Baby Basil and Tiny Tomatoes

Isis Candy Tomato Seed Coat
Isis Candy Tomato Seed Coat

They’re heeere. It took a few warm days but teeny bits of green have finally emerged. Twelve whole days after the seeds were planted, the basil and tomatoes have begun their journey.

Thanks to the sun-warmed and south-facing seeding room, the flowers that were planted just four days ago have already germinated. Next year POD should really hunt down a good seed starting mix and make a point of keeping them a little warmer.

For now, we’ll just make sure they receive plenty of sun (augmented by a carefully rigged grow light), gentle waterings, and encouraging words.

Making a List

And checking it twice. It’s hard to believe as this week’s blizzard blows (please, read that as you will) but there were reasons for optimism last weekend. The sun was shining and the 40-degree temps were rapidly melting the blackened snow heaps still dotting Philly’s streets.  Plants On Deck Seed List

After reviewing a few previous posts, POD hunkered down with with a stack of seed catalogs and began dreaming. To save on shipping cost and distance, only two purveyors made this year’s cut. The winners were Cook’s Garden (Warminster, PA) and Happy Cat Organics (Elverson, PA). As wonderful as Territorial Seed Company and  Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds are, one is located in Oregon and the other in California and Missouri. Although D. Landreth (New Freedom, PA) had the coolest catalog, they didn’t offer the seaweed/fish fertilizer I vowed to try on this year’s garden.

Of course, there are enough seeds here for a multi-acre garden, but we won’t think about that.

Sprouts Sprouting!

These six Brussels Sprout seeds were planted a little over a week ago. Already they’re reaching out to grab every ray of sunlight they can. POD knows the feeling.

brussels sprouts seedlings in teeny peat pots
brussels sprout seedlings in teeny peat pots

The little peat seeding containers are really quite wonderful. They can be purchased pretty inexpensively and they make transplanting incredibly simple. Many are even made of recycled material or contain organic fertilizers. Come planting time, all you need to do is rip the bottom out (so the roots can grow more freely) and drop the entire container into the soil, making sure to cover the lip of the pot with a layer of soil. Best of all, they’re biodegradable.

Obviously, they’re probably a little more difficult for folks who plant crops in quantities larger than oh, say three plants, but for container gardeners, they’re a great way to go. They’re gaping holes of thirst, though. You’ll need to check on your wee seedlings daily to make sure they’re getting adequate water.