Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Seedling Stress

You would think sowing seeds directly into the garden would be the more difficult proposition--animals can scratch them up, they are subject to all manner of dangers--but it is the controlled environment of the indoor seedling tray that is stressing me out. After all, out in the garden, lettuce seedlings are coming up on their own, even under all this straw and a winter of barely-above freezing temps.
After setting up a grow light and filling new trays with soilless growing medium, I fretted about the dreaded "damping off" fungus potentially lurking in my covered trays. I doused the trays with cinnamon, reputed to be antifungal, and gave them more air circulation.
When the kale seeds sprouted much earlier than anticipated, I left them away from the grow light ONE DAY, and they got this leggy that fast:They are now safely beneath the grow light and seem to be recovering. I really need to get the rest of my new seeds planted, but do I dare risk my precious heirloom seeds on my first seed starting experiment?
By the way, I heart Baker Creek heirloom seeds. In addition to their awesome selection, they threw in a free packet of flower seeds. The beets, turnips, rhubarb, and squash (one summer and one winter) will be direct-sown, but I need to get the eggplant and peppers (a Tunisian variety perfect for harissa!) going yesterday.

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