Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Seed Operation

My seeds are turning into tiny beautiful plants! Here is the first batch. I started them in dixie cups and keep them under the light of a full spectrum compact fluorescent bulb most of the day. They are starting to produce their first pair of "true leaves." The big ones you see are their cotyledon leaves, similar to baby teeth on a child. Once their true leaves develop a little more I will transplant them into solo cups so they have more room to grow. From there I will set them outside for a short time everyday to reduce the shock of planting them outside in the garden.

These two cups are basil.

After these cups sprouted, I saw how easy and cheap it was to grow them all from seed so I went bigger for the second batch. Sara and I saved the plastic containers pesto and butter come in and used them to plant another round of basil and tomatoes. In the small dixie cups, I planted two to three seeds per cup. In the plastic containers, I planted seven seeds.

Here you can see all seven seeds are sprouting. These were planted five to six days ago.

Here's my second batch of basil just breaking the surface and opening their tiny leaves.

I mentioned in an earlier post I would try soaking seeds in water before planting to see if they germinate quicker. I soaked all the seeds in my second batch overnight before planting. Without soaking, the tomatoes and basil came up pretty quick, probably four to six days. The ones I soaked came up in about the same time period, but had a better percentage of seeds germinate. Along with the second batch, I planted two dixie cups with bell pepper seeds and two with hot pepper seeds. I had trouble finding jalapeno seeds and settled on a package of mixed hot pepper seeds that included jalapeno. These I soaked overnight before planting, hoping I could shave off a day or two on germination times. They are finally starting to sprout, after about seven to nine days of germination.

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