Friday, February 13, 2009

Sweet little sleeping seedies!

Well, all the little pepper-fellas but the red savinas from 2003 (which I predicted wouldn't sprout and so far haven't) are up and awake and stretching their little leaf hands up to the lights.

They're back! Peppers planted 1/23/09

I have a few that are still trying to outgrow their seed shell. You can see that in the picture above. If the shell is just hanging on to the edge of a leaf, it's not that big of a deal, but there are two that are mostly still contained in the seed shell, on top of a relatively long stalk. This is a problem because the seed leaves are pivotal to get the whole plant off the ground (so to speak). The first two leaves make enough plant juice for the rest to grow forth. If they break off, the plant is dead, nothing-doing. And it's sad to watch it go from a green, headless stalk to a withered up brown thing...In the past when I've tried to worry these off I've usually ended up messing up the plant, either breaking off the leaves all together or seriously clipping them. So I'm trying to resist doing that this year (like not picking at a sunburn!). I'm trying to keep the seed shell damp so that it'll be easier to outgrow and split.

You can also see my super-awesome, massively high-tech approach to lights. They're located on top of my refrigerator. On one side I put tacks in the wall and propped the lights on top of them. The other side balances on phone books. This way I can keep the lights as close to the plants as possible and move them up as needed. I've seen ingenious ways of doing this that involve carpentry and chains. This is my low-fi version! And hey, it works for one flat, so why not?

Today I planted my tomatoes. I want them to be a bit bigger than last year's by the time I plant them out (1st or 2nd week of April in these parts). After my super-fun seed swap with the Frau, I ended up with a variety of tomatoes for this year. I double planted each cell pack and will hopefully end up with the following:

Green Zebra (seed saved from last year; hugely, hugely productive!)
Pink Paul Robeson (I saved seed from a plant that went more pink than the rest and so tasty!)
Paul Robeson (ditto - last year's purchase from Baker Creek)
Black Zebra (New to me - THANK YOU, FRAU!)
Great White (New to me - THANK YOU, FRAU!)
Thessaloniki (free gift seed pack from BC)
Cuor di Bue (picked these up in Greece!)
Pink Israel (free gift seed pack from BC)
Big Month roma (this year's purchase from BC)
Opalka (last year's purchase from Pinetree)
Golden Queen (last year's purchase from Pintree)
Banana Legs (on clearance at Pinetree last year)
Cherokee Purple (I grew these five years ago and LOVED THEM - THANK YOU, FRAU!)

I also planted ground cherries due to the enthusiastic recommendations of my co-local gardener and oklavore. I'm excited to see what happens with them! I've never tried anything like them (fruit, berries, tomatillos, nada!). Hopefully I will get to make jam, too!

Happy planting!


Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

Save me some of your ground cherries - I want to see if they are worth the precious garden space!

Tara said...

I started ground cherries this year too. Baker Creek sent them to me with my big seed pack, so I figured what the heck!

I'm anxious to hear about how the Great White's turn out. I have some but didn't start them this year in favor of other types. I have lots of tomato varieties and only so much space!

Lewru said...

I hear that. I'll be getting creative with sun and such myself...

Bee said...

Oh my gosh...your little pepper babies are so cute. Do you talk to them? I have breakfast every morning with my seedlings and talk to them...then I have to wonder to myself if I've cracked. =)

Tricia said...

Good luck with the ground cherries! I hope you like them.