Tuesday, February 26, 2013


MAR 4, MAR 6, MAR 8,  MAR 10, MAR 14
You will find the blog edits shown in the colors of the dates.
If I had a favorite vegetable in the garden it would probably be peppers.  They can be a dual purpose plant. They make a fabulous foundation planting (they are a beautiful plant).  They don't mind the heat reflecting off the house.  In return they repay your care by producing bountiful crops of edible produce.

This year we are working on cleaning out our seed stash and peppers are on this list.  We did order two new peppers on our seed order (we only ordered from one company this year). We are going to miss a favorite pepper because we are out of that seed.  We will re-order next year.
Next year we will be adding at least one more pepper to our repertoire.  "Yum yums".  Burpee's Big Daddy will be on our repurchase list, this year they will be missed.  The pepper on the left is Burpee's Big Daddy.

 As you can see this is a very prolific pepper. The soil in these two beds is not up to snuff.  (The organic matter ratio is off and they are too well drained.  It is very difficult to keep adequate moisture in the beds.)  They are still  performing above and beyond expectations.

This year's list of pepper varieties:
FOOLED YOU: Pinetree 2012. This is a jalapeno pepper with no heat.  They are extremely extremely prolific.    I have found these freeze fantastically.  We chop them in quarter inch dice and freeze on a cookie tray and dump into a plastic bag.  I had some in the freezer for two years.  When sauteed in oil I could tell no loss of flavor or change in texture.
GURNEYS DOUBLE DELIGHT:  This is a new addition to our seed stash.  We ordered it because we  were out of our favorite "Big Bertha".  The description sounded similar and Gurneys doesn't handle Bertha seed. 2013
GURNEY'S DOUBLE DELIGHT:  Another  new pepper for us.  It is described as a thick walled bull horn. It seems like a good substitute for the Big Daddy we won't have this year. The only draw back is it isn't yellow.

 MARCONI ROSSO:  Henry Fields 2010. This is another of the bull horns.  It is three lobed, I don't know if it is thinner walled.  We will be comparing these plants and the other bull horns for production, size, taste and thickness of walls.

GIANT MARCONI:  Totally tomatoes 2010.  This is a blockier version of the bullhorn pepper but is like the bullhorn in size, length and taste.

CORONO DI TORO-GIALLO:  Scheeper's 2010.  Another bull horn,  This one has a plus, it is yellow.  Hopefully it will fill the space of the Big Daddy Pepper.  Last year it did not perform well but so many things in the garden didn't because of the weather.   It looks like we'll be testing a few plants of each, and giving away the seeds of the ones that don't perform to our liking.  Where did we get all these, LOL.  If I had taken time to proof seeds in December this year I would not have ordered seeds I already had.

QUADRATO D'ASTI ROSSO:  Scheeper's 2007 , a thick walled large bell pepper.

ACONCQUA:  Saved seed,  Original seed was purchased through Pinetree seeds. These did real well in the greenhouse this year.  They are very prolific.  They are an extremely large cubannelle type.

The seeds were planted in a soil less medium.  I used "Activia cups" to plant them in.  These were put inside a plastic bag inside our propagation chamber.  The temperature will be kept at 72 degrees.


FEB 26, 2013                      DATE     DATE     DATE    DATE         DATE
                                           MAR 4    MAR 6    MAR 8   MAR 10     MAR 14
FOOLED YOU                                   5/12         5/12         7/12           10/12 (2 MOVED)
12 SEEDS 2012

DOUBLE DELIGHT          1/10        2/10         5/10          6/10           8/10  (2 MOVED)
Gurneys 10 seeds

GIANT II                            1/10         6/10          7/12         8/10           9/10 (5 MOVED)
Gurney's 10 seeds

MARCONI ROSSO                                                               1/6          1/6
H. Fields  6 seeds

CORONO DI TORO                                            1/5             1/5         1/6
GIALLO Scheepers
5 seeds 2010

QUADRATO D'ASTI                                                                           0/6
ROSSO Scheeper's
6 seeds  2007

T.Tomatoes 4 seeds                                                                   1/4      1/4

ACONCQUA                 1/12          3/12         5/12                   6/12    8/12 (2 MOVED)
Mine OP 12 seeds

MARCH 4:  Finally, I have just been over anxious for them to germinate, to see some form of life.  The 3 are just peeking the surface.  I pulled them out of the propagation chamber and put them under the lights.  These were all 2013 seeds.  I will have to be patient, I know the older seed will take longer to sprout.

