Thursday, April 5, 2012

Almost Two Weeks Later...

It's been 12 days since 2012 rooftop vegetable seeds were started. Most of the seeds have sprouted and grown seed leaves (cotyledons).

As soon as the more than half the seeds sprouted I removed the dome to improve air circulation. Last year I had a problem with damping off due to poor air circulation so I'm very eager to avoid this problem this year.

Freshly sprouted seeds often look very much alike, so it is at this stage of growth when it becomes clear how important it is to label your seedlings. It's awkward to directly label seed starting pellets so I just add labels to the edge of the tray.

For multiple reasons my preference for labels is blue painter's tape. Painter's tape can be removed and reattached multiple times before the the adhesive wears out, on the roof the wind cannot blow it away and the ink (permanent marker of course) takes a long time to fade, so the text remains legible for the entire growing season.

The Black cherry seeds were the first to sprout. They are already forming their first true leaves.

I'm not sure if the germination rates for the Summertime Green tomatoes and the Giant Aconcagua peppers are low, or I'm being impatient and just need to give them more time. I did take the dome off early, which reduced their temperature, so that could have slowed down their progress.

To be safe though, I started a few more seeds in some deli containers.

It's always amazing to me that in a few short months these little guys will be hundreds of times larger and producing nutritious and flavorful food!

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  1. Something I did this year to label seed starting pellets was use a toothpick with a piece of scotch tape folded like a flag. Then I wrote an abbreviation for the seed, like SM for San Marzano, on it. So far so good.

  2. Mine have sprouted in 5 days. But two varieties have been slow to appear.

    1. The Giant Aconcagua peppers in the deli containers have still not sprouted so those guys are just slow. So far 3 out of 8 Summertime Green tomato seeds have sprouted in the deli container after 5 days, and few more look like they will sprout soon, which is similar to their behavior in the dome, so I think I'm just being impatient and the seeds are fine.

  3. Re labelling ...I used a couple of tootpicks with a number on a small square of paper sealed with laminating sheets ( I wrote the numbers spaced on the paper so as when I cut them the squares were about a centremeter square then layed the laminate sheet onto the paper) into the peatpots (my seed starters) and had a list with the corresponding in my case, #'s 1, 2, 3 and 4 were tomatoes, 5, 6 and 7 were capsicums (called bell peppers everywhere else apparently), and so on.. so that might be a solution...I had a very fine tipped permanent marker and so far, despite being affected by light this last year, the numbers are still legible.If I could figure a way to upload the pics I took last summer to this site (I live down under, so they might show upside down...hehe) you would see what I meant...but I hope my description was understandable. It was the only way I could tell the seedlings while they were young...then when they grew more fortunately I recognised the varieties more. So will continue using that method of the expression goes..if it ain't broke, don't fix it...every gardener has their own methods but if gardeners show me a better system for the labels in the growing pots, I will graciously take it if they are nice enough to offer. We, as gardeners, with large crops or just hobby crops, should learn from each other and being receptive to new ideas, any modern methods which produce the crop with the same quality of old fashioned ideas, I am willing to try as well.

  4. Oops. I can't spell...that should be 'laid' the laminate...hehe....and I pride myself in speaking proper English..or at least trying...hehe.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!