Seedling Update: 13 April 2009

OK, so that’s not my garden.  Although I wish it were.. and I wish that were my bathtub.  Alas, I find myself cameraless; the trauma of the Kami’s Birthday Cake FAIL obviously affected my brain in that I left the camera at Kami’s house, after the party (and many glasses of champagne).  C’est la vie – but you’ll have to deal without real photos for a few days. Mea culpa, mea culpa.

It’s been five weeks since the first seeds were sown. I transplanted most of the tomato seedlings about two weeks ago, and this weekend transplanted the rest: cherry tomatoes, peppers, lemon basil and rosemary.  Many of the plants seemed a little pale, and the bottom leaves were turning yellow; this seems to be related to a nitrogen deficiency, so I fed them with a diluted fish emulsion fertilizer.  We shall see how they do.  They are still a bit leggy – I’m amazed that they liked the light at the top of my closet more than they do the hanging flourescent that I bought for this purpose – but maybe it’s that the top of the closet is enclosed and painted white, so they got all sorts of reflective light.  If it doesn’t warm up soon, I may have to build them a little cardboard-and-tinfoil housing so I can amp up the wattage; given that it was 29 degrees outside when I got up this morning, it may be quite a while before I can put tomatoes outside!  Although the weather is supposed to be nice all week, in the high 50’s and low 60’s, the nighttime temps are still below 40 degrees (let alone 50 degrees, which is when you should direct-sow outdoor seeds).  Sigh.

I sowed another flat of seeds today:  more red bell peppers, because I only yielded three viable seedlings out of the first sowing, some herbs (borage, cumin, lemon balm, spearmint, and more chives), flowers (nasturtium and calendula), and as an experiment, some beans (Good Mother Stallard and Hutterite Soup), even though the package tells me to sow outdoors.  This time I used some Earth Plugs, from Seeds of Change, and some plain old potting mix, instead of the Burpee seed-starting plugs.  I’ll update to see if I have the same mold issue as with the Burpee starters.

I just wrote out the entire seed inventory for my friend Melissa, who wants a few plants for the deck this year, and even I was amazed by how many seeds I managed to buy this year:

English lavender
Lemon basil
Italian flat leaf parsley
Curly parsley
Lemon balm
Red bell pepper (King of the North)
Cayenne pepper blend
Jalapeno pepper
Tomatoes: Roma, San Marzano, Thessaloniki, Stupice, Matt’s Wild Cherry, Silvery Fir
Beans: Good Mother Stallard (red-cranberry), Hutterite Soup (white), Cherokee Trails of Tears (black)
Dragon carrot (purple)
Long Island Cheese Squash (pumpkin)
Cucumbers: Sweet Marketmore (field, or eating cuke), Northern Pickling, and Double Yield (pickling)
Potatoes: Purple Peruvian and German Butterball
Sunflower (mammoth)
Nasturtium (tip-top)
Calendula mix
Now I have to decide when to cut up and sprout the potatoes, because they are going directly into soil (in containers) on the deck.  I think I’ll need to wait a couple more weeks – which will give me time to find some deep, narrow pots.  Old chinmey pots, which you can sometimes find at antique stores, are ideal, but I haven’t seen any around lately.  Things to do, things to do!

Read more about garden updates in these posts.


  1. Kim

    I was going to be really impressed, until I realized that wasn’t a photo of your garden! Of course, the list of seedlings is impressive on it’s own!

    I have chives right now, and they’re already going to seed! Ack!

  2. localkitchen

    Chives hate me; last year I had the most pathetic chive plants ever (one lonely little blade, all by itself in a 4-inch pot), and this year not a single one of the chive seeds germinated. The seeds were from last year, so I bought new seeds and started fresh but…. I’m not holding my breath.

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