MARCH  6:  Boy are these slow. I am so glad I started them ahead.  The thoughts in the back of my head was I was going to have to babysit these far too long.  It looks like they are right on their sprouting schedule.  

MARCH 8:  While checking for new sprouting I noticed two of the seeds had sprouted and were turning green but they had not "POPPED THEIR SEED CASINGS OFF".  If these are not removed the plant will not mature.  These beginning "leaves" are called cotyledons.  I take my fingernail and clip the seed casing off.  You will loose the points on these cotyledons but it will not harm the development of leaves.  (btw wait till you can see that there are two cotyledons at the base before you remove it.  Sometimes, a day later the seed casing will pop off itself.) The photo on the left is of the trapped cotyledon.


The picture on the left is the cotyledon after I pinched off the seed casing.  The casing can be clipped off sooner.  You must remember to not pinch below the "Y" of the "leaves".  Make sure there is enough growth so that you are not disturbing the base where the new growth will happen.  If the remaining 3 pepper varieties have not sprouted by the time I plant my tomato seeds I will plant some more of them.  Two of the varieties are from 2010, they should still be viable.  I am also going to plant the last of the "Giallo".  I have decided I want more of this variety(and they aren't sprouting well either)

MARCH 10:  Two of the last three varieties sprouted.  One of each, will be enough to tell me by the end of the year if I want to purchase more of that seed (bar no unforeseen accidents like ground hogs or tornadoes.  Yes, we have had a tornado plow through our plants and our Green house.).  I do hope the Giant Marconi will show at least one plant, too.
Giallo has not shown any more life, I will plant the remainder of the packet of seed when I plant my tomatoes next week.  I want to save seed from this variety if it does well and produces the type of

pepper we enjoy.  The first three varieties in the sprouting chart are hybrids.  I won't be saving seed from them  but the rest we will.
This morning in the propagation chamber, I found this crawling around a newly emerged seedling.   It had to have hatched in there because the plants were in a sealed plastic bag.   I was wondering how a soil less mix harbored insect eggs.  What I have is an off-colored Asian Lady Bug.  The bane of my existence on my living room east/south windows in January.
I went to check several sites and deduced it was what I thought it was. The following site gave me some information that is extremely useful.
In my blog on using newspapers, recycling them as mulch:
I cautioned about mealy bugs (roly poly/sow) loving to nest in and eat the papers.  I did not know there was a predator for them.  Perusing I found this:
I literally thought it was a bug that had grown some kind of mold and I dispatched him. I now know, I should have saved him. 

MARCH 14:  Today is moving day, most of the seedlings have grown large enough to handle being put into their own apartments.  Finding enough Activa cups for them all is hard.  I can't eat it fast enough to supply the demand...LOL 
Some of the seedlings were not quite ready to transplanted. 
We had to work to gently remove the larger plants from the trays.

