April 26, 2009

Seedling Experiment - Week 1


So far it's not an abject failure, but I feel sure that my end could be right around the corner.

The marigolds sprouted first and looked to be doing pretty well. Then came the arugula and the basil. All looked ok UNTIL after a few days all the seedlings seemed quite tall. This is (from what I hear and read) a sign that the seedlings aren't getting enough light.



I had the light SUPER close and was leaving it on all day. In fact, I was worried that it might actually be sizzling the soil and seeds. It felt quite warm to the touch. That's probably not good right?

Anyway, yesterday was 80 degrees and sunny here so I took a gamble and put all the seedlings out onto my porch to get some sun. I kept the covers closed though, so they didn't also have to brave any wind and so they might stay warm if the temperature dropped. Nothing seems to have died, so that's good.

I brought all the seedlings back in last night to "sleep" and then refilled the water trays, thinned a few so only one little sprout is in each egg cup and brought them all back out this morning. 2 little shallot sprouts showed up, but the parsley is still dormant.

Meanwhile the soda bottle green house, that was always on the porch, has two teeny tiny basil sprouts that showed up this morning. I think this could be more promising.

So while I'm struggling mightily (mostly in my own mind I realize) with the "indoor" seedlings, all the arugula and lettuce I planted behind the trellis has sprouted! No sign of cilantro yet, but I'm optimistic.



I leave for a week in Oregon tomorrow though so I'm not sure if I should leave the seedlings on the porch (and maybe ask my roommate to check on them) or inside. The temps should be warm enough for them to stay outside and I think they may appreciate the light, but I just don't know how fast they'll dry out and if I really want to saddle my roommate with the chore of checking on them in addition to taking care of my insane, geriatric cats.

7 comments:

Claire said...

Could you poke some holes in the bottom of the egg crates and sit them inside a pan with some water in it? That way, they could water themselves while you are gone and they wouldn't dry out.

Black Eyed Susan said...

Yes they are already sitting in water, but in the heat of the day even that evaporates. The roomie is checking em and so far so good.

Sally said...

Perhaps your spindly seedings are too heated up, as the information in your link suggests. I've had the problem of spindly tomatoes from not enough light, but I've always started lettuce outdoors and have never tried arugula. Perhaps the lettuce and arugula will do okay outdoors, since it appears that the night time temperatures around here won't go below the high forties. The sunny past few days have been awesome for just about all of the plants!

Hope you're enjoying your time in Oregon.

mamawhatthe said...

A tip I learned the hard way some time ago... when you put your covered seedlings outside in the sun, crack the lid a bit so air can circulate and prevent steaming your babies to death. Good luck with your seedlings!

Josh Baltzell said...

I didn't start and seeds inside this year and I kinda don't miss it. It's stressful because you look at the seedlings so closely and I don't know about you, but I obsess a little about how they "should" look.

Either way, I will probably start seeds inside again next year. I guess I am a glutton for punishment. :)

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