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strong seedlings...

Posted by gmanar 7 ( on
Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 20:05

Hi All,

I am a new gardener. Last year was my first. It was good but the store bought tomatoes and peppers were the worst. I agree it could be me ... but i think they were very poor plants.

I wonder if any of you have some recommendations (near concord mills mall) for some place that sells tomato/pepper plants which are healthy and well cared for.

I dont have a very big garden, but i have place for 6 tomato and 6 pepper plants. If any one is starting seed, can please start some extra for me please...would it be too much to ask for some extra.

I am sorry if i did ask for too much.
Waiting for it to get warm ! happy gardening !


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: strong seedlings...

I've been gardening my whole life and even I have grown tomatoes that tasted worse than what you can buy in the store. I don't think it's the seedlings fault, I think flavor depends a lot on the weather while the fruit is ripening and soil nutrition (they need medium to weak soil, not super rich).

The biggest problem with mass market seedlings is that often what the tag says is not what you'll end up with. Shop for healthy seedlings or start your own under florescent lamps - it is way easier but not necessarily cheaper.

Some tomato varieties can take cooler weather (Stupice is my favorite) but few peppers will so you would better off waiting a few more weeks before you start your seeds and grow them up together.

Only if we have a very early Spring will you have tasty early tomatoes - just because they might fruit early doesn't mean they will taste good. They taste best when we have warm days (not too hot) and cool nights. When the night time lows get above a certain temp the flavor doesn't show up as strong and often the fruit fail to ripen (thats why a lot of tom's fruit best before August and after the second week in Sept).

There is always rush to be the first person with a ripe tomato in the garden but the best flavor happens later and many times you'll see early started plants and late started plants looking the same when the true tomato season starts.

RE: strong seedlings...

Look for a local greenhouse that specializes in vegetable. They are all around. Ask others what is their favorite local greenhouse. If not in Concord, then Salisbury or Winston Salem (Myers Greenhouse on Highway 158 near Clemmons). Decide which tomato varieties you like best: red, pink, black etc. They all have a different taste. Some of the plants that produce a lot of fruit don't have very much taste (Better Bush or Early Girls). At the same time, some of the heirloom varieties don't produce as much fruit but the flavor is unreal (Brandywine or German Johnson). The same greenhouses will sell peppers and lots of vegetables. And quite often, they are cheaper than the big box stores.

RE: strong seedlings...

I don't think it was the plants either. I suggest that you go to the most convenient location and try again. It was probably the weather or poor soil conditions or both. I have been gardening here for nine years, but came from California where any fool could grow great tomatoes. It appears more problematic here. I suspect the humidity and not just the heat to be the problem. It is very hot but dry in central California where almost all of US tomatoes are grown. In Ca, you could let tomatoes ripen and pick as needed. Here, you need to pick a day or three before needed to ripen on a window sill or you will end up with a rotting mess on your hands so to speak.

Trianglejohn has long, vast experience here, but I question his comment about 'not super-rich soil.' I had great tomatoes when I over did it with rotted cow manure/bedding. I have gotten lazy and have had much poorer crops.

RE: strong seedlings...

Thanks everyone !
I will try to prepare well and do the best I can this time :)
I understand what you guys are saying, so i will just go to a good nearby nursery Christy's Nursery (heard good things about them from neighbors)- pick the best looking plants - and will see how it goes.

Thanks again !

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