First thing we do is get all the "necessaries" together.   Once we begin we don't want to have to go looking for items to work with.  Clockwise:  Hershey's syrup bottle with luke warm water, Drinking water bottle for me, Cat litter box of mixed dirt for transplanting, gallon jug with the fish emulsion mixed in the water, (scissors, pens, glue stick, note book, labels, paper, phone, TV gizmos,  eye glasses).  Plants, tiny instruments for transplanting, Pots, paper towels.
HERSHEY'S BOTTLE:  This holds luke warm water to water the seedlings in when we have to disturb them to remove a friend.
DRINKING WATER FOR ME (Self explanatory)
KITTY LITTER BUCKET:  We re-use and re-cycle lots of items.  This oval one was perfect for mixing our soil for transplanting in.  What is our soil mix.  In a large wheel barrow we mix one part soil with one part peat moss, with 1/2 part sand, 1/2 part of our dried manure from goats/sheep/cow and one part rice hulls. When this is well mixed we add a quart of Epsom salts and a quart of bone meal to a large wheel barrow of the mix. This is then stored to use for potting. We take equal amounts of this and our soil less mix and mix them together. This is what we use for the first transplanting.
GALLON JUG OF FISH EMULSION:  We mix 3 tablespoons of emulsion with the gallon of luke warm water. 
SECRETARIAL GROUPING:  The TV gizmo's are for listening to programs while I am doing what can be a repetitive dull job (did you notice they are in a plastic bag?  this serves to keep them clean. They still work through the plastic).  The phone is in case I receive a call.  Glasses..I am at an age where things are very blurry.  Glue stick to apply those labels to the containers.
PLANTS: They are why we are going through this.
POTS:  The infamous Activia cups prepared for use.  (notice the re-used Styrofoam trays from the meat department.
SMALL TOOLS:  I keep an eye out for things that will work for transplanting.  A hibachi fork, a small butter knife, a tiny fork used for ordourves, and a tiny spoon (I think it used to be a artificial sweetener scoop).
I forgot to mention one important necessary for me.  Plastic gloves.  I cannot stand to touch dirt. The feel of it under my nails or drying on my hands is very uncomfortable.  Writing about the idea is giving me the chills....LOL.  I get my box of gloves every year from my dentist. They seem to be heavier than the regular doctors gloves.  I always request them in my favorite color and they are silicone and talcum free.  I can wear them quite a few uses before they have fatigue.  I just turn them inside out and give them a wash and let them dry.  Then when I need them I just turn them back to right side out  and happily work in the dirt. 

Another item which is recycled not trashed.   The Joy bottle is for applying the fish emulsion to the newly planted plants.  Using the small bottle with a nozzle gives control and you don't flood the plants or wash them out of their pots.  Watering in with the fish emulsion instead of water gives the plants a boost which is much needed to help them over the transplanting shock.
Remember the plant which had the trapped cotyledon?  This is not the same one, but the plant on the left (see the leaf that looks stunted) is one I pinched off the seed casing.  You can see the growth of the new true leaves

This crowded pot on the left,  has one over grown candidate to extract.  For demonstration I will use another pot where all the plants need new homes.  The picture below is the pot with the peppers gently removed.  I do not water for 12 hours before so the loose medium will fall apart.  If it is stubborn and too rooted together, then I set the in a bowl of luke warm water until the medium is loosened up.

These are the plants in their new apartments.  I used the seedling tray for the smallest seedling since we are low on activia cups.  I will probably have to transplant it again sooner than the other plants. 
We have already started our eggplant and broccoli plants.  
Check this blog's directory under the label "seed starting".  

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 mothered.
It is a blog where I voice my opinions which will always be environmentally friendly.

 As always, any pictures or writings are my own. 
Credit has been given to contributions not my own.
 Please do not use without permission.

Monday, February 18, 2013


February 21, February 22, February 24, March 3, March 15
Today I filled containers and planted the seeds we had. 
This blog will be updated just like I am doing in my eggplant blog.

This blog will share how we handle the transplanting of plants until they are ready to go into the garden.   The ones in this photo are Waltham 29. As you can see they are too tall. This means they also have well developed root systems that match the length of the greenery.
I will have to use a very delicate touch when I move them. They are very crisp and will snap easily. The other obstacle is the entangled roots. I will put the dirt ball in a shallow dish half filled with warm water. After it has set for a few minutes the roots will slide right out of the potting mix.   These plants in the tray are exactly 2 weeks old (14 days after the seed was planted).
These are eggplant seedlings in the picture on the right, which shows how I soak them to remove them from the potting mix. In the above photo you will see Activia cups. We love to use free stuff in our garden. It keeps it out of the land fills. Sometimes, as in this instance, we find an item which serves our purpose better than the store bought ones. The Activia cup is the ideal size to move the seedlings into for their first home. We cut the rim off for convenience. The rim takes up room in the tray under the lights. We use those gray handle Fiskar's squeeze scissors to cut it off. Leave the advertising paper on the plastic. It adds strength to the container and gives a great surface for applying the lable you make. You need to poke holes in the bottom for drainage. Use a sharp implement. I used a fondue fork. There is a raised section on the bottom of the pot. you need to put your holes in this. If you put them in the section the pot sits on the tray then it won't drain properly. There are lots of commercially designed pots but we have found they are usually too big and require too much dirt.

