Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gardening Interlude

There's at least four inches of snow on the ground right now, but my bedding plants are happily sunning fluorescentlighting themselves in the basement, oblivious.

The peppers are happy. They were planted a month ago.
The onions have also been growing for a month and have been trimmed once already.
The pansies - maybe not so happy, but I think they're just late bloomers.
The tomatoes are decidedly sad. Any tips for me?


  1. Spindly tomatoes might need more light if they seem to be stretching toward it. I remember some growing toward the window when I started them on the sill.

  2. I actually have other tomatoes I started in peat that are doing much better than these potting soil ones, so I'm thinking nutrient deficiency of some sort...

  3. Potting soil is pretty dense and can get waterlogged. That means no air to the roots. Potting soil is relatively rich whereas starter mix which is mostly peat is comparatively neutral. Because it's not as dense, it doesn't get as waterlogged and air can get to the roots.

    I use an oscillating fan to circulate air over the seedlings and strengthen the stems.

    Once my tomato seedlings get their first & second set of leaves, I pot them up into larger pots where I use a mix of manure compost for the nutrients and starter mix to keep the mixture light and loose. I bury the seedlings so that only the leaves plus an inch of stem are exposed.

  4. Mike, thanks so much! I was wondering if I should transplant them while they were still so small. They finally got a second set of leaves after I fertilized them last week, so I will pop them into new pots with the starter mix I just bought last week for my vine crops.