Adventures with seedlings

I’ve been busy getting ready for my summer garden.  I have an elaborate plan for this year, and I’m starting pretty much all of this year’s plants from seed.  I’m working with a staggered-out planting schedule – I started some seeds in early April, and yesterday I planted my Early-May seeds.

I had a lot of success so far with my seedlings from April.  Most things did well, but I did have a couple of things not even sprout.  I started some aster seeds, and none of them sprouted – I’m not sure why, except maybe my seeds were bad.  They were a leftover packet from last year. I’ve usually had great success with asters, they are one of my favorite garden flowers. I love their little colorful puffballs.   I usually start too many seeds on purpose, just because sometimes you get some that don’t sprout – i.e. I planted 6 tomato seeds but really want 4 plants.  My tomatoes are growing well, I planted three different kinds, I ended up with 5 plants of two kinds, and six plants of the other.  Most of the April seedlings are now replanted into pots – they got too big for their original peat pellets.

I only have one spot to start seeds inside, a table in a south-facing window that’s about 5 feet x 2 feet, with a grow light hanging overhead.  I needed that whole space for this new Early May batch. Which meant that I had to figure out what to do with my older seedlings.  I can’t put them outside yet.  But I do have another grow light.  I devised a plan:  To hang the extra grow light underneath the table, and put the older potted seedlings below that.  Here is my new setup:

Here are my under-table seedlings.
Here are my under-table seedlings.

I also have a cat that likes to eat plants – I found this out while potting some of these up – he came up and started chowing down on some.  We have some extra window screens in our bedroom that aren’t in the windows currently, so I used them to block his access:

My setup with the screens in place.
My setup with the screens in place.

In the pictures, the sheets of paper hanging down below the seed trays on the table are my charts of seeds in the trays – otherwise I could end up lost with mystery plants. Some things I would recognize, but I’m trying a lot of new plants this year, so I need a map.

Here is the whole setup:

My seed starting setup.
My seed starting setup.

I have a few small seedlings that are still small enough for their peat pellets, so they are sharing the far left tray with some new seeds – about half the tray is seedlings, half is seeds.

Here are some of my little guys close up:

Tomato pots.
Tomato pots – I have 5 plants in each pot for now – they are small so they can share space.
Comfrey - this is a new plant for me, I'm excited to see how it does.
Comfrey – this is a new plant for me, I’m excited to see how it does.
Black Eyed Susan Thunbergia - a vine with little orange/black flowers.  This is new as well - I had to give it a trellis, and separate them from everyone else - they were trying to climb my tomatoes.
Black Eyed Susan Thunbergia – a vine with little orange & black flowers. This is a new one for me as well – I had to give it a trellis, and separate it from everyone else – they were trying to climb my tomatoes and even the cord for the grow-light.

I love plants, they are a ton of fun to grow.  I just hope that nobody gets too big before I can get them outside – their beds won’t be ready till probably the end of May.  Plus it may be too cold before then – my plan is to get them outside over Memorial day weekend.  We’ll see how the weather is.  I got a mini pop-up greenhouse I can put them in later this month.  I plan to harden them off out in that before actually putting them all in the ground.

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2 thoughts on “Adventures with seedlings

  1. Cynthia May 4, 2015 / 11:38 pm

    They all look so nice and healthy. Good luck! I bet your garden will be great.

    Like

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