Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's Go Time

On Friday it was time to get my indoor seed starting underway. This is a couple weeks later than last year, but still 6 weeks before our frost-safe date, so what the hey. A few seeds were pre-soaked overnight...
...and I decided to try a row of sweet pea 'High Scent' with filed seeds to compare to the soaked ones.
I'd never filed the seed coat before, hopefully I did it right (at least I have the pre-soaked seeds in case this doesn't work out.)
Just like last year I'm using this heat mat under the trays to assist germination, but I don't have the same insulated metal mat to put under it. I improvised with aluminum foil, although it may not be necessary...just makes me feel better to cover the wooden boards with something to insulate and reflect the heat back.

And away we go! There's six 36-cell flats in all, with five on the mat and one for seeds that need "cooler germination" sitting nearby. One flat is all flowers, one all peppers, one all tomatoes, and three a combination of flowers, herbs and veggies.
My handy fan is ready to help strengthen the stems of emerging seedlings, as well as keeping the soil surface somewhat drier to prevent damping off. (I don't turn it on until there's germination.)
Here sets the "cooler germination" tray. I figured it can sit here about a week, then I'll move it under the lights but off the heat mat surface so it will be somewhat warmer but not too much.
How can they fail with this crowd cheering them on? :)

On a side note, check out my new orchid pot! I've priced these online at over $20, but found this one on sale locally for $4.45!! Self discipline and patience pay off after all!

Breaking wintersowing news: a tomato has germinated!! This is cherry tomato 'Stupice' from Czechoslovakia, listed at 52 days. All I can say is wow!
Some other wintersown seedlings needed to be thinned.... cabbage 'Caraflex'. That's better. It always bugs me not to "save' the culled sprouts, but it's just part of the process.

I have no qualms about "sacrificing" flowers though... enjoy in the house of course! Got my spring on now for sure! :)


troutbirder said...

Labels labels labels. I admire your ability to organize this effort Lisa. I should take a lesson and then maybe I wouldn't have plants that I don't remember what they are! :)

lisa said...

Thank you! For me the key is to cut up the plastic tags from previously purchased plants into these teeny wedges, then use a sharpie to write on them. I still have to make sure the tags stay with the plants as they're transplanted, and I even make a map of the final planting spot in case the tag gets lost. (Heh, so unless you're OBSESSED then you're bound to have some unknown strays :)

Knatolee said...

Just finished my seeds on Sunday. Have a good growing year!

lisa said...

Thank you! You too! :)

Anonymous said...

Nice set-up with the grow lights, etc. I need one of those heat mats.
I keep meaning to get one.

I'm good about labels, but I need to map it all out like you do. My labels fade, or get blown away or dug up....

Your cacti look VERY nice, Grasshopper. :)

lisa said...

To be honest I doubt that the mat is necessary, but I bought it a few years ago and just started using it last season. I know that it speeds up the process though, so what the hey.

My labels disappear here and there too, I still wind up with mysteries. Kinda adds to the fun (when it's not frustrating :)

Thank you for your kind words, Master. I learned from the best!