Friday, April 11, 2014

Best5Garden 2014 Updates

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So, I meant to update you all LAST week about the garden. I plan on doing a weekly update, but not much was going on. However, this week has seen an explosion of growth.

First, go check out the original post for Best5Garden 2014


So, you may recall that Alyse and the kids were the ones planting the seeds. As they finished up planting the seeds in the grow cups, I noticed that they were planting between 7 to 10 seeds per cup. Which is about triple what REALLY should be in each one. But, not know what the mortality rate would be in each batch of seeds, we figured we would worry about it later.

Each night the tray of cups goes underneath the grow light with a heater next to them. Every morning, the tray goes outside for good ole natural sunlight.

Sunday, exactly a week after we planted the seeds (planted 4/6/14) , we had our first sprout...a carnival pepper.
24 short hours later, we had a small amount of growth, this time with tomato sprouts mixed in.
Fast forward to yesterday. Constant 24 hour light and heat, mixed with the gorgeous weather during the day has brought us this:
We have nearly 90% growth in each cup. Some of these cups, especially the tomatoes, have upwards of 7 plants. What to do? That many plants can't survive in that confined space for very long. Last year, we experimented with planting 3 plants together in each cup. In most cases, all 3 grew and it proved to be too much to tend after transplanting in the garden.

Alyse suggested simply pulling up several. But, I have a kinship with each and every one of these sprouts now and I couldn't decide on who stays and who dies. But, I knew that I wanted to sell some of these plants as half grown producers, so I figured, instead of opening an new package of seeds....why not transplant these? Of course, the question is...will they survive the transplant? That remains to be seen.
So, we transplanted several of the Cherry and early girl tomatoes. If they have a high survivablity, we will do the same to the rest of the the tomatoes.
Additionally, I noticed a whole section of pepper plants with no sprouts. I don't know if it's the location on the tray of the cups or maybe just a bad batch of seeds. I dug around in 4 cups and found only two sprouts, neither of which had made much progress. I transplanted these together and replanted the cups with tomatoes, though I can't remember which...I THINK it was Early Girl.


We continue to learn lessons: this week, to label better. Masking tape and hand written notes won't work...especially if kept outside. They simple blow away. I am writing with a Sharpy on blue masking tape, and putting a label on each side of the carton.