Saturday, March 20, 2010

Future Food!

What's up with you? Here, there's lots sprouting on my card table "nursery": 4 types of tomatoes, mixed lettuce, kale, basil, and, FINALLY, Italian sweet peppers. I guess when the seed packet says, "germination in 10-25 days," they really mean it can take 25 days! In the sunniest corner of my house, with additional fluorescent lights 16 hours a day, on a table over a heating duct, those puppies just started to emerge after 21 days!

I am fairly pleased with my nursery set up this year. Moving the card table to the corner of my living room provides much more cleanliness and stability than balancing the little pots on the window sills. And saving our toilet paper tubes for a few months provided all the seed starter "pots" I could possibly need. I think I got this idea from Mother Earth News: you just cut the bottom of the tube with 4 or 5 one inch slits and bend them in to form a bottom, then fill with your soil. They are not very steady on their own, so they will need a container with sides. I used big plastic lettuce boxes from Costco. My lettuce is planted in a plastic pie box with a generous layer of vermiculite in the bottom for drainage, since it has no holes in the bottom.

So far, my germination rate is very good. What I've learned for next year? Start the peppers even earlier to allow for the long germination time. Plant at least 2 seeds in each pot for tomatoes and peppers: it's better to pinch out and "waste" one seed if both germinate, than it is to start over again if the one seed is a dud. Kale is very reliable, every seed came up. Do not overwater tomato starts or they will rot at the soil level. I feel a little dumb about my oopsies, but I have come so far in the last 2 years! I'm looking forward to my progress every year!

In other garden news: I have been hammering and scrubbing and reading up my library books in preparation for this weekend for months! Tomorrow is the big day! On my next post I'll share about my new garden addition!

1 comment:

Jenny said...

We're following your blog now! Your sprouts look much heartier than mine - I figured out today that mine aren't getting enough light.

Your future food looks good so far!