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seeds Going bigger for 2022

I just started my seeds for 2022 today. I typically do like 10 varieties a year, 3 of each plant, for around 39 total. Mostly the superhots like ghost, Reapers, and scorpions.

I mostly make hot sauce with them, we also have a large veggie garden, so pretty much everything in the hot sauce comes from our backyard other than vinegar and salt. I also dehydrate whatever else I don't use. I just make it for fun, giving it to friends and family, but it is expensive buying a couple hundred jars every year.

This year, I decided to try to fund my hot sauce making by selling excess plants. I have ordered 16 varieties this year, and have around 15 seeds for each one. So I'll keep my usual 30 or so plants, but will sell the rest on Facebook or Kijiji locally.

I have about a hundred plants that I started today, and still have about that many seeds left in the packets. As these sprout and get established, I'll move them outside to my greenhouse, and then start the next ones.

This is going to be new to me. The last couple years, I wasn't very happy with the germination rate I was getting, under 50%, my temperatures and moisture were pretty good I think, but I never pre-soaked the seeds. This year I pre-soaked them for 24 hours in a water and chamomile tea solution.

I'm trying out using these red beer cups, I punctured the bottom on all of them, and also cut all the way around about 95% of the bottom, about an inch up, just leaving one thin section on either side. I do this because the last couple of years I've had problems when I move these into my raised beds, with pill bugs/roly-polies, eating my young seedlings. Last year I used these red beer cups and that stopped them completely, but by then I had already lost several seedlings. So this year I'm growing them from these right away. The idea is, that I can just snap those two little remaining sections when I go to transplant them into the garden, so there is no longer a bottom on the cup, and the cup sides will still be there to protect the plants from the bugs.

Anyway, excited for another growing season. Here in Southern Ontario I still have about 3 months until these can go in the ground. I have around 10 over wintered plants in the greenhouse that still look good too.
 

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PaulG

Extreme Member
The idea is, that I can just snap those two little remaining sections when I go to transplant them into the garden, so there is no longer a bottom on the cup, and the cup sides will still be there to protect the plants from the bugs.
Are you planting the cup into the ground and just
letting the roots grow out the bottom? If that is the
case, interesting strategy. I hope you will post a
grow log so we can see how that works for you.
 
Yes, the bottom 1.5" of the cup will be cut off. Last year I had done a more traditional grow in small pots, then remove and place direct in the ground. As the pill bugs started decimating my plants I put red cups like this around them, buried about an inch deep in the ground, so sticking up maybe 2-3" above the ground. That kept them away, and the plants did great after that. I think the plants will only need to go down about 1-2" to get around the cups, hopefully that is doable.

This is what they looked like early in the growing season last year.

20210706_122256.jpg
 
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On the land i grow my vegetables we have an infestation of mole crickets, they are quite rare in my country but on the plot i garden there are a gazillion of them. They are some big ass and destructive creatures wich have the tendency to destroy anything what was just planted or sowed and especially when there is some potting soil involved they will go all out! I use pieces of pvc pipe about 15 cm in length and 80 or 100 mm in diameter, wich i put arround the new plants.. Just push them in the ground arround your plant about halfway in and your plants will be safe.

Couldn't find a clear picture, but if you zoom in you can see the pipes on the bottom of the plants:
IMG_20210907_201824.jpg
 
Good idea, I'll have to try that if these cups don't work out well.

We're at least fortunate here that an 18 inch chicken wire fence around the perimeter of the garden is sufficient to keep the rabbits away, which are the main problem we have for larger animals. The cats usually get the remaining rabbits that find a way in. We haven't had issues with racoons, and we're in the city so no deer to deal with. Glad I don't need to net each bed like you have there.
 
Good idea, I'll have to try that if these cups don't work out well.

