Monday, April 12, 2010

Seedling update

The tomato seedlings have grown since we first transplanted them into newspaper pots on April 1. Although the nights have been chilly, with frost warnings, it's warm enough during the day to set the aluminum pans of seedlings outside on a wooden display rack (salvaged at the end of the growing season several years ago from Home Depot's garden center). The rack stands in a protected spot along a house wall and under the eaves. Gathers all the warm sun but keeps most of the wind off the seedlings. I think they like it. And I know it does them good to have real sunshine and just enough wind to build stem strength.

The hillbilly tomatoes are easy to spot with their distinctive leaf form. One can really see why they're called potato-leaf tomatoes...

The first seedlings, cabbages, lettuces, onions, lavender, broccoli and cauliflower are spending all their time outside now. Some have been planted in garden beds and some are waiting their turn, resting in their newspaper pots, on the warm soil in the cold frames. At the rate they're growing, we should have enough lettuce for a salad by the weekend.


A Brush with Color said...

"just enough wind to build stem strength," eh? I love that. They're looking good, Carolyn!!

Modern Pioneer said...

Carolyn, hello and I just found your blog!! I was wondering if you are indoor lighting to help with your plants? I look forward to visiting and reading more, as my family and I are on the same journey as yours. We are at the end of our third year starting our forth soon. So far I still have food stores that we gathered/hunted/foraged for. Jason

Carolyn at Walnut Spinney said...

Sue, "stem strength" is a very precise, measurable thingamajig in, uh, botanical terms, I think. ;D

Jason, we do use artificial lighting for the plants. Just regular fluorescent shop lights that are placed above the flats and then we raise the lights every day or two as needed to maintain the bulbs no more than 2"-3" above the tallest seedlings. Used to think I'd need those special "grow bulbs" but thankfully Nancy Bubel's "The Seed Starter's Handbook" laid that idea to rest for me.

If it's spring and you still have food left from the last growing season, you're definitely doing something right!