Thursday, February 16, 2012


Published February 16
Notes at the bottom of the blog are color coded to the date they were observed.
Edits and additions February 18, 2012
Edits and additions February 20, 2012
Edits and additions February 22, 2012
Edits and additions February 28, 2012

If any thing will give you an adrenalin rush, seeing seeds sprout will (at least it gives me a rush).  Sunday afternoon we put cabbage seeds and broccoli seeds in a seed flat.  The flat has 242 cells in it.  It is Styrofoam so the soil temps stay even.  We use a soilless mix for starting seeds.  Using the soilless mix lessens the probability of damp off.

We planted this flat on Sunday February 12.  The soilless mix was warm when we put it in the cells.  It was gently packed and the seeds were dropped into holes poked by a chop stick.  Then they were covered with mix.  We covered the flat with Plastic wrap.  It was place in a room with a temperature of 63 degrees.  I have been checking them everyday and on February 16,  I was rewarded with sprouting.  We planted 7 varieties of seeds.  Some of them were old seeds.  

We numbered the edge of the tray (see the above photo).  We kept a row free between each variety.  We didn't want to have any mix up of seeds and plants when transplanted (this has happened before!).  I hate not knowing what we are planting.

The seeds in the photo on the left are Early Jersey Wakefield from Bakers Creek.

Because the planting medium was very moist I did not water in the seeds.  Today when I uncovered the sprouting flat I watered all cells (I have found when the empty cells are not watered too, the cells seem to dry out faster.)  I found the best thing for watering the cells.  A spice jar with a lid which has holes in it.  I used one which also had the flap you close over the holes.  When I went to water them with it, it was so easy.  I just pushed on the flap and it let out a little water at a time.  Each cell was able to be watered without washing any of the contents of the cells out with too much water.  BTW..under the flat we have newspaper on plastic. 

The trays are designed for green house seed starting.  They are supposed to be set on runners exposing the bottom of the tray.  When the roots grow down to the drainage hole the air stops them from growing out, effectively root pruning them.)  It makes them set more roots for a stronger transplant.  We will put the trays up on a 1/2 inch board so we can get the same effect.

Why are we starting them so early?  The weather in the St. Louis area has been very mild.  If it continues we will be able to plant early.  If not and we get a bad streak of weather we have the cold frame/green house.  So far the rosemary plants and Devils backbone are still alive and the banana plants seem to still have plenty of life.

List of Seeds planted, the numbers correspond to the numbers on the tray pitured above:
The older seeds were planted 2 in each cell. There can be 44 seedlings of each variety.
The colored numbers are how many that sprouted.  I was thrilled to see sprouts after four days.
                                                                                                            FEB 16       18     20     22    28
1.  Gurney's 2007 "HYBRID PACKMAN BROCCOLI"             22 cells   0         0        0       1       2

2.  Shumway 2007 "GREEN GOLIATH BROCCOLI"                22 cells   0         0        0       5       18

3.  Gurney's 2007  " HYBRID CORONADO CROWN"             22 cells    0         0        0       2        5

4.  Henry fields 2009 "HYBRID PREMIUM CROP BROCCOLI"22 cells  2      32      41      43       42

5.  Henry Fields 2007 "ARCADIA BROCCOLI"                       22 cells    11      35     36      37       36

6.  Totally Tomatoes 2010 "RUBY PERFECTION CABBAGE"  22 cells   1      21     21      26       24

7  Baker Creek " EARLY JERSEY WAKEFIELD CABBAGE"   22 cells    7     16     16      16       17
    2012  1 seed per cell

8  Baker Creek " EARLY JERSEY WAKEFIELD CABBAGE"   22 cells    6     17     19      21        21
    2012  1 seed per cell
I received my order from Baker Creek in less than 5 days.   I was impressed with the lovely packaging.

February 18:  The number of sprouts showing includes the sprouts from the 16th.  I am disappointed the top 3 haven't shown any sign of growth yet.  The Green Goliath broccoli is quite productive in the garden with huge heads.  I will have to order new seed for fall production. 

February 20:  Yesterday It was one week since we planted the seeds.  The first three have shown no sign of germination. 

The picture on the right is the seedlings today.  The seed was planted on February 12.  The cells are 1 inch square.  The seedlings are 1 1/4 inches high. 

February 22:  I had a surprise when I went to count the seedlings.  The first three are showing some activity.  It is only a couple but it does show some hope.  The seeds packets say 6 to 10 days..and it was 10 days  today..maybe some more will sprout.

February 28:  The second set of leaves are showing on the sprouted seeds.  when I counted I seem to have come up with an under count on several varieites.  I didn't notice any dying so I could have miscounted before.  I will take a picture of them tomorrow before I transplant them (recounting them at the time.)  

The late growing sprouts will, of course, stay in the flat.  Those which have germinated don't look so "well".  some of them look stunted.  #2 seeds do have some healthy looking sprouts. 

Now to make plans to catch the ground hog who will be enjoying the fruits of our labors
if we don't catch him.

For more blogs by me visit at:
A blog mostly about quilting, but cooking, poetry, prose and a little gardening,
New blog, tutorial on how to make 5 panel Boxer Shorts.
New Blog about dolls.
Not a garden blog.  There are articles which have nothing to do with creating or gardening. 
There are blogs on the new born baby kittens we found and are mothering.  It is a blog where I sometimes voice my opinions which will always be environmentally friendly.
As always, any pictures or writings are my own, if not credit will be given to the contributor.
Please do not use without permission.

1 comment:

  1. you're getting a good early start.
    I have rec'd my seed but it's still too cold here.
    maybe in a week or so, I'll start planting inside.