Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More sprouts

Sprout on Zahara Fire Zinnia
Sprout on marigolds (H)
The Ground Cherrys are starting to get their first true leaves. I think I will let them mature a little more before trying to P2P.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spread out!

The pepper plants are growing. Here's a 6 pack of Jalapeno peppers that need some space to keep growing.
It's time to give them some space to grow. I take about a teaspoon of growing medium and put it in the empty cell of the pack where the pepper plant will go. Firm that mix down into the cell. Then carefully pop out a pepper plant and place it into the cell. Alternate the spaces and you will give the plants room to grow.

If you let the plants dry out a bit they are easier to pop out of the cell. Then soak them good when you have them in their new pack.
Don't forget to label the new pack of peppers or you will end up with "wonder" peppers. You'll wonder just what kind of peppers you have started.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Free Seeds

Usually when you order seeds through the mail you will receive free seeds with your order. This year I received ground cherry seeds. I STGT these free seeds in with the tomatoes. The ground cherry seeds are just beginning to sprout. They were pretty small seeds so I think they will take a bit of time before I can prick them out to their packs. The seed packet notes that "Aunt Molly's is an outstanding Polish variety prized for its clean, sweet flavor."

Zinnias and Marigolds

Today I seeded to the germination tray the Zahara Fire Zinnias.
I also seeded to pots some marigold seeds I had harvested from last years gardens.


Eggplant is related to the tomato plant and grown in a similar fashion up here in Minnesota. I had some Gretel Hybrid Eggplant seeds left from last year. I planted them and they sprouted.
Here they are pricked to the pack.

The tomatoes were STGT

On April 16th I seeded the tomatoes to the germination tray.
I set the germination temperature at 82 degrees and on April 20th they were sprouting. Here's how they looked on the 23rd.

I have been pricking them out to the packs these last few days.

Impatiens & Stevia

The last of the impatiens. I was able to sprout 5 more impatiens seeds by just being patient.
That makes a total of 24 plants out of a package of 25 seeds. Almost 100% total germination. Unfortunately the sweet leaf was not as successful. Only 3 plants out of 10 seeds. 30% germination.

Good air circulation

Good air circulation is critical in a grow center. A couple weeks ago I started the fan blowing on the plants.
30 minutes on and 30 minutes off.


A beautiful Easter Sunday. First mow of the lawn. Snow blower has been officially tucked away in the back of the garage.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Before and After

Sweet Bell Peppers Before

After - ready to be pricked


Today, April 16th, we woke up to one inch of snow. It was a reminder that spring is still a long way away. It's been awhile since I started the first batch of peppers. They have grown.
Here are some more of the first batch of peppers. These are the Serrano Tampiqueno.

The large plants in the middle of the flat up above are lavatera. The rest of the lavatera seeds that I had harvested have sprouted. I need to prick them out soon.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Sign of Spring

It was reported to me that a sure sign of spring had occurred. Man on riding lawn mower mowing his lawn. In this case though, unless the gentleman is drinking, he is usually mowing his lawn. Or Both

Saturday, April 9, 2011

We have turned the corner

We have turned the corner on this winter. Today the plastic came off the windows. I did a little light raking and picked up yard debris. It's funny what you find after the snow melts. Last weekend we hard pruned the Russian Olive hedge. The lavatera is sprouting along with more peppers. The forecast for tomorrow is 80 degrees and severe weather.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pepper Sprouts

Sprout on Cajun Belle and Fat 'N' Sassy. I also have started some more basil and it has sprouted. I checked my log from last year and it's getting close to the time to seed the tomatoes.

Monday, April 4, 2011

More trouble in the GC

More trouble in the grow center. The Basil seedlings started to look kind of funny to me. The leaves were curling and drying up. I limped them along for a few days but they didn't respond. Out the door they went. You don't want to take a chance that one plant may have some strange problem that can quickly spread to the rest. I will STGT some more basil and see if I can keep them healthy.

Peppers, second batch

I pricked out all the hot peppers and prepared the tray for the next batch of peppers. Then STGT the next batch of pepper seeds.

Lavatera time

Today I STGT the rest of the harvested Lavatera. I also STGT some eggplant. The variety is Gretel Hybird. This eggplant has long slender fruit and it's pure white. The seeds were from 2010 so we will see if they are viable. This eggplant is very good grilled or steamed.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Catastrophe in the grow center.
This blog is not just about success. I made a stupid mistake with the pepper seedlings. After your seeds have spouted it's important to remove the clear plastic cover off the germination tray and let the seedlings get accustomed to the humidity level outside the tray. That should be done as soon as you see most of the seedlings sprouting. I didn't do that and I lost about 4 pepper seedlings when I tried to pick them out. 
Live and Learn is the old saying. But they should add - Live and Learn and try to remember! I knew that about the cover but I just forgot.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Patience with the Impatiens

As you "grow on" your seedlings you have to pay attention to moisture. It's recommended that you let the soil medium dry out in between waterings of impatiens. Here are the New Guinea growing on in their packs. Please notice that I have added some starter mix around the seedlings. They look like they are getting a good start.
Here's the basil, it's almost doing too good. I may have started that too soon. It may need some pruning before it can be set out.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme

Granted the sage is a little bit behind the rest but it will catch up.

Tiny Stevia Sprout

If you remember the Stevia was in the refrigerator for 1 week. On Friday I took it out and put it in the heated germination tray. The seed packet recommended bottom heat. Today there is one little sprout. All I can say is SWEET-leaf. There is also one sprout on the sage seeds.

Pepper Sprouts

The peppers are sprouting. The few seeds from last year, Zavory have sprouted. Actually that was a couple days ago. Here they are.
And here they are ready to be pricked out
The Serrano Tampiqueno and the Yummy blend (Sweet Hungarian) are also sprouting today!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Heat is the key

For consistent results germinating seeds the temperature of the soil mix is key. Here is a basic chart for selecting the proper temperature for germination.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pepper planting

Time to STGT some hot pepper seeds. Here's the pepper germination tray I use.
Then fill it with the seed starter mixture.
Above the tray are the seeds I will start today. First I make a mark with a pencil on the side of the tray.

And another mark on the other side of the tray.

Please note that the seed packet says to sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep.
 So take your measuring stick and make a trench 1/4 inch deep.

Then place the seeds into the trench. I put about 9 seeds in this trench.
Then spray the seeds with water and cover with more soil mix. Now comes the important part. Since there will be several varieties of peppers in this tray, you have to keep track of where each variety is planted. I draw a diagram in my log book that shows where each different pepper is planted.
Just continue this process for the rest of the hot peppers. This is how they are planted for 2011.

The seeds in the tiny ziplock are peperone. They are supposed to be the Greek salad pepper. I have had these seeds for three years now. We will see if they're viable. I  wonder what the smallest ziplock baggie looks like? Water the germination tray. Then into the bottom heater flat it goes. I set the thermostat up to 82 degrees.
Next post - Optimum germination temperatures