Friday, March 13, 2009

Seedling Progress

I've started some broccoli, kale and yellow bell peppers this week.  I'm wondering whether I started some of the others too soon, but we'll make do with what we've got.  I potted these in newspaper pots, and no longer plan to use the peat pots I used earlier.  I prefer the individual pots (I got the peat pots that are 8-packs).  They're also cuter, they reuse old newspapers, and are free.  The 8-packs are also less convenient for tossing the ones that didn't germinate or aren't doing well.  I'll have to cut them up to keep the best seedlings, and they look like they might fall apart if I'm not careful.

The tomatoes (all varieties) are coming along nicely, most of the peppers have sprouted, and the artichokes are coming along.  I'm bummed that not all of the "California Wonder" peppers have sprouted--I only have 3-4 good ones.  These were supposed to be nice sweet red peppers--my favorite! After reading the seed packet, I think I may have over watered them, so I'm being careful to cut back, keeping them moist but not wet.  I've also been reading about "dampening off" which may kill all the seedlings if I overwater.  This is definitely a learning process.  

Soon I guess I will need to be adding fertilizer of some kind, and I suppose I should have already been doing so.  I think I will make some "manure tea" as long as we have so much manure around (TGFH-Thank God For Horses).  I may also purchase some things suggested in books.

I'm noticing that the seedlings near the edges aren't growing as fast as the ones in the center, directly under the lights.  I swapped a couple from the edge to the inside, and noticed that the bigger, inside seedlings already have roots coming out the bottom!  Maybe it's time to repot them, or "pot on".  By the way, these little roots were coming right through the bottom of the newspaper pots, so now I know for sure that they have the ability to do so.  Amazing how these things grow!!!

So, the little newspaper pots I made work well, but from now on I'm making them just a little bigger than the first batch, which may have been too small--I have to pot-on sooner with the smaller ones.  I'm using vitimin bottles to form them, and happen to have a variety of sizes on hand.  

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