Speaking of dirt.
We use the Activia cups because they are deep and narrow. They do not require a large amount of our soil mix. What is our soil mix. We mix one part soil with one part peat moss, with 1/2 part sand, 1/2 part of our dried manure from goats/sheep/cow and one part rice hulls. When this is well mixed we add a quart of Epsom salts and a quart of bone meal to a large wheel barrow of the mix. This is then stored to use for potting.

We take equal amounts of this mixture and our soil less mix and mix them together. This is what we use for the first transplanting.

 Even though some of the seed is very old I did not take the time to proof it.
 I just planted more of each variety.  I hope I am not disappointed in the number of plants that grow.   I planted 32 seeds of each variety in 16 holes in the containers.

                            Date      Date          Date                  Date               Date
                                                  Feb 21     Feb 22     Feb 24               Mar 3             Mar 15
GURNEY'S 2007         2-16 

GURNEY'S 2007         2-17

SHUMWAY 2007       2-17                                           1/32                1/32

HENRY FIELDS 2009 2-17                      11/32           18/32             24/32

HENRY FIELDS 2010 2-17      12/32       17/32            21/32             26/32         28/32

BAKER CREEK 2012 2-17       31/32                            31/32             31/32

We decided in 2012 we were going to try a non hybrid to see what the production rates of it were compared to the Varieties we were growing for the last 5 years. 

FEBRUARY 21:  This was a total surprise.  It's only been 5 days and from the looks of the 1 inch high plants they grew yesterday during the day.  I checked  on the 20 at 6 AM and there was no sign of growth.  This morning at 6 AM I had inch high plants.  They are under a small goose neck light to give them a little warmth and lots of light till I can take them down to the barn to the grow lights.

FEBRUARY 22:  It look likes things are starting to sprout.  I was pleased to see another tray.  BTW.. I found a better wrapping for the seed trays when they are in the propagation chamber (other than plastic wrap).   There is a zip lock bag which has a box bottom in it.  It allows for the height  of the tray I am using.  A gallon size will accommodate three of the trays (recycled plastic trays from chocolate covered graham crackers).  They are the bags with the zipper slides.  

An important note.  Watch your trays for molds.  If that starts to happen uncover your tray...then monitor it closely for dehydration.

When your trays start to sprout remove them from the chamber and put them under light immediately.  Use a strong light source.  If you don't have a set up of grow lights you can use incandescent lamps.  Right now my plants are under two old fashioned goose neck lamps with the bulbs positioned about 4 inches above the plants.  Monitor your plants to make sure your lights aren't too hot.  Monitor for moisture too.  Keep the surface nice and on the moist side of damp, you probably have some seeds which haven't sprouted.

Be sure to check your chamber twice a day.  If they start sprouting they will get leggy, looking for light within 24 hours. 

Finally we have something to get excited about.  Our Eggplant sprouted last week and some of our cabbage sprouted yesterday.

February 24:  The Waltham which has almost 100 % germination, is not because 31/32 grew but because I hadn't realized I had dropped a couple of extra seeds when I was planting (I.E.  one hole has 3 plants in it...LOL) and some holes have only germinated 1 plant.  The seeds which germinated 3 days ago have really nice first leaves. 

March 3:  Moving day.  The Waltham 29 I moved yesterday.  The rest will be moved today.  They will have a new blog too. Will post the link when I write it later today.

