That is just weird, unless it is really cold---
you can keep transplanting tomatoes into bigger pots, burying them deeper each time---roots will grow from the stems. You should have had leaves a long time ago. They like warmth, and nights above 50 degrees, but as long as its above freezing you won't kill them. They also like strong sunlight and a lot of moisture. If they're just in peat they don't have much nutrition; perhaps they need some real soil or some pearlite. I like to start mine up on top of the refrigerator where it is warm and they are close to the florescent light.
Maybe you need a warmer place or a stronger light.
You could take them on field trips outside and bring them back in if its too cold at night....
Out of the different tomatoes I have started this year, I have one seed that has been really slow to get started--I think it is a plum tomato for drying. Its growing, but not very fast. It could be the variety of tomato.
I'm in zone 7 and its been warm for at least a month now. It is usually in the 80s in the day and 50s at night . All of my tomatoes have been outside for several weeks. Just yesterday I buried them a little deeper ; they must have been about eight inches tall except for those slow ones, some even bigger than that..
This year I'm using my worm 'fertilizer" and my plants are very happy with it.
Now what to do to keep my spinach from bolting?
Maybe I shouldn't buy my seeds from Burpees
More plant food and light . We have not had enough sun .
Here is a third recommendation for that Square Foot Gardening book. Mel'ss' Mix is 1/3 vermicculite (not cheap, try a greenhouse supply), 1/3 peat moss (also try a greenhouse supply since it is light and you ship via weight), and 1/3 compost from multiple sources (since single-sourced compost tends to not have complete plant nutirents.) You can use just plain compost, in a pinch. Look into any local composting facilities - municipalities often compost their yard waste and sell it back to citizens for very little money. For example the city of Columbia, SC, sells all the compost you can haul in a pickup truck for $30. We mixed that with bagged cow manure. THere are lots of horse farms nearby, and we hope to get some manure there this year. We will be careful to try for manure with very little straw, as it can be a problem. The next book I am recommending tells why.
I highly recommend "Gardening When it Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times" by Steve Solomon. He warns about all kinds of newbie farmer mistakes like adding too much woody material, straw, or grass clippings (which can smother young plants with the gasses produced when the carbon breaks down.) And one of the best parts about that book is he used to be a commercial seed grower and he recommeds reputable seed companies for various growing zones.
Johnny Oxygen, we are on the border between (revised) USDA zones 8 and 9. Tomoatoes we started indoors did poorly due to not enough light - and too much moisture: they got grey mold in the tray. In the Carolina midlands, though, we could plant more outside three weeks ago and did so. They are doing fine. Our seeds from the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange have done extremely well, by the way - much better than the ones we bought at the big box store. For cheaper things like radishes, basil and leaf lettuce, however, you cannot go wrong with the inexpensive seed packets at your local Dollar General. We got those 3 packets for $1 on sale last year. Steve Solomon lets you know how much of your seed will be viable after longer term storage. Always get extra seed. Things happen: droughts, insects, wildlife...it pays to have extra.
Can we start (or is there already) a forum/topic dedicated to sharing experience in this department? I for one have learned a lot, much of it the hard way, and it would be nice to be able to share info back and forth, sort of get everybody up to the same speed, growing-wise.
One thing I learned real quick is that the zones don't mean as much as I thought. Our area has lots of "micro-climates" that make the zones kind of moot.
On starting from seed, I've found that a solid start makes for a fast-growing, healthy plant whereas a slow starting plant may never be productive. I'm now doing multiple seed starts, spaced out over a couple weeks, and then selecting the best individuals to plant out. We start 2-3 plants per plastic cup. The blend I've had really good luck with is 25% native soil (soil from the bed the plant will go into), 25% sterile potting mix from the hardware store, and 50% perlite for excellent drainage. I've also used 50% horse manure (well composted) and 50% perlite with great results.
Don't use the bagged soils with added fertilizer! It's getting hard to find regular potting soil, and the added fertilizers have burned many of our seed starts.
You can get huge bags of perlite at hydroponics outlets for pretty cheap. Those are the stores that cater to "indoor gardening", which is apparently pretty common here in CA. The guys at the one I go to are actually very helpful.
The other thing to do is test your water for pH and disolved solids. Our well water is pH 8.5 and 350 ppm, making it less than ideal for some plants. I've started using collected rainwater (pH 6, 30 ppm) and RO water (pH 7, 30 ppm) for young plants, and it has helped. As the plant grows, it can handle higher ppm's.
Last thing- I found that plants can handle too LITLLE fertilizer far better than too MUCH. I go 1/4 strength on most of the fertilizers, if I use them at all, I try to build the soil instead. Burnt plants don't recover nearly as well as deficient plants.
Sure, I love the gardening and permaculture threads---
Did Everyone see this great, short talk on do it yourself hardware?
(video embedded per your request, akamai mom - Adam)
check this out. Machinery on the cheap. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GEMkvT0DEk&feature=youtu.be
That is very interesting.
I really wish he wouldn't have worn that shirt/jacket. I thought he was from the future and it scared me.
I just found this forum and although it seems inactive for the last couple of years, I wanted to recommend the Small Farmer's Journal for a well written philosophy of living sustainably and provides a lot of support for horse powered farm work. Although the request for a list of items to start farming has hopefully been fulfilled already, another source is a book called Starting Your Farm. Both the Journal and the book are written by Lynn Miller from Sister's Oregon. Since I live in Western Oregon, I like the local source but he has articles from all over the world discussing how horses use no oil and help fertilize the land.
You can call them at 800.876.2893. My plans are still getting going with only about two acres to take care of but I am looking forward to getting started.
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