Sunday, February 14, 2010

Things are Greening UP!

It's Valentine's Day and it's been three weeks since we planted the first set of seeds. They came up nicely, some with multiple seedlings and stopped growing a few days ago. This must mean they want more space!

We started them off in Burpee 72 Grow Pods. I put at least 2 seeds in each spot (apparently I got alittle sloppy with the Cherokee Purples). 6 varieties of tomatoes, jalapenos, eggplant, butternut squash and tomatillos. Now when it comes time to repot them, I bought Jiffy-Strips 8, which is made of biodegradable cardboard. They're about 2" square. 8 to a strip, 32 to a pack, $1.97 Lowe's.

I started with the Romas and I think they don't like being manhandled much. Since there were several seedlings in each, I thought I'd try to "save" them all. This might have been a mistake. They look very droopy and unhappy. Check it out: (they're the ones that are keeled over in agony)

Keep in mind, they started out today looking like this! (perky, huh?):

But I got a lot better as I went on. At first, I was "washing" the seedling roots in a bowl to untangle them and I think this is what stressed the Romas so much. So I did my best to be gentle and worked my thru the Early Girls, Better Boys, tomatillos. Out of 3 pods of Cherokees, we ended up with 10 plants!
At one point I ran out of squares altogether and had to go back to Lowe's and on the return trip I thought rather than trying to separate all the plants, I would simply plant the whole little pod and cul the second or third seedling after they have had a week or two to figure out which is going to be the strongest in the pot. At that point I will cut with a pair of scissors the weakling(s). I really didn't expect such success. In fact, we plan on staggering out the growing season and I will plant again the same number of pods (more careful this time with the Cherokees) so that they don't all ripen at the same time like last year! SO I think we will have plenty of tomatoes this summer.

Only 2 butternut squash plants can see them in the separate circular pots but I need much more than that if I want the success we had last year with this veg. I love them! So I will keep making more seedlings.

So there you have it, out of 36 pods, we have 50 tiny plants! Not bad. Much cheaper than trying to buy all those. But it is VERY early, too early to be counting vegetables. Much in the way of disaster may occur between now and transplanting day.

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