Mar 15:   Today I transplanted the Arcadia Broccoli again (first potting was March 3).  The picture on the left is from March 3.  The seed was sewn on February 17.  The Styrofoam potting container is produced by the company "Speedling".  I found this article about them.  They do promote good root growth.  The only problem I have with them is the soil seems to dry out quicker in them.  I think it is due to the increased surface area.  We also have larger celled Trays and they have the same problem with dehydration.  It does insulate the roots well keeping them at a stable temperature.
This is the Arcadia Broccoli on March 15 ready to be transplanted to a larger home.  The roots are beginning to peek out the drainage hole.    It has 14 days since the first potting.  The following pictures a plant plug when I removed it from the tray.  The second picture is the plug and I have disturbed the roots gently with the point of a Chop stick before I put it in its new home.

Notice the well developed roots in just 2 weeks.  The cells are 2 inches wide by just under 2 inches deep.
I am disturbing the roots gently with a chop stick.  This helps them to not be root bound when they are put in their new homes.  When I know I am going to transplant plants I water them heavily the day before.  That way they have a chance to absorb a drink before they are going to have damage done to them by the transplanting.  (No matter how careful you are you inflict some damage.)  Doing it 24 hours in advance insures you won't have a sopping mess to try to transplant.

This is their new home.  It is another potting system we enjoy using.  The "pots" are mostly biodegradable.  I really enjoy using these.  The baskets which hold the square containers unhinges on the corners and stores flat.  The pots are sent to you flat.  No one said but I bet the designer had planted in cardboard milk cartons before.  I have used them and achieve the same results.  (Getting all those smaller milk cartons is difficult).  These are the product and design of Hummerts in St. Louis.  The following is the link to the page describing them.

This is the Arcadia Broccoli snuggled into their new accommodations.  There is plenty of room in the six inch deep pots for their roots to grow with out being root bound.  (The pots are only 2x2 so they are giving maximum root space without using a lot of soil.  This is one reason why I like to plant in the quart cardboard milk cartons.  You have room for the roots to stretch out.  Another great planting re-cycle  is the tall drink cups you get at the gas stations. (Just remember you need to drill holes in the bottom.)  

In our garden we try to re-use and re-cycle as much as we can.  This 15 ounce detergent bottle contains fish emulsion.  It is the ideal size and the nozzle is perfect for watering the small cells so it doesn't drown or wash out the tiny plants. We also re-use the Hershey syrup bottles with plain water in them.  Tomorrow I will post the rest about transplanting the broccoli.  It got late and I wasn't able to finish taking pictures...  Today is March 16, We transplanted the Waltham 29 into their second homes.  They had become so big I had to use larger containers.   I could have gotten away with the ones you see above but would have had to transplant again within 2 weeks. So I used the next size up.  It's supposed to snow maybe 5 inches tonight.  I was so looking forward to the ground finally drying out and warming up.  The snow won't last though, we are going to get rain right after it.  That could spell lots of ice. 
MARCH 19:  The Waltham Broccoli in the first picture moved to their new homes.  For size comparison, the wooden box on the far right is a coke bottle carrier.  This is only 16 days since they were potted up on March 3.  30 plants made the move.  The weather here has been deplorable.  If it isn't raining it is snowing.  No matter what it does the thermometer is pegged on 30 degrees...My garden is a soggy mess that is frozen 4 inches under the muck.  These homes should suffice till the ground becomes workable.  

Did you notice the masking tape around the top of the pots.?  I put it there to hold the plants upright so they wouldn't topple over (they are all taped together).  I didn't want to use the large trays for them.  Using the Styrofoam trays I am able to move the plants away from the light source when their leaves start to touch the lights.

The picture on the left is our light set up for raising our plants.We recycled a bakers rack we found discarded behind a restaurant.  The shelves are not adjustable so we raise and lower the plants with boards and other things we have in the barn.
It's a little early to discuss pest control for Brassicas but I thought it would give you time to think about how you are going to tackle them.  Our means  to combat the cabbage worms is to use "BT".  We do so very carefully.  "BT" is supposed to be environmentally friendly, but a warning.  When using it you should wear a mask or make sure the wind isn't blowing.  The conditions in your lungs are the same conditions this bacteria likes to grow. 

