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Posts Tagged ‘seeds’

I just got my last seeds for this year and am almost done getting them started. So far everything has come up really nice — a pretty big improvement from past half-assed seed starting attempts. But everything is still really young and not to transplant size yet. It is still early yet.

I had been led to believe that pepper seeds can take a long time to germinate and can be stubborn, but I had no problem at all getting mine up. I soaked the seeds in lukewarm water for 15 minutes ahead of planting, then I stuck them on top of the fridge (for heat) and under a humidity dome for a while. They began emerging in a few days and are now living happily under the lights of one of my Aerogardens. Then I’ve got my tomatoes that are all coming up nicely and various flowers that are in different growth stages.

I can’t wait for Plantin’ Day 2009! I have to get a few more big pots and one long, rectangular planter (for peppers, calendula and nasturtium) and a bunch of potting soil, but other than that I just need it to get warmer!

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A question

I’m going to have to start a substantial number of my plants from seeds in the spring and I’m trying to determine what the best way to start them is. Is it worth it to get one of those special little trays that every seed company has some version of? Do they work, or are they a waste of money? What I really want is an Aerogarden (especially a Pro 200) but they are so expensive…

Which reminds me, so often I look up gardening stuff online I run into stuff about growing pot. It is kind of amusing.

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Garden Diary

June 8, 2008: I decide to plant vegetables in containers to grow on the sunny deck of my apartment. I do some research and figure out the bare bones of what I need to buy, because being a poor student does not afford me the opportunity to try anything too fancy.

June 9, 2008: I go to the farmers market and buy plants and Wal-Mart and Lowes to buy supplies and end up having enough room/money for:

  • Jalapeno x 2
  • Straightneck Squash x 3
  • Black Beauty Zucchini x 3
  • California Wonder Bell Pepper x 3
  • Patio Tomato
  • Sweet 100 Tomato
  • Yellow Pear Tomato

(I already had rosemary, basil and some houseplants.) I picked these plants because I knew I would eat them (I’m still getting over my childhood vegetable aversion and honestly cooking and gardening have been the best way to do that) and I picked plants that looked the most mature because I was afraid that I was getting a very late start. It turned out that this was not the case, but it didn’t end up mattering.

June 13, 2008: I planted some coleus and snapdragon seeds so I could have some things thriving in the fall, but mostly as practice growing things from seeds. My deck looked like this:

BeforeBefore

And my plants were starting to fruit:
Three tomatoesZucchini buds!
First jalapeno!

July 11, 2008: I watered everyday, sometimes twice in the intense summer heat. This was a bit labor intensive because we don’t have a spigot outside, but I was pretty diligent and attentive.

I fretted a lot about every small thing that might indicate a problem with my plants. After my first jalapeno (pictured above) set within a few days planting I experienced some early blossom drop and fretted about that. I fretted when my earliest tomato blooms didn’t set. I wondered why the green peppers weren’t blooming. I checked my zucchini and squash everyday and wondered if I would be able to tell if I saw a female flower. I worried if I was pinching the basil back correctly and if I was pruning my tomatoes too much or too little. I worried a lot about the Mircale Grow Moisture Control soil I used and if had too much nitrogen.

But everything was growing nicely! It was a jungle out there on the deck and hard to walk around and even though I worried, I was proud with what I have achieved. The deck looked like this:
After!Squaaaaash
Yellow Pear Tomato

August 4, 2008: Most of the things I worried about were totally irrelevant. It turns out I was just impatient, because most plants were producing well. The squash and zucchini were battling with powdery mildew though, probably as a result of overcrowding and wilting on 100+ degree days, stressing them. We got a little to eat out of them, but not as much as I hoped.
Sweet 100And by the way, bell peppersunripe yellow pear tomatoes in summer

August 25, 2008: School started, so I wasn’t giving the plants as much love as I had in the full summer, but while I didn’t kept up with jalapeno canning I got to graze heavily on never ending tomatoes. I knew I was coasting on all my hard work from the summer, but fall was not too far off and these plants were going to be tossed soon anyway. Oh, and my coleus and snapdragon lived.
Fruits of the harvestColeus in summer

Part 2 coming soon with my lessons for the season, followed by a garden update and then with my (current) planting ambitions for next year.

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