Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Seeds and Seedlings

Peas Go to the Birds
I direct seeded peas last weekend into large containers (after first soaking them in water for 24 hours). This weekend, I discovered large holes dug into the soil. My first guess was squirrels, but we don't actually have too many around here. We do, however, have hoards of birds. Some of the peas had started to sprout but were lying on top of the soil. They're probably goners, but ever optimistic, I put them back in the soil. Who knows? And I planted a second row as my back-up.

Spinach Under Cover
I direct seeded some spinach seeds as well. I put 3-4 seeds per hole, insurance against poor germination rates from seeds that are three years old. I covered them in plastic to keep in warmth and moisture, and keep out those dratted birds. I saw them watching me plant, waiting their turn. When I finished, I had a staring contest with a chickadee. I won. I do love waking up to the sound of birds chirping, but they can find their own food, thank you.

If At First You Don't Succeed...
I started some red butcher tomato seeds two weeks ago. Nary a sign of life two weeks later, so I dumped the tray into the compost. I had used egg cartons, and I think it's great that they're compostable, but the cardboard seems to absorb a lot of the water. If I use egg cartons again, I will water at least once a day, perhaps even twice. And I will be trying again - it's not too late to start tomatoes from seed.

And Then There Were Three
About a month ago, I started alpine strawberry seeds. Only about half of them germinated (they were three years old), and three quarters of those died within a week. They are very sensitive to drying out, so I suspect my lax watering abilities killed a good lot of them. But I have three remaining seedlings, and they're looking good. I'm keeping a close eye on their soil moisture.

From many...

...to three.

And look how they've grown!

From a little munchkin...

...to a bigger munchkin!

What fabulous successes (and failures!) have you had with starting seeds?

No comments:

Post a Comment