Tuesday 5 March 2013

Seedlings - First Timer

Note: This post was written before I moved to my current location.  But no point letting it go to waste!
After years of buying plants from nurseries, I am attempting this year (2012) to grow most of my veggies from seed (with a considerable amount of help from my mother-in-law who is in-the-know about these things).  I planted ~100 tomato seeds (San Marzano plums, Amish Paste plums, Black Krim, and some Tomatillos – OK, I know they aren’t really tomatoes, but whatever).  I also planted about 30 pepper plants (assorted sweet peppers, jalapenos, Hungarian hot wax).

They were sown into Pro-Mix Seed Germinating soil, which I had pre-soaked in warm water to give them a good start.

Until the weather warms up a bit more, they need an indoor lighting set up to provide the necessary warmth and light for germination and growth.  Here is the setup we have at the farm – the sitting area gets rearranged every spring to accommodate the table and light!  The plants are spritzed daily to keep them moist, and left under or even on top of the light to maintain regular heating of the soil.  Our cat, Sugar Ray, enjoys the bit of warmth from the fluorescent lights, as they do not give off too much heat.

So only a week later, the tomatoes have started to sprout (no action from the peppers yet!).  I’m pretty excited about my first seedlings, but I need to baby them for a while yet (admittedly, my mother-in-law mostly takes care of them as I’m elsewhere working during the week) … they will likely need to be transplanted around mid-April, and won’t get into the garden until the first week of June depending on frost conditions.

They were transplanted into Solo cups with potting soil in April to get a bit more growth.

Then into the garden during the last week of May as we were experiencing a particularly warm period.  And here they are in mid-July in our new fenced-in garden area (see cardboard garden post).  Looks like they came out OK!  It’s the tomatillos that are the biggest (on the right side of the pic) but the Amish Paste and others are plenty big themselves (to the left and behind the tomatillos).

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