Saturday, March 24, 2012

Starting Seedlings

Well, I've started my first flat of tomato and pepper seedlings.  Wish me luck.  I decided to use the peat pots, and save the plastic for potting soil and transplants.  I love how the peat pots absorb the water.  This flat has heirloom tomatoes and sweet peppers.  They were in the process of absorbing the water when this picture was taken.  I have 12 tomato and 6 mini and grand sweet peppers mix so far.  I was leery about starting sweet peppers, especially after the monsters I grow last year with plants from my hardware store.  I decided to do 6.  If I can grow the quality and size from my seedlings that I did with the store brought plants, I know I'm on my way to being a true gardener, lol.  If not, I'll be ecstatic that I successfully germinated the seed.  I ran out of time, so I'll be starting my cayenne peppers this week-end.  I'm planting 6 cayenne, 5 jalapeno and 5 banana.  I probably should have started the cayenne's first since they seem to have the longest germination period.  Oh well live and learn. 

As you can see, I like it hot.  I'll freeze some, use some in salsa, and dry the others for pepper flakes.  I loved pulling out fresh peppers for chili and spaghetti over the winter, so I'm looking forward to replenishing my stock this summer.

I purchased a few packages of cukes, but not sure I'll try starting those from seeds or not.  From what I've read, they're difficult to transplant.  Do you start cukes inside or direct sow?  I want lots of cukes for homemade pickles this year.  I decided to purchase a few heat mats for germination.  I was going to use the rope method, but got a good deal on the heat mats at my local hardware store with free shipping.  I love them.  I found the perfect place to place my flats, in my laundry room.  I have two 4 foot shelves over my washer and dryer that were empty, so I thought it would be the perfect place for germination and grow lights once germination takes place.  They're out of the way, and I won't drive myself crazy because of the clutter through out my house.  I told you about my OCD  problem, right.  I can't stand for things to be out place.  I inherited that trait from my father.  Once the seedlings get large enough, I'll transplant and move them in front of a window in my guest room until it's time to harden them off. 

Here's my flat on the heat meat in the laundry room.  I used craft sticks from the dollar store to mark the plants, 100 for $1.00.  I purchased the peat pots from Big Lots, 20 for $2.00 and the water trays held geraniums from the nursery last year.  I didn't have a dome for the trays, so I used cling wrap and rubber bands to cover the posts.  Got this idea fron Martha Stewart, and it seems to be working great. 

I'm wondering if should poke a small hole in a few of the cling wrap covers, it looks like condensation is building on a few in the front?  It's only been 5  days, but I was hoping something would emerge.  I like immediate gratification.  It seems that patience is a must for a gardener. 

It's cloudy here today.  I may head out to the garden and take down the fencing and posts if it doesn't rain.  I'm suppose to till next week or the week after.   If I get the garden tilled within that time frame, I may plant garlic.  That will be a first.  I want to try that garlic pesto that everyone is raving about.   If the weather doesn't hold up, I'll head out tomorrow.  I need to take three 33 gallon bags of shredded paper down to the compost site and store them.  I have about 10 bags of leaves that are already waiting to be used.  Grass mowing starts next week, so I'll have plenty to add to the bins.  Especially after I weed the shrubbery beds. I visited Mark's Veggie Plot blog yesterday, and he had a beautiful pile of compostI'm looking forward to seeing what's happened with my compost pile over the last year.  I may have to remove the top and use what's on the bottom as he did.  I checked it a few weeks ago, and it hasn't completely broken down.

Well, I'm off to get the cayenne peppers started and see what else I can get into today.  Happy Gardening!


  1. So good to see you use the peat pots. I like getting my annual flower starts from the local greenhouse in peat pots. I think the condensation is fine while they're germinating still. As for the cukes, I've always direct sowed them in the garden and have had good luck with them growing well that way. I hope you get a lot of plants!

    1. @Gardener on Sherlock Street - I may try direct sowing them this year rather than germinating the seeds. Better yet, I may just buy from the nusery, lol.

  2. You've been busy! It looks good to me. This year I've started most of my seedlings without the dome because I was having problems with damping off. But since I learned that you can spray the mold with hydrogen peroxide I haven't had a problem. Just don't spray the plant- it is what they use to bleach hair with and it does mess with the leaf color. The peat pots are the best. Please show your compost pile. I'd love to see it. I haven't tried that yet.