Friday, March 20, 2009

From the Ground Up: Seed Starting (Part 3)

You may remember in Seed Starting (Part 1) I germinated my peppers differently than the other vegetables and herbs. It was a bit of an experiment. Essentially, I placed the seeds between moistened paper towels, rolled them up & put this plant "sushi" into a plastic ziptop bag. I then placed it in a warm spot (on my seed warming mat).

This method was certainly easier to do. No initially getting dirty! No clipping off the weaker plantlets! No constantly spritzing the soil! However, these seeds did take longer to germinate than the other seeds that had a similar germination period (at least on paper). That said, I think I'll be doing more seeds with this method next year because another plus is the greater ease of sharing.

With seeds initially placed in the soil, you can't really separate out plantlets. I mean, you CAN, but it disturbs the roots and there's a potential for killing them. This way, you can just cut off pieces of the paper towel & give them babies to friends & family!'re ready to plant when your "sushi"'d seeds look like this (excuse the fuzzy photo. the seed room doesn't have the best lighting):

Start off as the traditional method by sanitizing containers and filling them with moistened, fresh potting mix. Then, use a pencil or pen to make a little hole. Place plantlet (root side down!) in the hole and use your pen/pencil to cover with potting mix. Keep soil moist and place pot in sunny spot (or, in my case, under grow lights).

In other news, my tomatoes are starting to get REAL leaves, not just the ones that were inside the seed. And, when I went to Home Depot today, I bought strawberry plants. In case Merrifield runs out. I am weak. I resisted buying additional seeds though!

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