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sprouting day

the first tomato seedlings of 2010

60 days to tomatoes!

It's kind of amazing, seeing seeds sprout. Expected behavior, I know, but there's still something exciting about seeing the first green shoots pushing their way up through the soil—or, in this case, the soil-less medium. Even more exciting when they pop up ahead of schedule, like the tomatoes and onions I planted the other day.

Last year I was an overanxious seed-parent, checking multiple times a day to make sure my little babies were warm enough, and had enough water and enough light... That kind of attention turns out to be kind of unproductive when there's absolutely nothing to be seen. This season I took a more hands-off approach, so even though five days to sprouting is only one day quicker than last year, I was surprised and delighted to see almost all the seeds up when I poked my head in this morning.

Just like with Harvey, the reality of the little guys' presence spurred me to action and I made them a nice little house out of styrofoam, complete with an additional light fixture. My hope is that it will serve the dual purposes of keeping them warm—March is much colder than April down there in the basement—and providing a more diffuse light. Last year I had trouble with spindly seedlings, so we'll see if the new hardware helps. I also invested in a timer for the lights; it's all very exciting, though not cheap. You know what they say: you have to spend money to make plants.

There's room in the styrofoam house for several more trays than I've got in there now, so expect more seed reports in days to come! (once I figure out what the schedule should be, that is).

seedlings under the lights

warm and cozy

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