Happenings with the Plant Seedlings
Hi and thanks for checking out this week’s update on the plant seedlings. Sorry it has taken 2 weeks for this update. I’ve been really busy lately and am actually about half way through building my hugelkultur raised bed. It’s taking longer than I want, but there’s only so much time (and daylight) in a day.
The plant seedlings aren’t quite ready to go in the ground yet. Much of that has to do with the weather though. Temperatures have been above freezing but sporadic and as I’m writing this there are flood watches from all the rain.
I’m glad I didn’t throw out the first tray of this season because a few of the plants have survived damping off. Even after being outside day and night, about 3 or 4 of the plants (including one Spinach) are continually getting stronger. The other plant seedlings could probably be put out as well, but I’m not taking a chance on losing any.
The Sugar Snap Peas have been doing great and they’ve been outside quite a bit. The seed starts were transplanted 2 weeks ago and have nearly doubled in size again. Although the stalks aren’t very strong, I’m hoping to have them in the ground and climbing trellis soon.
The 2nd Round of Plant Seedlings
Something disheartening began happening during the past few weeks. Many of the 2nd round of plant seedlings began falling over and looking very poor. There’s no telling what caused this, but I’m hoping that transplanting to fresh soil will help them come back.
One thing I’m very grateful for is that the Scotch Bonnet peppers are all doing very well. None of them were showing signs of struggle at all, unlike the rest of the plants. This makes me very happy because I want as many peppers as possible to make hot sauce with.
As demoralizing as this is, it’s one of the reasons we as gardeners plant more than we think we’ll need. All is definitely not lost. Even after transplanting the healthy plant seedlings, there are still many more that could’ve been moved.
Actually, neither the Pak Choy, Spinach or Radishes were transplanted yesterday because I want to put them straight in the ground. Just like the first round trays that got put outside, they were set outside permanently as well. Pretty soon I plan to prep the main raised bed and move them over.
Hardening Off Period
During the past two weeks, I turned off the heating pad underneath the plant seedlings. This was an attempt to halt, or at least slow down, any potential fungal problems. So now, as I’m getting ready to put everything outside, the plants aren’t as babied as they were before.
Instead of manually turning the lights on and off every day, I got a 3 prong light timer. Thus far all the plants had light during the night time (from 9ish PM to 9ish AM). Now I’m trying to slowly shift towards a normal daylight schedule.
The timer has been set to come on at 3 AM and go off around 10. This should give about 7 hours of artificial light. The plan is to move them outside for a few hours in the morning to get them accustomed to those conditions.
Keeping Things Stable
Each tray of transplants has 15 cups. When the soil is dry, moving the trays isn’t a problem. But after transplanting they were all very well watered with about 3ish quarts per tray. That made the trays very unstable to move. I actually had to set them in place under the lights with a cookie sheet, but that is only so stable.
Carrying everything from the basement to the backyard with that kind of instability is asking for trouble. Plus it’s still raining outside like crazy today. So what I’ll probably do going forward is let the trays dry a little and move them outside when they’re more stable. Then they’ll get watered after moving back downstairs for the day.
That’s all for today now! Thanks again for stopping by to see the plant seedling progress. If you like this please don’t hesitate to share and subscribe to our mailing list for more updates from Grow To Save.