looked great (unfortunately it met it's fate from a cat that scratched up a few plants)

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hi - here is a link to the same question from further down the page. It is from someone in zone 5-6 and the consensus is that it is too late for them so unfortunately I fear it is even more "too late" for you IMO. Peppers especially - they take a good 8 weeks from seed before they go to the garden.

But nothing says you can't experiment and give it a try. I just wouldn't count on them for production - buy some plants this year. Good luck.


Here is a link that might be useful: Too late to start?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 2:21PM
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laura21774(7 Central/Western MD)

Yup probably a little too late for you. I started mine about the second week of March and they're just now ready

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 3:59PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

justin_linker ,

OK don't anyone throw toms at me :-)) I would try it. Take your tom and pepper seeds and put them in a glass of warm water 24 hours. Then put the seeds on wet paper towel in a zip bag. Keep them warm. If you have a gas stove with a pilot light in the oven keep them in there with a BIG note on the door so you do not cook them. Check them everyday for roots. When you see roots put them in very moist seed starting mix (NOT jiffy pellets) -- keep the seed mix moist but not wet. Put the whole thing back in the oven and check every day until you see green sprouts as soon as you see sprouts put them under lights or in a really sunny window. I just did this with Jimmy Nardello pepper seeds and from start to seedling leaf stage took me 8 days. I used seed starting heat mat not gas oven. I do have them under shoplights on seed starting heat mat. I keep the seed heat mat on 24/7 and the lights on 16 hours a day. I expect to plant them out in a protected 2-liter soda bottle greenhouse in 2 weeks. Will it work?? Do not know never did this before.

*Why no jiffy pellets?? I find seedling leaf are better able to sprout in seed starting mix and that may save you several days IMHO.
*No gas oven with pilot light?? Put them on top of the fridge if it is warm up there. The seeds on wet paper in zip bag must be kept at least 70 degrees IMHO.
*Protected soda bottle - cut bottom from a green 2-liter soda bottle and punch the entire bottle with holes for air. Put this over plant and keep in a slightly shaded area for few days until plant is large enough to uncover.

As we do not know what part of North Carolina you are in - can't really tell if you will have enough time. I am in Central Virginia and I fully expect Jimmy Nardello peppers in August my first frost is usually not until first part of Novermber. If you are in Central or Southern NC you should give it a try - it is only May 16 today!

DL (who likes to experiment)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 5:36PM
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Give up and buy plants (lots of good sales this time of year.) Start seed early next year,Lots of work and NO reward for starting seed now IMO. Plants will produce a good crop if planted now. GOOD LUCK Bill

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 5:59PM
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Dave, why would it be "more too late" for someone in zone 7 than someone in zone 5-6? He would have a longer growing season, no?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 7:38PM
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