>Hi. I'm attempting (for the first time) to grow some tomatoes and
>peppers (in containers). I grew them from seed and transplanted them to
>larger containers. They don't seem to be doing too well.
How so? Tall and spindly? (That would indicate a need for more light,
and a little bit of excercise -- seriously, the plants do better if
brushed daily, which encourage stronger stems.)
Are the leaves yellowing? The plants could need fertilizer. (A product
formulated for seedlings, or some other liquid-soluable fertilizer at
half-strength. I like 'Roots for seedlings' or fish emulsion. It
could also be related to the potting soil. Some mixes are pretty
bad stuff -- unstabilized compost mixed with ??
I don't like to use anything other than Peter's Professional anymore.
>thinks the soil might be too compacted (what can I do about that??). The
>soil always seems to feel moist, so I am worried about overwatering.
You should probably wait for it to dry out part-way before waatering
again. If the soil pulls away from the sides of the containers, you
may have to put each pot in a basin and soak them to get them re-wet.
>Should I try to harden them off (I've read that isn't worth the
>trouble)? Anyone have any suggestions?
If they haven't been exposed to full sunlight, the plants can actually
get sunburned. It's really best to harden them off, as much as you
can reasonably manage. It's sunlight, more than temperature, that you
are hardening the plants to withstand. Take advantage of shade from
trees or buildings in 'scheduling' the hardening-off process. (That
way you won't have to be shuffling plants on an hourly basis to keep
them from sunburning.)
Pat in Plymouth MI