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Seed Starting Tomatoes & Peppers Indoors: Why, When & How, Cell Size, Fertilizing & More Explained

welcome to the rest of garden homestead

this is I think the ninth video in my

2020 seed starting series on how do you

start seeds indoors today I'm going to

show you how to get tomato started how

to get pepper started first part is

going to be talking answering a lot of

questions then we're going to get to

planting thinning these out and even up

fertilizing and feeding them so the

first question I get is do I have to

start tomato plants indoors and the

answer is no you don't have to start

them indoors

you could put seeds outside but if

you're going to put a tomato seed or

pepper seed outside you want to make

sure you have a long enough period of

time for them to fully mature produce

fruit but then you also want a good two

months after that for you to get a

continue to harvest and production you

don't want to just put a seed in the

ground when the temperatures are right

I'll talk about that in a second they

get to a size they produce a little bit

and then the cold comes and kills them

up so you would start tomatoes and

peppers indoors if your growing season

isn't long enough to get a full season a

production out of them

you also start them indoors so that you

get a good six weeks a month month and a

half of growth so then when you put them

out into your garden into the ground as

transplants you're going to get tomatoes

and peppers earlier to your table so

those are the two main reasons why you

would do that so I'm in Maryland zone 7

today is January 14th and it is way too

early to start these indoors

these are prop plants for the video that

I'm doing now and muscle doing an

experiment with a couple of these which

I'll show you in in future videos so

when do you start them indoors these are

warm weather plants tomatoes and peppers

you want the transplants to get into the

ground when the nighttime temperatures

are staying in the 50s and really when

the soil temperature itself is about 50

degrees or warmer so you want to have

some warm rains happening these have to

go out well after the danger of frost

comes because the frost comes it will

kill these off of course I do push these

and get them out sooner you could put a

closure on top of the

as a transplant or a glass face and get

them out sooner but I'll talk about that

in other videos so you want these to go

out into warm ground and then you want

the days to be you know the 60s or 70s

they love the warmth they're gonna grow

really fast in the warmth if you put

them out early you're gonna feel like

hey I got them out early but they're

gonna sit there and tomatoes actually

will turn purple you turn colors they

kind of just sit there and shiver so to

speak and don't thrive until that warmth

comes so tomatoes you can start them six

to eight weeks early so you figure out

so in Maryland zone seven let's say it's

May fifteenth when you have the right

nighttime and daytime temperatures you

count back four weeks that gives you a

pronoun the four weeks that gives you

March fifteenth so I start my tomato

plants typically in the beginning of

March this is it also in that six or

eight weeks that is growth so that's six

or eight weeks once they germinate they

can grow here about six to eight weeks

so tomato plants might take five to

seven days to germinate pepper plants

can take anywhere from seven to 21 days

to Germany the sweet peppers like these

tend to germinate more quickly and grow

quicker then these are actually scorpion

peppers from my garden that I test

germinated I'm going to be selling them

on my Sita they tend to grow smaller

they tend to germinate over a longer

period of time they may need 14 days and

they tend to grow much more slowly than

sweet peppers generally speaking I don't

know why but that tends to be a reason

so if you're growing a lot of hot

peppers you might want to start these 10

to 12 weeks before they go outside

because you have to give them more time

to germinate and they grow more slowly

so tomatoes six to eight weeks before

they would go outside peppers typical

peppers eight to ten weeks maybe some of

the super hot so hunters ten to twelve

weeks and that's how you figure out when

to start them indoors now again today is

January 14th these were started these

tomatoes were started on December 20th

so that's 11 days plus 14 that's 25 days

they took about five days to germinate

so this is 20 days worth of growth

almost you know three weeks so they can

you know certainly sit in here a good

three weeks and probably longer we'll

get to planning in a second these

Tomatoes went in on the 16th this pepper

one and on the 16th so these have a

little bit more time you can already see

that if you plan in a bigger container

and that's one of the questions do I

have to start in these small cells down

here and keep cutting up no if you're

not growing a lot of varieties of

peppers or you don't want a lot of

plants or Tomatoes start in these bigger

cells and they can stay in here at the

whole time the more roots space they

have the less watering you have to do

and the more quickly they're gonna grow

so these were started on December 20th

see how big they are two different

varieties and these were started five

days sooner and they're smaller that's

fine they can stay small because you're

just growing transplants and once they

get into the ground they're going to

take off I started the scorpion pepper

test on the 16th and the peppers here

are Cornetto gallos are various they're

delicious sweet peppers an all-america

selections winner and they went in on

the 20th so you can see you know they're

growing nicely too alright so that's

those are the main questions I get about

why when how to you know get them

started indoors we'll get to the how

actually now I'll show you how I set

them up and then make some decisions if

you want to use you know different size

containers you can do that so I know

I've shown this a thousand times I want

to just show you how to thumb pack and

get this set up I'll attach a playlist

of all the 20 20 seed starting videos if

you want to catch up and see what I've

been doing it's really important that's

why I like talking about this is you

don't just want to drop in your seed

starting mix one time and then let it go

you want to thump act it down you want a

nice well packed cell for your tomato

seeds for your pepper seeds or anything

that you're growing after you do that

put another layer on just scrape it away

and this is a great starting base for

your Tomatoes

peppers all right so we thumb packed the

seed starting mix it's also

pre-moistened then I talked about that

in my other videos so now you have to

decide how many tomato pepper plants are

you get to start if you know you have a

setup like me you want a grow light

station where you have the germinating

side this is where I put in the seeds to

germinate and get growing and then I

have my other side for when the plants

are bigger and you might notice the

