New to Container Gardening & Seed Starting, Need a bit of Advice

kasperc2March 17, 2013

Hey everyone!

Okay so I am very new to seed starting and container gardening, in fact this is my first garden. I've done a ton of research on ways to start seeds and grow in containers, but I've come across a few problems and wonder if there are any creative fixes using my tight college student budget.

I am experimenting, possibly a bit too much as I am seed starting earlier than I should, but so far most of it is turning out well.

Okay so for the questions... I have a 20 cell windowsill seed starter with a dome that has lettuce, peas, tomatoes, parsley, and peppers. The lettuce sprouts have come up just great, as well as the peas. The peppers are still a no show (been a week, to be expected), and the parsley is a no show yet (to be expected).

The tomatoes have sprouted but they seem a bit of a burnt red in color which seems weird? did they die? or have yet to mature? very odd...

Also my lettuce sprouts are beginning to lean to the sun towards the window, but I can't afford an overhead light yet, what's a temporary or long term fix? So far I just rotate them each day so they bend back and forth but I feel like that will make them weary, or am I wrong?

Also when is the best time to thin and transplant seedlings to small pots (before ground)?

Lastly, I bought a basil plant from a grocery store, put it in a bigger container, watered it, put it in the windowsill as well, harvested it, and now as it continues to grow, it just isn't looking so healthy, I know that could mean a lot of things but any basil growers have any tips?

Sorry for the long post but thanks! =)

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Sounds like you are doing good. I would just keep rotating, they won't get weary. Not sure what's up with the tomatoes. No reason they should die if everything else is ok. What do the directions say about removing the dome? I would probably remove it if most of the seeds are up. Just keep the seed mix moist, not wet. Try not to water too often. Just my .02

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:31PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Too early for basil! It likes heat!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 10:00PM
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Basil should be grown in a position that receives a good amount of sunlight - around 6-8 hours a day. Basil can be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill or outdoors in containers or soil. If growing outside try and position the Basil in a sheltered spot that avoids cold winds. It does like a fertile soil that has been welll dug to allow good soil air circulation. Introducing well rotted organic compost or manure into the soil a month or so before sowing will help this.

If growing in pots then a general purpose compost is a suitable soil solution.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 3:17AM
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