It is not dangerous to eat the vegetables after they have been sprayed.   It is effective on all caterpillars.  You do not want to use it on flowers or vegetables which are eaten by beneficial insects which start their lives out as a caterpillar.

BT does have a draw back.  If you have a rain or a heavy dew you will have to respray.  The moisture washes the bacteria off the plant.  The best time to spray is after the morning dew is evaporated.

The advantage of this spray is, you do not need to use it until you see the worms.  So if you don't have them don't spray.

Bacillus thuringiensis

May you not have any ground hogs in your neighborhood...they adore Broccoli.
Break the circle of death,

Break all plastic circles.

 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 mothered.
It is a blog where I voice my opinions which will always be environmentally friendly.

As always, any pictures or writings are my own.
Credit has been given to contributions not my own.
Please do not use without permission.

Friday, February 15, 2013


This blog will be updated with each change in the Eggplants we are growing (sprouting through their first transplanting).  I will add any information which is helpful in raising Eggplants Organically as it becomes available.
I am growing four varieties of eggplants this year.  Hopefully this will be the year I convince my hunny eggplant is delicious,
 not just beautiful.

LEFT:   Eggplant flower

Feb 16,  Feb 21, Feb 22, Feb 24, Feb 26, 
Feb 27 
The eggplants we'll be growing this year:
La Semiorto Sementi (New England Seed) Produced and packed in Italy.  2007. This is the only eggplant seed I proofed because of it's age.  Put to proof 20 seeds February 3, 2013, Two sprouted February 14, today 02/15 one more sprouted.   I am planting 40 seeds.  I hope I get at least 4 plants.  This is a fantastically flavored eggplant with very few seeds. (There were several 100 seeds in package pd $3.49)

ROSA BIANCA:   Gurney's Seeds 2013  I think this is probably the same eggplant as the above.  I ordered it because at the time I placed my order I had not proofed my seeds.  The package says seed was grown in the USA.     Planting 6 seeds, I want 4 plants. (package said 30 seeds and that is what I received, pd $2.99).

ASWAD:  Baker Creek Seeds, 2012.  Never planted this variety.   Last years seed, planting  12 seeds I would like to have 6 plants (Package said 25 seeds, I received 70+ seeds  pd $3.00)

DIAMOND:  Baker Creek Seeds, 2012.  Never planted this variety.  Last years seed, planting 12 seeds would like 6 plants. The package states this is a mild dark purple 6"-9" x 2"-3" slender fruit of superb flavor and firm flesh.  (package stated 25 seeds, I received 69 seeds, pd $2.00) 


FEB 15          DATE       DATE       DATE        DATE       DATE       DATE        DATE       DATE
                     FEB 21     Feb 22        Feb 24       Feb 26        Feb 27       Mar 2 
DI ROSA                                            7/40          17/40         19/40        21/40

BIANCA                                                               0/6            0/6      

ASWAD         7/12       8/12               8/12           9/12          9/12           9/12

DIAMOND    4/12                             5/12           4/12          9/12           10/12

February 21, 2013:  I didn't check the seeds last night (they had been checked at 6 AM on the 20th).  This morning they were already an inch high and very lacking in chlorophyll.  They have been put under a light source to start manufacturing it.  I am using a goose neck lamp with a 60 watt bulb right now.  It's too early to run down and stick them under the grow lights in the barn. 

Six days and they sprouted.  The seed is 2 years old and eggplants.  I didn't expect anything for at least 10 days.  The temp in the propagation box was a steady 80 degrees for the last 4 days.  The first two days it was 75 degrees.  I couldn't get the temps any higher, I switched to a smaller Styrofoam containers so there would be less room for the yogurt maker to heat.  The heat from the bulb, not just the light, will be beneficial in their growth.  Egg plants do not like to be cold.  It stunts their growth. 

When I put them under the grow lights I will put a regular people heating pad under them on low so they will have heat coming up from below.  The room is only about 65 degrees.  They will not be set directly on the mat they will be on a cookie cooling rack that I filched from the kitchen.  Sitting on the mat the heat would be concentrated and too warm even if it were set on the lowest setting.  Yes, heat mats for plants are available but I have a heating pad.  I just have to be more attentive, monitoring how hot this one gets because it doesn't have a thermostat to turn it off or down.

