New to starting seed indoor greenhouse questions.

vwwesty71(3)January 2, 2012

Hello everyone I just want to start out saying I'm a new member to gardenweb but have visited the site before and loved all the useful information on here. so to get to my questions: last year I bought a cheap $20 indoor greenhouse from fleet farm with the plastic cover over it. In case your interested here is a link - . last year i bought a heating mat for the seeds and i put it on the bottom and kept the seeds on the mat till they germinated which worked great. after that i moved them towards the top under the lights i installed. the peppers i started stayed quite small about 2-3 inches after 6 weeks and the tomatoes were not as big as i had hoped about 3-4 inches after 4 weeks but I'm new to this. is this normal? i am going to start quite earlier maybe the peppers the start of February and the tomatoes about mid Feb. i noticed that the temperatures in the green house fluctuated between 80 during the day and around 55 at night is this too much of a fluctuation or is this OK? Should i be more concerned about the temp of the soil? And if the temperatures need to be regulated better is there a better way to heat the bigger greenhouse then a heat mat? Any advice at all will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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I looked at your page to learn where you are growing. You should edit your post to show your zone, which will make a big difference in possible responses. As a zone nine gardener I would never offer any advice on when you should start your seedlings for your zone 3. You say your greenhouse is "indoors" with a fluctuation between 55 and 80 daily, your indoors must not be heated. The fluctuation should not be a problem, however. If you are able to get these temperatures without additional heat, why bother. Welcome to the GardenWeb and I will look for further postings. Al

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 11:57AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

What isn't clear to me from your post - " is there a better way to heat the bigger greenhouse then a heat mat?". The heat mat is for germinating seeds only, not to support the seedlings once germinated. For the most part, seedlings will grow better removed from the heat mat, bottom heat removed....if you are in fact leaving the trays of seedlings bottom heated?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 2:45PM
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Hard to say but i will say that in general 80 degrees day and 55 at night is OK. maybe a little low, but OK. Peppers grow slow. I have know people to throw them out when they were just doing there natural thing. they would like more heat but they should be OK. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 1:32PM
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I was in zone 3 until recently. I did a lot of gardening there. I had a HUGE greenhouse, but I started my seed indoors in a very sunny window in about late Jan or Feb depending on the seed. What is your elevation? Elevation makes a major difference in how fast your little plants grow. I doubt the temps are hurting the growth. Your daylight hours are also shorter in your zone. Of course, they are nice and long during the summer!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 12:23PM
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