In my last post, Let’s Grow Basil, I encouraged you to plant something and learn about gardening. I also wanted you to know that if your plant dies, you didn’t fail. You just learned something that didn’t work. As long as you don’t give up, you will eventually succeed and this will build your confidence in gardening.
Today, I want to bring you back into the greenhouse. In my post In the Greenhouse-Planting Seeds, I chose to use 162 Cell Plug Trays for starting my seeds so that I could maximize the number of plants without taking up a lot of room in the greenhouse. Then after the seedlings grew a set or two of true leaves, I will transplant them. Let’s see how many seeds sprouted.
I had planted a whole 162 plug tray of various tomato seeds. Why so many? Well, I had a few reasons. One reason was that I want to plant between thirty and forty plants in my garden. Another reason was that I wanted to share with my friends and neighbors-saving them the expense of purchasing plants. And lastly, I was planting older seeds that I had bought in 2014 and I wasn’t sure how well they would germinate. Out of the 162 cells in the tray, about 20 cells were empty. The seeds didn’t grow. I took the seedlings from the other 142 cells and transplanted them into Styrofoam cups. I have 179 tomato plants. How did I get more plants than the 142 cells that had seedlings in them? Well, as much as I tried to plant one seed in each cell, I sometimes dropped two or three by accident and they sprouted. So after I planted a 162 cell tray of tomato seeds, I have 179 tomato plants. Success!
In another 162 cell plug tray, I planted cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots. In a third tray, I planted bell peppers. Most of my carrots and cabbage came up. I will be transplanting these plugs straight into the garden. Success!
However, only one broccoli, one cauliflower, a few jalapeno and no bell pepper plants grew. Sometimes you win sometimes you lose, but you always learn.
What did I learn? Well, first observation is that I did plant older seeds. Some. like the tomatoes, sprouted well. Others, like the bell peppers, did not. Maybe the seeds were no longer any good.
The second thing that I learned as I transplanted my tomato seedlings is that the soil wasn’t as moist as I thought. This was the first year that I used these 162 cell plug trays. I was misting them down each day, but upon transplanting I realized that the bottom of the plugs were a little dry. I will have to water more than I thought.
I concluded that the reason that all my seeds didn’t grow was probably because they were older seeds or were lacking in adequate moisture. I will make a note of it, plant more seeds, and try again. As long as I don’t give up, I will succeed. See you back in the greenhouse soon.