Monday, April 23, 2007

Seedlings Grow!

I didn't take too many shots of the overall trays over the past couple weeks, but from these you can see that there was quite a flurry of growth! The poppies look especially active, though really that's because I seeded them too thickly together. This may be a problem, as I am not sure I can transplant them without killing them. Live and learn!
Here are some time progress shots of specific plants:

Cosmos were the first plants to germinate. They seem super hardy, taking a beating and surviving several transplants in odd containers. After doing a rough count, I think the germination rate was about 50%, since I planted all 60ish seeds and got about 30 plants. Not all have survived though, as I killed off a couple slow starters. You can see that a lot of the cosmos have grown kind of tall and spindly, likely due to inadequate lighting non my window sill. Still, they have developed their feathery true leaves, and the last pic is of the most successful seedling, surprisingly, the one transplanted to the egg carton.:

Next were the New Zealand Spinach, which defied expectation and germinated in a mere 4 days compared with the expected 2-3 weeks the seed packet described. Also, 14 of the 17 seeds I planted germinated, which was definitely more than expected. The last 3 might have germinated if I had left them in the dirt, but I was curious and dug them out (they hadn't opened up at all). Overall, the spinach have grown really well and were the first to start developing true leaves. Here you can see how they have grown incredibly in the first days after germination, since they only first pushed through the soil on April 8th:
Here, you may be able to make out the tiniest beginnings of true leaves in the plant in the foreground. You can also see me in this pic!

Here, you can see how much the spinach true leaves have grown over the past week:

The marigolds have also been really hardy and easy to grow, with approximately a 50% germination rate. They germinated a little slower than the cosmos, but not by much. In contrast, they have maintained what seems to me like a good height instead of growing leggy.
Again, the most successful seedlings were the ones transplanted to the egg carton.:
Next to germinate were the basil, coming up on the 8th. Basil plants are possibly the cutest of the seedlings. There was a fairly high germination rate, about 80%.
However, some did not survive as I poured some worm water (i'll discuss this in a later post) on them which burned some of the smaller seedlings.
The poppies came up and were very delicate. They remain delicate and spindly since I seeded them way too thickly. I guess I got too excited about having poppies.... Their seeds are SO small! And I wasn't sure if they would all germinate, but I guess I was wrong to doubt them.
Too many poppies!
Oregano's progress is slow and steady. The seedlings are tiny and germination rate seems ok, but not fantastic. That's ok though, since I don't need that much oregano!
Watermelons were a little slow to start, seeing as they were supposed to germinate in 5-8 days, but all 5 of the seeds I planted grew, and they have grown VERY tall.
Lavender was slow to germinate and not many of the seeds came up. I am hoping more will with time, but my hopes are not high. Right now only 2 seedlings have emerged.
Lastly, Rosemary is true to its nature, being notoriously difficult to start from seed. So far, I only have 1 tiny seedling, almost too small to see.....

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