Friday, April 14, 2017

Garden Seedlings

I do not have an elaborate set up for starting my seedlings. But, as it turns out, my definition of "elaborate" might be nothing more impressive than a grow-light.

I do not have a grow-light for starting my seedlings. Sometimes I think it might be nice to have a grow-light, but I'm not even sure where I would set it up.

Instead I make do with a sunny window.

Although I did get one of those Jiffy brand seed starting trays with the little pellets. Watching the pellets expand when you add water is fun.

My seedlings are doing well this year. I've only killed one so far! My gardening notes from last year include the observation that I "killed more seedlings than I care to admit." Still, my garden last year survived and thrived, despite me.

This year I bought some of those Burpee brand bio-degradable, cardboard pots for transplanting my seedlings as they grow. I'm trying to be diligent about stepping up their pot size so they can grow strong and steady.

I told myself I wasn't going to plant too many tomato plants this year. Last year I ended up with five or six tomato plants and it resulted in a glut of tomatoes at harvest time. I gave away at least two batches of tomatoes because I couldn't keep up.

Last year's tomatoes included ones I had started myself that I didn't think would survive and three strong seedlings my hairdresser gave me. Boy howdy, she has a green thumb. Her seedlings were at least as lovely as ones you would buy at the store. She said she sets them up on her dining room table and is transplants them on a regular basis.

I'm not planning to take any of her leftover seedlings this year as I want to keep things reasonable. However, despite this goal, if I'm interpreting the leaves correctly I seem to have four or five tomatoes going.


There is one plant I'm dithering about.

I started this big tomato seedling a few months ago. The original idea was to have a potted tomato to extend my fresh tomato growing time. However, I didn't start it early enough in the winter and we've bumped into normal growing time.

At this point I'm thinking maybe I'll go ahead and plant it in the garden in the yard and use one of the other seedlings for a potted plant. Or maybe I should start one in the summer so it is fruiting in the fall when my yard garden has died off.

One of these years I'll figure out this staggered growing times business!

This plastic, wheeled draw unit completes my seed-starting set up. My mom bought this for some reason when we first moved into the house. I had shoved it into the closet in the spare room since I didn't have a use for it.

Now I'm using it to support the tray my seedlings are on. As you can see, the windows come down rather low so the drawer until lifts the tray up into the sunlight. The seedlings on the top seem quite happy.

Starting seeds in the drawers doesn't seem to be working out very well. Perhaps they aren't getting enough sun. I thought being in the drawer would keep them warm. Many didn't seem to germinate and the ones that did are scrawny. I'm trying to get them out of the drawer, but there isn't any more room up top!

Without more room for my seed-starting efforts, I should probably direct sow my flower seeds.

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