We're at least fortunate here that an 18 inch chicken wire fence around the perimeter of the garden is sufficient to keep the rabbits away, which are the main problem we have for larger animals. The cats usually get the remaining rabbits that find a way in. We haven't had issues with racoons, and we're in the city so no deer to deal with. Glad I don't need to net each bed like you have there.
I don't net everything, the main pests arround here are rabbits, birds and in the winter rats and mice gnawwing away on my carrots. I use the plastic hoops regurarly though. Sometimes fitted with insulation fleece cloth or clear plastic in early spring and as pictured with nets. Mostly only in the early stages of a grow.
The reason for netting my sweet peppers last year was because of people stealing my peppers... :evil:
I garden at a alotment/community garden and not many people grow peppers here, but they tend to like them...
 

Downriver

Extreme Member
...I do this because the last couple of years I've had problems when I move these into my raised beds, with pill bugs/roly-polies, eating my young seedlings.

Interesting idea with the cups. I'm just wondering if pill bugs are your problem. Pill bugs are not known for eating living, green stuff. They thrive in moist, damp, decaying matter. Have you actually seen them on the plants feeding? If not, what kind of damage are you seeing?
 
Interesting idea with the cups. I'm just wondering if pill bugs are your problem. Pill bugs are not known for eating living, green stuff. They thrive in moist, damp, decaying matter. Have you actually seen them on the plants feeding? If not, what kind of damage are you seeing?
I was shocked too, because I've never seen those as pests before, always friends. But they were quite visible gnawing on the stems of the plants until they tipped over, then they would eat the rest of it.

We always refresh the soil in our raised beds with new compost heavy soil each year as well, so it's not like they had lack of other food.

They went after my pepper plants, and green beans. Most of my other plants had thicker stems already, and we're not affected.
 
Great thinking on the cups, hope they solve your problem this year. I've been using a similar "double cup" strategy for quite a few years now for plants that really hate to be transplanted/plants that don't have enough time to really bounce back in our short growing season if they go into shock. Not 100% relevant to your thread, but it reminded me of one of the tricks I use in my garden. Left cup goes into the right cup, gets filled with dirt and seeded, right cup keeps the dirt in while allowing drainage, and when the plant's ready, the left cup gets buried and has plenty of room for the roots to come out the sides and bottom. Like to use wax coated paper cups for this, so I don't gotta deal with pulling plastic cups outta the dirt, and I can just till what's left of em back in. Right cups have held up well for re-use since I started doing this.
1.-cut-slits.jpg
 
Great thinking on the cups, hope they solve your problem this year. I've been using a similar "double cup" strategy for quite a few years now for plants that really hate to be transplanted/plants that don't have enough time to really bounce back in our short growing season if they go into shock. Not 100% relevant to your thread, but it reminded me of one of the tricks I use in my garden. Left cup goes into the right cup, gets filled with dirt and seeded, right cup keeps the dirt in while allowing drainage, and when the plant's ready, the left cup gets buried and has plenty of room for the roots to come out the sides and bottom. Like to use wax coated paper cups for this, so I don't gotta deal with pulling plastic cups outta the dirt, and I can just till what's left of em back in. Right cups have held up well for re-use since I started doing this.
1.-cut-slits.jpg
Very cool, but I don't have the patience to cut up 200 cups like that :)
I've got somewhere around 80 plants that have sprouted so far, and another 100 or so peppers planted in cups. I just started some tomatoes as well.
They are all looking pretty good so far. I've got them on 4 different shelves in the basement, with heat pads under the ones yet to sprout. They are also all around the furnace and water heater for some "free" heat as well.
A few more in the greenhouse, testing to see how they adapt to it.
 

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Seedlings are coming along pretty well. I've been moving them into the greenhouse outside as they get bigger.
Today I transplanted a few into 5 gallon buckets, and repotted the overwintered plants from last year.

I also got the garden beds mostly prepped, just some manure left to pickup on the weekend to work in.

I have about a dozen seedlings in the basement that have done basically nothing. They sprouted, have their original 2 leaves, but have been like that for almost a month. Not sure why. Same variety right beside them are 4 inches tall with dozens of leaves.
 

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