This is the third winter
Of my seed starting education.
I guess if it’s a college course
I’m a Junior!
And honestly, I feel like I’m making progress.
As of today I have 128 cabbage “teenagers”
Since last week they were potted into
A bit bigger pot and seem to love it.
When I began the process
Of popping them out of their toasty cell homes
They were actually root bound.
That has never been the case for me.
I think the credit goes to having the grow lights much closer.
It’s really the only big change this year.
But there are a few tricks I’ve picked up
Over the past few years
That are improving the end result.
For years I had a problem with “damping off”.
It’s a fungus that kills a happy baby plant.
They just lay over and die.
While listening to one of the endless gardening
Podcasts or YouTube videos
Someone made the comment that Chamomile tea
Is a natural fungicide.
So now my seedling babies and I enjoy tea together
On a regular basis.
I simply put a tea bag in my wonderful mister
And one in the watering can.
I don’t want to jinx it but so far not a casualty this season.
Another great help are timers.
Since seedlings like about 16 hours of light a day
These are great for turning that off and on.
I also plug a fan into a separate timer
To go off and on every 30 minutes
About 10 hours a day.
The fan also helps with fungal growth
It’s big job is to act as a gentle breeze
Strengthening the stems of the plants.
Everything is watered from the bottom
Once it has sprouted.
I set the pots in everything from old cookie sheets,
To rejected boot bin trays
To saved carry out containers.
Yellow sticky traps come in handy
For all those gnats that will eventually come.
I’m sure there are more tricks to learn.
For me that is the joy of all of this
Picking up tips and tricks
And the continual learning.
You have to be willing to fail a little along the way
But then there is the joy of getting to try again…and again.