Sunday, March 2, 2014

Quick Update re: Seedlings

Today marked a milestone for the tomato seedlings I've started- they were ready to be moved from their trays to individual containers.  Seeds had sprouted into seedlings with tiny little leaves. 

The dark spot on the right leaf is just soil, I'll brush it off once it dries.
They're quite delicate at this stage so you have to be very patient and careful when transplanting them. I used the same seed starting mix and made sure their stems and roots were covered.  Stems will form roots on them if they are buried into the soil mixture- it's a great feature of growing tomatoes.  Roots get stronger and you can grow them more & more each time you transplant them.  I also applied a seaweed/water mixture (about 1/2 tsp of seaweed solution to a quart jar of lukewarm water) to water them lightly once I had them in their individual containers. Seaweed is a great natural fertilizer and will help the stems and roots to grow.

We also set up the grow lights above them to help give them the hours of direct light they need to grow tall.  Right now the lights are about 2" above the seedling- I'll move them up as the plants grow. 

In terms of success growing from seed, I had about 60% of the seeds germinate.  The toilet paper rolls didn't do as well as I had hoped- it seems like they hung onto the moisture too much so the area stayed too damp. Just layering seed in trays of soil worked the best.  I also love using my heat mats (like these)- they make seed starting very easy by providing the warmth seeds need. 

Even with one of the bulbs burned out (I need to replace it), the fluorescent light reaches all of the cups.

I love seeing the little leaves sprout after the seeds have germinated. So satisfying!

1 comment:

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