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Seedling Success

As you can see, almost everything is sprouting!

The tomatoes are already 3 inches tall in just 20 days and are a little bent over from watering - they’ll perk right up. All but the peppers look great which means I’ll be off to the store tomorrow for more pepper seeds. I had a few tomatoes not sprout and already substituted a different seed type last week. Those are now sprouting. I’m checking on the plants once a week so I don’t drive the greenhouse manager crazy with my enthusiasm.

Due to the deep plug trays the seedlings are growing in, I should be able to go from tray to garden and not have to transplant into larger pots. The only caveat is “hardening off” the plants before actual planting in the garden. This means a gradual, 7-10 day introduction to the real world of strong sunlight, cool nights, and less frequent watering outside of the greenhouse.

It would be very disappointing and expensive to ruin the seedlings by not following this step. Quite frankly, if the greenhouse manager hadn’t said anything, I may not have figured this out. I better get back to the gardening books and read up again on planting procedures.

The fertilizer has been purchased and I went with the 19-19-19 even though I don’t need the “middle 19” of phosphorus. I’ve been assured this will not be a problem. I’ll wait a little while yet before I spread it in the garden and then hire my farmer contact to till it under. I continue to lose some sleep over how to keep the deer and rabbits at bay. There’s quite a plump bunny living in our brush pile and I should take it for a nice little ride…to the other side of town. We have a consistent group of six deer visiting nightly and those are just the ones we know of. I have the issue figured out to using fencing or watering crows, or a combination.

I’ve recently been watching Monty Don’s “Big Dreams, Small Spaces” on Netflix and highly recommend it. Ordinary people with varying degrees of gardening knowledge (typically very little) transform small areas around their homes into beautiful garden spaces. It’s very informative and inspiring. Monty Don is pretty much the P. Allen Smith of England.

I’ll update the greenhouse progress in a couple of weeks and before we know it, it’ll be time to plant. I think we can all agree, the snow needs to cease!

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