Stress of cold, uneven watering, even transplanting can cause eggplant to be stunted resulting in decreased production.  You want the plant to be growing quickly, keeping a nice green stalk.

February 22, 2013:  Slow but sure.  I sure hope the other two sprout soon.   Just in case you are not reading the blog about broccoli: 
I will post about a change in procedure I am using.  Yesterday  I discovered a better way than using the plastic wrap for wrapping the trays.   There is a zip lock bag which has a glide closure and the bottom of the bag is a box flap.  The zipper allow easy access to the bag, and the box bottom allows for three of my plastic trays to fit in a gallon size.

The chlorosis cleared up after 10 hours under the lights and they didn't get any leggier.

February 24,  2013:  Being I was planting so few seeds I decided to divide the containers and plant two varieties in one tray.  I had not taken into account that different varieties germinate at different times.  Then you add into the equation the age of the seed and you have a totally different circumstances.  I placed the Bianca in with the DI Rosa.  The older seed has surprised me and sprouted first.  My new seed from Gurney's has not sprouted at all.  I thought the new seed would have sprouted before the other one. I did not proof the new seed but I did proof the DI Rosa because it was from 2007.  See above seed description at top of blog.   These planted in the soil less mix have started sprouting in 9 days.  I am so pleased with the results and the longevity of this seed. 

The problem I have now is the Gurney seed has not sprouted.  The tray has to be out so the other  side can get light.  I am having to keep the surface more moist so they have the best possible chance to germinate.  They also are only about 72 degrees not the 80 in the propagation chamber.

If we don't have any catastrophes I have enough of the Aswad and the Diamond sprouted.  If any more sprout they will be more than welcomed, but if they don't we will be fine.  Especially if I can't get Hunny to consume them.

February 26:  The Gurney seed still hasn't sprouted.  It has been eleven days.  Some sources say up to 21 days for germination.  But you can see the other varieties have sprouted. I have plenty of plants of the other varieties but wanted to try the Bianca to see if it was the same as the Di Rosa.   I've had an admirable showing from the New England seeds which are already 6 years old.  We are almost to 50% germination.  (the proofing showed just under 50%)  I will be saving this seed and proofing it again next year.  Proofing will tell me the viability of the seed and how many I have to plant to get the number of seedlings I need.

If you do not know about proofing seed I blogged about it here:

In your reading about Eggplant culture I don't know if you have learned about the importance to keeping eggplant plants warm during their growing out.  In fact through their whole life.  We baby our seedlings to the point where we make a small "green houses" inside our green house and put a heat source on the bottom so the roots stay warm.  This is like a playpen for the plants.  (A playpen would be fabulous to use if you could find one at a garage sale..all you would have to do is put a heat pad in the bottom and make a rack above it to sit the plants on and then throw a sheet of plastic over it to keep the heat in.)  We just use a wooden pallet to sit the plants above the heat source and make sides from what ever resource we have and cover it with plastic. 

February 27:  When I watered the seedlings last night I notice I have some new sprouts.  I was thrilled the oldest seed was nearing 50% germination.  (the only problem with this is I will have to find homes for the ones I can't use).   The other two seeds, which were from last year,  are at 75% germination.  I am very disappointed that the new seed from Gurneys is not germinating and it has been given an ideal environment.  I just called Gurney's and they were extremely nice.  I explained my predicament and they took care of the situation.

MARCH 2:  Today is moving day.  Will be writing a separate blog for the seedlings.  Only the Rosa Bianca did not grow I am pleased with the other seeds.  This is the new blog about the repotting:

 Baker Creek packages stated the following: to sew seeds indoors 8-12 weeks before last frost. Most species are from Africa or India. They can be surface sewn. ( I have always planted them 1/4 inch deep.)  The seeds could take up to 3 weeks to germinate. Other sources say Germination is 7-14 days.  In my propagation chamber it is usually is closer to 7 days for eggplant.
This eggplant was very prolific.  The eggplants were small usually around 4 inches long or less.  flavor very mild. I found the skins very tough.

