Sunday, February 7, 2010

Seed Starting Update - February 7, 2010

Welcome rhesper and Cathy Collins! Thanks for reading!

kale seedlings 2
The Tuscan kale seems to be the clear winner in this first race to germination. The first seeds sprouted in a little under 3 days. Still no signs of life from the Red of Florence scallions, wild strawberries, celery or artichokes. I tend to get really anxious when it comes to waiting for seeds to germinate indoors 1) because I've had such mixed results in the past and 2) because I don't pay enough attention to the growing information listed on the seed packets. Even though it takes celery anywhere between 15 to 30 days to germinate, I still secretly hope (and expect) that they will do so in just a couple of days.

kale seedlings
I'm finding that the best way (for me at least) to water my soil blocks is with a turkey baster. The water flows gently enough so that the seedlings and the soil remain undisturbed. As you can see, I sowed more than 1 seed per block. I will go ahead and thin all but the strongest one.

How do you water your seedlings?


  1. I use a sprayer for watering seedlings, sometimes a small watering can as well. Celery is so slow to grow, I think that's way it is considered a difficult vegetable to grow. Asides from the patients involve I don't find it difficult to grow.

    I am starting a few more onions today. Then all the peppers and some hardy greens near the end of the month. All the brassica's mid march too, I need to make a schedule!

  2. The wild strawberries may take a while....I got quite desperate waiting for them to germinate a few years ago. Good luck! I too always expect rapid germination despite clear indications to the contrary on the seed packet.

  3. Can't wait to see that celery! I have never seen it in its seedling state, and I am purposely not going to look it up on the internet, I'm waiting for yours!! I water mine with a spray bottle.

  4. The blocks look like they are performing well for you. Some crops do require real patience.

  5. Ah, it's so nice to see growth ! :)
    I'd be tempted to water the bottom of the tray, let the water flow through the channels and ooze up into the blocks. Then again, I'm not at that stage yet ! You guys are so lucky to get to start so early. Good luck with the strawberries !

  6. I'm not so cool. I just use a tuperware bowl to cart the water to the basement and then a cup to dish it out.

    It is really, really nice to see green again, isn't it. I planted radishes and carrots outside this weekend. I'm exited, even though my carrots last year didn't do well in the spring. It at least fulfilled the nagging of the demons in my head saying "plant something....Pllllaaannnttt sooommmeetthiinngggggg....."

  7. I used a spray bottle last year, but my Grandfather gave me his basters, so I'd like to use those this time.

    I like your comment Erin. I'll wait with you to how this celery turns out :-)

  8. Look at those seedlings!! Wow, how exciting to see them sprout so soon. I know how you feel about waiting. I too haven't had much luck in the past, but haven't really made as much effort as I am this year either.

    I like your turkey baster method of watering. Nice and gentle.

  9. Good to see you, my friend...

    love the photograph of the tiny seedling....

    Happy Super Bowl Sunday to all of you....


  10. I use a turkey baster also. It's just the best way I've found to water seedlings.

  11. I think that this is pretty fast sprouting. How low do you keep your grow lights? I have seen some seedlings very leggy, although under lights. I’m thinking that lights were not close enough to seedlings.
    On my onion packet it’s written that germination will take up to 20 days, but they were up in 10…

  12. I bottom water. I have to be very gentle with the watering can to make sure I don't hit any of the blocks or they will just dissolve.

  13. By the way Lacinato kale, like most other kale varieties, is usually blanched first, and then sautéed with other, flavorful ingredients; in Campanian cuisine, anchovies are often added