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Orange Minsk and Sophie's Choice - slow to start?

Posted by ajsmama 5b (NW CT) (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 14, 14 at 7:24

Sandpoint was a little slower to germinate (maybe it didn't get equal time on the heat mat - I didn't have room for everything at once) but are popping up now a week after seeding, so far 9 out of 12 (4 seeds per cell). But Sophie's choice in the same 6-pack only has 2 germinated. Orange Minsk sharing a 6-pack with Golden Queen (3 seeds per cell) has only popped 4 and no signs of any more coming, I think that 6-pack got a little more bottom heat, GQ has 8 out of 9 fully emerged.

Are these 2 varieties a little slower to germinate than the other 2 in the same containers?

My other Sand Hill tomatoes germinated days ago but since I didn't track how many hours each spent on my small heating tray, I think that may be just b/c they got a little more heat, or got it earlier on.

I can give it a few more days to see if these germinate, since I just started them last Sunday, but was curious. And these are 2 that I really wanted to grow out since I've heard such glowing reviews. I got them started too late since I was sick the beginning of the month, and now plant-out date is only about 6 weeks away, so really not a lot of time to start over - though SC being an early determinate I may have some leeway with that.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Orange Minsk and Sophie's Choice - slow to start?

I was the person who introduced both Orange Minsk and Sophie's Choice by initially SSE listing them and neither one has ever been a germination problem for me, and that means regrowing them for seed stock many times when I was SSE listing them.

Glenn sells no seeds that are over two years old, so the seeds should be just fine.

No doubt I was the initial source of seeds for both varieties b/c each year I send to Glenn many new varieties that I think are worth while.

Best I can do on answering your question.


RE: Orange Minsk and Sophie's Choice - slow to start?

I would put it down to growing conditions (heat, moisture, maybe depth of seed) if it weren't for the others in same containers doing so much better. I *suppose* I could have covered those seeds a little bit more than the others but I don't think so.

I did something like Craig's dense seeding method in that I put the mix in the cells, wet it thoroughly with hot water, but then instead of sowing so many seeds like he does, I put 3 seeds on diagonal or 4 seeds in corners of each cell, sprinkled dry mix on top to cover, then gently misted from far above to wet the surface without moving the seeds. I did 3 cells at a time so that I wouldn't inadvertently mix the seeds up if I dropped one.

Do you think I should wait 3 more days or so, or reseed now?

All the other Sand Hill seeds have had between 67% and 100% germination already - 67% may seem low, but when you're only seeding 9 or 12 I don't think that's bad, and most had started to emerge by Friday after seeding on Sun but that's b/c they probably got more time on the heat.

I did have something similar happen with peppers though - some seeds in a particular cell would germinate fairly quickly, once a good number of them emerged I'd take them off the heat (I have the 3606s separated into 6 packs so that I can do this), then days (or even a week!) later I'd get more start coming up. I just potted up into individual cells and the difference in sizes just of a single variety (serrano was the worst, I thought I was only going to get 25% germination for a while!) are marked.

Sophie's Choice and Sandpoint pictured - I can see a few more SP coming, but nothing happening on the SC side. Sorry for the bad lighting

This post was edited by ajsmama on Mon, Apr 14, 14 at 9:07

RE: Orange Minsk and Sophie's Choice - slow to start?

Tomato seeds should be sown, just to the depth of the seed and loosely covered, any deeper and that may inhibit germination.

Right now what I'd do is to riffle the top of the mix on the Sophie's Choice side, and mist gently from time to time and see what happens.


RE: Orange Minsk and Sophie's Choice - slow to start?

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 14, 14 at 17:14

You have nothing to lose by waiting on the ones already planted. They almost always sprout. And at the same time stick a few new seeds in too. The worst that can happen is some extra plants. Not that they all have to be planted out at the same time anyway.


RE: Orange Minsk and Sophie's Choice - slow to start?

Running out of cell packs, I'll have to add seeds to the "empty" cells so I can pot up the ones that have germinated already w/o disturbing the newbies. Though once I start potting the indeterminates from March into 4" pots I'll have cells available - put Cosmonaut Volkov into individual cells today, those are some *sturdy* plants!

Thanks Carolyn - I will try raking them up a little with my fingernails, I did just barely sprinkle mix over top but maybe the surface got a little crusty (I try to keep misting it once a day now that dome is off).

SC being early det I can always plant stragglers out later, even in pots. I'm just afraid I won't get anything from OM if I have to start seeds again, since that's a later (though midseason?) variety. Oh, well, at least I have Golden Queen.

RE: Orange Minsk and Sophie's Choice - slow to start?

that is the reason why I germinate in paper towel and then transplant it to each cell, loosing too much space by those strugglers

RE: Orange Minsk and Sophie's Choice - slow to start?

1 more Orange Minsk today! I didn't even see the little loop yesterday morning. Hopefully we'll see some more action there and from Sophie soon.

I also noticed another pepperoncini sprouting and those seeds were started a month ago - of course peppers are notoriously slow to germinate.

Pouring here right now, snow and sleet predicted for tonight - the food pantry was going to start their garden tomorrow, I emailed the coordinator and said I didn't think it was going to be a good day to be digging - don't want to compact the soil. Everybody's going to have to wait a few days until things dry out.

RE: Orange Minsk and Sophie's Choice - slow to start?

It has happened to me just this year. Of some varieties just one sprouted. When I transferred it (with all the soil to a small pot, the rest of the seeds kept popping up. Not all the seeds (of anything) has the same germination power.
So I would think that the ones that come up fast and firs have better genes.

This post was edited by seysonn on Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 2:32

RE: Orange Minsk and Sophie's Choice - slow to start?

Another OM, so up to 6 out of 9 - and 1 empty cell, maybe those 3 are coming, that cell could have been off the edge of the heat mat (smaller than the flat). 1 Sophie's Choice barely showing so up to 3 out of 12 (if I can count my tomatoes before they're up LOL).

I will start more of those tomorrow with DD and her friend - they're growing tomatoes for a science fair project 5 weeks from now, plan on starting a few seeds every week up until a week before, so they can show growth (they'll also make a poster, but we thought it would be nice to have potted plants there too, I'm going to lend them some of the ones I started March 29 and May 6 so they have some older ones though not the same variety).

RE: Orange Minsk and Sophie's Choice - slow to start?

I did start 4 more SC and 3 more OM on the 17th, 2 of the OM (placed on diagonal crossing the old ones so I know at least 1 of them is from the 2nd planting, middle one could be either but I'm pretty sure it's from the 17th) are up though no true leaves yet - took less than a week.

But only 1 SC just barely showing TODAY. In the middle of the "empty" cell (put 3 seeds there and 1 in corner of a cell with 1 seedling) so not sure if it's from the 6th or the 17th but again I'm guessing the 17th. Since these are in 6-packs with seedlings that have a pair (or more) of true leaves I don't have them on heat but I am really surprised that SC is taking so long to germinate and so far I've only got 4 out of 15.

I guess since these are fairly early determinates, I could start a bunch more on paper towels just to see what the germination rate (percentage and time) is, put whatever comes up in pots if too late to plant in ground. WWYD?

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