19 September 2013

Starting Vegetable Seeds and Tracking Seed Germination Rates

Isn't it lovely how all of our tomatoes have come up in less than a week?  We're having the best time in the world watching for their second sets of leaves--some are already beginning to show.  I think the temperatures in the upper 80s and 90s (F) give them just the right environment to sprout.  Last spring, when we were sprouting things indoors and barely keeping our house at 70, things progressed much more slowly.

The peppers are likewise enjoying the warmer weather.  We hope that means they'll all produce a crop before Christmastime, or somewhere around that time.   We should have at least two more good growing months, and the weather then might still be beautiful for these crops, plus some more "winter" crops.  Perhaps we'll be ordering some more seeds soon!

Most gardening books recommend keeping a record of what works, what doesn't, how much you spent, and whether those discount plants and seeds ever did anything.  I'm attempting to get better at it, and these charts are my latest breakthrough.  We started different kinds of seeds in the same tray, because, while we would absolutely LOVE to grow a whole tray full of every kind of tomato, and every other kind of herb and vegetable, we simply won't have that much space.  So this time, I decided to track which varieties we planted where (the Popsicle stick labels we used last time were difficult to keep attached to their particular seedling) in our garden notebook.  Our garden notebook is a giant sized sketchbook that is supposed to handle wet and dry art mediums, which means I can glue things in without the pages puckering too badly.  So what you're seeing is the shape of the cardboard seed pot of each thing, the variety and where it is planted, as well as the date each sprout came up.

The peppers were more complicated than the tomatoes and tomatillos, because we had more varieties to fit in the same number of cardboard slots in the re-purposed light bulb tray.  Rather than write out each variety's name, I abbreviated each one, and left a little room to write in the sprout date later.  Which was an afterthought, but there was room nonetheless.

So you see we planted two of everything except the Santa Fe Grande and the Scotch Bonnet.  If my husband has his way (which he probably will--I'm pretty accommodating), we will plant lots more hot peppers and make up for the ones that only got one slot.  I don't eat very many hot peppers, but he eats LOTS of them.  I did advocate for the Cayennes because I like to use them medicinally and I think it would be great to have powder from my very own peppers.

The final tray is even more miscellaneous than the other two, with their different varieties of the same things, not only because we've planted as many things as possible in it, but also because we haven't even started them all at the same time.  Hence the two blank rows still remaining.  But see?  Things are starting to come up even here.

And just for fun, I thought you might like to see our rain water collection system:  a simple plastic garbage can.  We think we could have collected two or three more full if we had just bothered to buy more cans.  It has a lid to seal it, but for now, while it's raining a lot, we've left the lid off, and have found random other containers to store garden water for later.  We have no fancy hose system to get the water to the garden or the pots we plan to buy, but we do have a watering can (see yesterday's post with the green, pink, and yellow).  We bought the same Home Depot watering can at the beginning of the summer for our northwest garden, and left it there with the plants when we moved.  We were thrilled to see another one just like it in the Home Depot here, because it has such a gentle spray.

1 comment:

  1. I have the same watering can, and agree, it is a good one. It is exciting to see your third garden of the year sprouting. I'm glad it likes the temperatures, and hope that it will produce abundant food for your table.


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