The eggplants here were  grown in our green house in 2007.  It was a very successfully endeavor..


Clockwise from 12 o'clock:   Roll of plastic wrap; wax paper sheets; scissors; glue stick, plastic container; notebook, glasses, pen, chop stick;  bag of moistened seeding mix; paper towels select-a-size

Center:  ultra fine point sharpie, tweezers, (the wax paper cut into sheets and folded into pockets)

I can't stress enough how important it is you make a paper chart while you are working.  Record pertinent info and maybe even info you don't consider relevant. 

When I open a packet of seeds I count them.  Then I put them in a wax paper pocket on which I have written on the outside with the ultra fine point sharpie the package info (the variety, the company, the year, and the number of seeds left after I use them.)  Then I put the little packet inside the package which they originally were in.  This keeps seeds from falling out of the package. 

We use all sorts of plastic inserts for planting, even the covered take out containers (the ones with clear lids).  The only prerequisite is they be deep enough to allow space when the seeds sprout. You don't need much room above the dirt, maybe 1/2 inch to an inch. 

February 27:  While planting my peppers I found the ideal container for starting a few seeds in.  My "activia " containers with their edge cut off.  5 seeds fit comfortably in them. 

Before you fill your container make sure you make a label and attach it to the container. At the same time record all information ( I.E. planting date, variety, seed company, seed age, how many seeds planted)

Press the wet soil less medium into the bottom of the plastic containers.  Then use the tweezers to pick up and lay the seeds on top of the medium.  After your seeds are in place go back with your chop stick, which has been marked with the proper planting depth,  and poke the seeds into the medium.

February 27:  While reading through this blog after I wrote the seedling additions I realized I had never explained the importance to starting your seeds in a soil less mix.  There are many bacterias and fungus present in regular soil.  The germination temps are high for eggplant and this encourages the growth of these critters as well as your eggplants.  They love to establish homes on little plants.  You could use regular soil but are taking a chance on raising the plants to maturity.  Another draw back to soil is it packs and the seeds have to fight their way to the surface.  It is also difficult to keep consistent moisture  on the surface.

After the seeds are pressed into the medium I use the other end of the chopstick and lightly tamp the soil less mix over the seeds.  Next I cover the container with plastic wrap and put it in our propagation chamber.  In the following blog I explain how we made our propagation chamber.  Scroll down about half way on the blog.

February 27:  Another thing I have found that is a big help is the use of those zippered bags with the box bottoms.  They accommodate my containers well, and it is easy to open the bag to check for germination.

Our Propagation Chamber ( a 28" x 18" x 16" Styrofoam cooler) has two yogurt makers in it.  I only have one on and the temperature is staying right at 80 degrees F with the lid closed.

Eggplants we have grown in the past:

ROSITA:  fruits are about 1 - 1 1/2 cup size.  the flesh is pure white.  They are usually a little pinker than this.  The flea Beatles seemed to enjoy them more than the other varieties.  They were not as prolific as other eggplants we have grown.  We will give them a second chance because they were so delicious.
BRIDE:  for us these were a very lackadaisical in taste eggplant.  The flesh was firm with hardly any seeds.  They were prolific.  The largest eggplant was maybe 6 inches long and 2 inches wide.
KAMO: wow what an eggplant.  The only problem with it is it isn't large enough.  it has extremely firm flesh with a slight green coloring.  very very mild.  Seemed less susceptible to the flea beetles.  It grows on extremely large 3+ feet plants.
PING TUNG:  The flavor of this eggplant was okay.  The plants were scrawny, not very leafy.  It wasn't very prolific.  when cooked the flesh went to mush immediately, and the skins were tough.  They were a couple inches long to 7 inches long and were only an inch through.  We won't be planting these again.

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 mothered.
It is a blog where I voice my opinions which will always be environmentally friendly.

As always, any pictures or writings are my own.
Credit has been given to contributions not my own.
Please do not use without permission.