Saturday, April 3, 2010

Seeds aren't doing so hot

So my seeds that I started a month ago aren't doing so well. I managed to get a couple of tomato plants, a few cayenne plants, some cabbage and some squash to pop up. Out of 120 "pots" only 10 of them produced anything. Interestingly enough, all of the tomatoes and the cayennes were heirloom seeds that I'd saved from last year. None of the tomato seeds that I bought germinated. The same goes for my peppers. To be fair I bought them last year but I'd still expect them to have more of a shelf life than they did. They were stored in a cool, dark, dry space. Maybe the seed companies are just getting so good at engineering their seeds that they can control how long they stay viable now. All of the squash seeds that I planted were bought this year so there's no reason that I should have gotten such a crappy yield out of them. Maybe it didn't work out because the tray didn't get warm enough. My buddy used one of these pellet trays last year and all of his plants were out of control by the time he got them in the ground. The room that he had them in was like a greenhouse, though. My big kitchen window gets several hours of direct sun but my windows are triple pane so I don't get a whole lot of heat radiating through.

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Hopefully, the seeds that I plant directly in the ground will turn out better this year. Either way, I probably won't use one of these pellet greenhouse kits again. Not until I build a greenhouse, anyway. Unfortunately, the only other kind of starter tray I can find are peat pots. The plants start OK in the peat pots but they're not reusable. Whenever I put them in the ground the roots never do a good job of breaking through. They do grab onto the inside of the peat pots, though, so if you try to take the plant out of the pot before planting it usually tears up the roots. Why can't they just sell those little plastic planters that the plants just fall right out of, anymore?

The other option is to get some grow lights for next year. With all of the medical marijuana "patients" around here there are grow shops popping up everywhere. Indoor gardening equipment is easy to get at good prices. Good prices doesn't necessarily equate to cheap, though. Running them the lights is even more expensive. I just don't know that it would be worth it. I'd rather not start growing $100 tomatoes.


Anonymous said...

U.S. Sorry to hear about your seeds. Last year I grew tomatos from seed and had nearly 100% sprout. I used seedling soil, and put a shop light about 6 inches above the soil. Some were slower to sprout, I suspect they may have been planted too deep. I have used peat pots in the past had would NOT recommend them. Good Luck.

Regular Patriot said...

Did you plant several seeds in each part of the tray? I typically will plant 3 seeds together and then thin them out if necessary, this way I'm sure to get something to grow. I'd plant some more seeds where you havent' gotten any to grow as of yet. There's still plenty of time this season.

What type of soil did you plant them in? Did you keep them watered?

The Urban Survivalist said...

They're in those pellets that expand when you add water. They stay wet. They're supposed to be ideal for sprouting. As for the seeds, I did plant several in each pot. Only one produced more than one seedling. I did wake up this morning to an acorn squash plant that had popped out.