Thursday, 26 February 2015

Jumpstarting Spring

So another way to cheer myself up is to start the growing process for the coming spring and summer. It's been very damp these days and I'm quite achy and painful so need a nice distraction.

I always start off with the tomatoes and peppers so did my usual soaking the seeds in water for a day before planting.  For larger seeds I soak for a couple of days.  I do this with just about every seed I plant and find that this helps get things started very nicely.  I can spot the beginnings of a root before planting seeds so I can eliminate the dud seed situation almost entirely. Whether it survives in the soil is another matter.

I planted these tomato seeds on the 13th of February.  Here's what I spotted on the 19th.  If you look carefully you can spot something breaking the soil surface. Can you see it?

It might be hard to spot because I make up my own potting soil by adding sand to the plain old potting soil that I buy at Intratuin.  I find that it makes the soil drain better.

Here's another one that sprouted on the 21st.

And on the 24th:

And today:

There is a pot with two sweet red pepper seeds planted on the 19th and another pot with yellow pepper seeds planted on the 14th.  Nothing has sprouted yet but I remain optimistic. 

I have a slight rant coming on now.  Here goes: The two tomato pots and one of the peppers are planted in peat pots.  I'm not going to use them any more.  Every year I start out with them and I always ended up getting bugs in those seedlings.  This year I sterilized peat pots and soil in one go by watering it all with boiling water.  No bugs but the peat pots dry out very quickly and it's hard to gauge to water requirements.  I've thrown the reminder of the peat pots in the trash and will just plant directly in small pots to begin with. 

I keep all of the pots on a cheap and cheerful kitchen cart, which is not just for the kitchen.  I have several of them around the place.  They're great for seedling growing because I can move it around the house to whatever location has the best light/air at the time.  Today was exceptionally dark so I moved it to one of the light setups that I showed in my previous post. Here's the whole setup as it was last week in the "small" room.This was taken at night when I had the shades down.

Growing these seeds gives me so much pleasure and gives me something to look forward to each day.  When I spot a new sprout I always say out loud : "Why hello there!" in my sweetest, most appreciative voice.  My OH misunderstood my exclamation on one occasion and thought he was in for some "fun" that night.  I think he looked disappointed when I said: "Not you, the plant".  Of course he said: "What plant?" because as you can see from some of my photos there was barely anything to see there.

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