lights on there or off because when your

plants are bigger they don't need as

much light so they get about 12 hours

there they get about 16 hours here when

they're germinating real quick you want

the lights to be about 1 to 3 inches

above your seed starts and you want your

seeds to germinate be hit by the intense

light and then stander they're you know

good 7 to 10 days depending on how

quickly they grow the more light they

get the nicer the more stocky they'll be

and they're not going to be tall and

leggy and be kind of reaching for the

light you want them hit by intense light

so you got to decide how many tomatoes

do I want to grow for my garden and

truth' the family for only needs about 3

tomato plants and maybe 4 or 5 pepper

plants depending on what you want to

grow so you may want to do something

like this start them in a bigger cell I

saw most of these seed starting supplies

at my seed shop this container is just

from I think Home Depot this is to put

under your your indoor house plants this

is how we water so once we seed start we

fill this up and it's good absorb water

from the bottom and I talked about that

any other videos on how often you do

that I like starting all kinds of

different tomatoes and peppers so I use

these 72 cells and then I pop them up

into bigger containers over time I move

them outside into a greenhouse do it a

bunch of different ways that's if you're

growing many varieties and you need a

lot nothing wrong with just doing

something like this 3 tomato plants 3

pepper plants you're good to go or you

could use containers like this however

you want to do it the planting is the

same so here are my peppers I like to

put 2 pepper seeds and 2 tomato seeds

in each cell no matter how big the cell

is and then I just use a popsicle stick

press them down about a quarter of an

inch I've done experiments where I push

them all the way to the bottom I've left

them on the surface the depth doesn't

really matter that much so we're just

pushing him in about a quarter of an

inch don't stress about that and that's

all you have to do to start tomatoes and

peppers indoors so once you have a whole

tray planted just cover it up we would

take this out fill it a quarter way with

water let the water absorb for about

twenty or thirty minutes if there's any

excess dump it out that gets them off to

a great start they would go right into

the grow lights they're gonna sit there

anywhere from 5 to 14 days to germinate

once they germinate I keep them under

there seven to ten days or so all right

so once you haven't planted these all

broke the surface somewhere between five

and ten days or something like that and

they've been growing about three weeks

let me show you how I send them out then

we'll talk about fertilizing so after

they've germinated they've been growing

about two or three weeks you want to

send them out to the strongest plant

these all look great so I'm not gonna

worry too much about it and you do have

to get in and you just cut out the

weakest plants you may not like doing it

but these are gonna get huge so just

send them out you don't have to be

overly gentle with them in fact they

don't mind being pushed around a little

bit that helps them kind of get stronger

it's like the wind going through here

and it really stimulates the plants I'll

just do this batch real quick

they're nice and healthy

now you could pull them out if you

wanted to but as you pull out the plants

as that root system comes out it may

damage the root system of the plant

you're keeping in there so this is six

tomato plants they look great we're

going to water them now there's more

than one pepper plant in here because I

was test germinating them so I'm not

going to do those let's do this tray so

take a look in there and you just cut

out the weakest looking pepper and he

germinated really well and just another

plug for my seed shop all these seeds

came from there all right so these are

thinned out I'll take care of the ones

over there so let me put it back in the

tray and we'll talk about feeding after

they've been growing after they've

germinated I always want to be clear

because sometimes your plants could sit

your seats could sit 7 to 14 days they

haven't germinated yet so it's about 2

weeks of growth after germination three

weeks growth you're gonna water them and

you're gonna water water them with a

water-soluble fertilizer and in the

previous video which I'll link I talked

about cutting those water soluble

fertilizers down until you're close to a

1 1 1 NPK you want very little

fertilizer I did a whole video on how

you can over love and damage your plants

just a little bit of fertilizer so the

plants here we're already fertilized I'm

not going to fertilize them again but

you get to give them and again there's

no fertilizer in the seed starting mix

I'll be doing a video on using worm

castings in there but the first video

series of the first videos in the series

was just the basics so this is just

basic starting mix your tomato seeds

your pepper seeds will live off of the

seed coat they will live off the light

coming in it's not until they get about

2 or 3 weeks or at the growth that you

have to worry about adding the

eliezer now you could use fish emulsion

this is a 5:1 one in P and K recommend

using half you really want to get these

numbers to a 1 1 1

even lower is perfectly fine they don't

need a lot of fertilizer because this is

not a large container it's not out in

the ground you don't want these

fertilizers to over concentrate in there

you may use the chemical type

fertilizers they're way too high this is

24 8 2 so you would cut this down in

half and half again and one more time

and really bring these numbers down you

just need a little bit of fertilizer

excuse me

so what you do I keep a fertilizer

gallon jug that's how most of the stuff

is mixed fill can fully full of water

and then just put in a dosing that

brings the numbers down to a 1 1 1 1 1 1

or lower and all I would do is fill the

tray about a quarter of the way this is

how I water this is how I feed and with

practice you get pretty good at putting

in the right amount of water so that you

don't have to dump it out if not after

20 or 30 minutes I would just pick this

up and dump it into a bucket so you get

to feed the plants just to recap about

two or three weeks after they germinated

if they're looking yellow feed them a

little bit sooner if not they can go

about 3 weeks and then you're going to

feed them every week or two depending on

the size when they're smaller every 2

weeks when they're larger every week if

your plants look like they're struggling

a little bit if they're starting to

yellow or they don't look right just

feed them sooner but keep that NPK ratio

really as close as you can to a 1 1 1

less is more when it comes to

fertilizing seed starts we change it up

when we get out into the garden hope you

enjoyed the video please check out the

playlist we'll bring you up to speed on

starting seeds indoors for 2020 and

please check out my seed shop thanks for

watching