Sunday, March 25, 2012

Update on the Seedlings

I wanted to begin hardening off the early spring seedlings last week, but the temperatures have been too warm so I decided to hold off until things return to normal. It didn't take long. Next week temps are going to be 40s during the day and 20s at night, which is average for this time of the year, but a bit harsh after our little experience with 70-80 temperatures.

The Kale, Swiss Chard, Pak Choi, Onions, Leeks, and Spinach are ready to be hardened off and planted in the garden under protection. I will begin this process next week and see how it goes. Lettuce too is coming along.

Kale

Pak Choi

I began pre-sprouting some pepper seeds. It is a little early for me, but I had germination problems last year and I want to be sure to have the peppers I need by planting time.

Pre-sprouting Pepper Seeds

Each cell is layered with a piece of wet paper towel and labeled. I check it each day for germination and to make sure the towel stays damp. Once these sprout, they will be carefully transferred into waiting soil blocks and placed under the lights.

Speaking of peppers, I was gifted some dried Chile de árbol for cooking. I tossed a bunch of seeds from these into a container with a wet paper towel on the bottom. Almost every seed sprouted:




I don't know if these peppers have a chance to mature in my area, but thought it would be fun to try. Now I have to find space for them in the garden.

19 comments:

  1. Your chile seedlings are looking good. They also look tasty. I started my seedling a while ago, because my peppers take so long.

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    1. Some of my peppers took a long time to germinate last year too. That's why I wanted to get a jump on pre-sprouting them this year. Unlike tomatoes, peppers seem manageable under the lights. The dried Chile de árbol has a nice smoky hot flavor. It is also known as bird's beak chile and rat's tail chile.

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  2. Your seedlings all look great! I'm going to begin sprouting my peppers today. I just noticed that you use a plastic egg container, what a great idea! I just happen to have one, this will beat little containers strewn all over the light stand!

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    1. It is unfortunate that most of the organic eggs in the grocery store are sold in plastic egg cartons. At least I am reusing these. They make a perfect germination station and close up tight to keep moisture in.

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  3. Your seedlings all look really healthy and good sized. My peppers are huge and need repotting today. I am going to be moving most of my tomatoes out to the greenhouse (during the day and in the house at night) to begin their gradual hardening up process. I need more room under my lights for the next big rounds of seed starting - lots of the faster growing warm season crops are next.

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    1. I am hoping to get the kale, swiss chard, and pak choi hardened off an planted under protection next week. They are beginning to grow out of their soil blocks. So the seedling shuffle will begin.

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  4. I have noticed my pepper seedlings just don't seem to be growing. Do you have any recommendations on what to fertilize them with and how often? I have just been watering them every now and again and then sometimes I hit them with a little diluted Miracle Gro.

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    1. Kris, do the leaves on your peppers look healthy? If so, I would't worry about them. They may be waiting for warmer weather. What are your overnight temps?

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    2. The leaves look healthy and green, they are still under my grow lights inside. I haven't moved them out yet they just don't seem to be growing.

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    3. I the plants look healthy, I wouldn't worry about it. Give them some time.

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    4. OK thanks, patience is not my strong suit. :)

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  5. Funny I have never had issues starting pepper seeds until this year. The differences this year I planted the seeds in micro mini soil blocks with a soil mix for seed starting. I usually start them in the "bagged" seed starting mix in cell packs. After my first attempt in the micro mini soil blocks I decided to pre-sprout as to not waste any more time wondering if they were going to sprout. Germination was only about 50 to 60% with a new seed pack. The seeds that did sprout are growing very slow even under lights and on a heat mat. I'm sure once the weather gets warmer and the days get longer they will do better... I hope :-)

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    1. It seems I have always had issues with peppers even with new seeds. So I wanted to leave enough time in case I need to start some extra seeds.

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  6. Wouldn't it be nice if last week's and this week's temps could have been averaged instead? A couple weeks in the 60s would have been perfect.

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    1. I agree, 60s would have been perfect. Next week will be 40s for us. Ugh! Back to reality.

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  7. I direct sowed my early veggies under cover...we shall see how they are coming along. I like your germination of peppers and may try it since I too had germination problems.

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    1. I am going to direct sow some spinach and lettuce under cover this week as well. Germinating Peppers and Tomatoes this way helps me keep tract of the number of plants. If some seeds don't sprout, I can drop a few more in and give it more time.

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  8. Your chili looks so good. I have tried growing chili about a hundred times and every time they grow up to 4 or 5 inches their leaves curl and they stop growing after that. So I have given up on them.

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  9. I had some issues with some of my peppers sprouting this year. I think that I have almost all I need started. Now it's time to start the rest of my tomatoes and the cauliflower.

    I have kept my broccoli and cabbage starts inside during the heat spell. I don't think it would have done them any good being outside. After today, we will be having normal weather for this time of the year.

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