Thursday, January 19, 2017

Super Early Seedlings

I've only been encouraged by the purchase of our indoor grow light to start trying to plant things indoors when I really have no business growing any sort of vegetables. Still, the enticing thought of home-grown lettuces to snack on in February was too much for me. I bought seeds. 

My other enabler is Benkhe's nursery, which mentioned that they had spring seeds in stock in their newsletter. I bought some that can't be transplanted outdoors, so those will have to wait. However, three of them are prime too-early-to-plant-these material: Bell peppers, lettuce, and kale.

I also bought seed starting mix and a plastic cover to put over my seedlings to keep them nice and moist. I didn't want to buy seedling trays, since I'm only going to use them once. Paper cups it is! I punched some holes in the bottom of the first paper cup for drainage and nested that into a second paper cup in case the plants need a steadier supply of water as they grow. 

Holes for drainage

I labeled the cups so I'll know what's coming up. I found a type of bell pepper called Yolo Wonder, so they've officially been deemed my YOLO peppers. An apt name for an annual that I'm starting in mid-January... 
A pepper plant living on the edge.

Next I wet the soil thoroughly. I accidentally put the pepper seeds in before wetting down the soil. That turned out to be a mistake because the seeds just floated to the surface and I had to re-plant them. Oops! The others I wet the soil down first and they weren't shifted around by a slow draining puddle of water on the surface. 
It seems like all of my favorite things involve mud.

The lettuce and kale seeds did not mess around, man. They started sprouts on the second day. That's the fastest germination I've ever seen!

Growing like there's no tomorrow...The day after planting!

You can really tell how fast they are growing by these two pictures from Day 3- 7:30am and Day 3- 5:30 pm. The time to harvest listed on the package said they could be ready in as little as 21 days. I guess that means the seeds have to move pretty quickly! I'm still waiting for signs of life from my pepper seeds. 

Kale and lettuce seedlings at 7:30 am today, still yellow and emerging from the soil

Seedlings at 5:30 pm today, first set of leaves formed and green.

I'm just misting these with water every morning for now. In a few weeks I can start watering from the bottom of the containers and hopefully by mid-February I'll have some greens for salads! I'll keep you updated. :)

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