Sunday, April 23, 2017

More Seed Starting and Transplanting

Today dawned wet and grey. I was hoping for a few breaks in the day where I could do some of the outdoor gardening things on my list. But it wasn't to be. So instead I focused on what I could accomplish inside, where it was warm and dry.

I began the day by transplanting my 20 "Ukrainian Purple" tomato plants. In three weeks, my little plants have gone from tiny transplants with no true leaves - pictured above - to 4" plants with two sets of trues leaves- pictured below. They have now filled up their 2" cells and the tray is getting crowded.

So today I moved them all into 4" X 4" individual pots, hopefully their last home before they get transplanted into the ground. As per usual, this project took much longer than I thought  it would. But I did add 1 tsp. of the new organic tomato fertilizer that I bought yesterday, up at Garland's Nursery. Besides fertilizer, it is also suppose to contain mycorrhiza fungi. Hopefully it will help give my plants an extra boost as they grow in nursery pots underneath the lights.

After I finally finished up with the tomatoes, I turned my attention to the next round of seed starting. But before I could do that, I needed to add the second tier on my new grow light tower. That went fairly smoothly and soon I was ready to start seeding some 6-pack cells. I started with "Gift" zinnias, a pretty red annual I bought from Hudson Valley Seed. I am planning to grow this variety in the "kitchen garden overflow" area, along with the cantaloupe. It gets a ton of sun there and I am hoping they will attract hummingbird and butterflies. I seeded 24 cells and then placed them on the heat mat. Then I filled six 2" pots with potting soil and planted "Giant Primrose" sunflower seed from The Seed Savers Exchange. I am planning to plant these in our new rose flowerbed and maybe also put a few in the sunset flowerbed.

When I was finished, the sunflower pots joined the zinnia cells on the first tier of the tower. I am hoping between the heat from the grow mat and the heat radiating down from the grow lights, that both of these newly planted varieties will germinate by next weekend.

After I finished that project I got out the bags of lilies that we picked up at Garland's Nursery yesterday. Since we won't get these guys planted at least until next Saturday, I wanted to get them out of their bags and temporarily potted up in some half gallon pots. I was really happy to find that all of the lilies bulbs were in good shape. You can never fully tell by trying to look at them through the plastic bags. We ended up with 3 "Casa Blanca", a solid white oriental lily, 3 "Salmon Star", a white and orange oriental lily, and 2 "Lilac Cloud",  a fully double pink and white oriental lily. If they all perform well this first year, we should have one amazingly scented flowerbed sometime in July.

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