Friday, September 11, 2009


So it took four days, but all of my Giant Belgium, Homestead 24 and Marvel Stripe seeds have sprouted. None of the Azoychka have, but I suspect it's because the seeds were old. I just might not be growing that variety this year after all.

The seedlings in this picture are about two days old. At this point, no true leaves have emerged, and the seedlings are about 1" tall and very delicate. I'm growing them inside, under fluorescent grow lights. I'm using compact fluorescent lights with a reflector, positioned a few inches over the leaves. Currently, the light-cycle is 16 hours on and 8 hours off.

I expect it will take about month before these plants are ready to be transplanted outside, and truthfully, that's just about right for planting tomatoes here (or even still a little early). I don't know about anybody else, but I know we've had torrential downpours at my house every night this week. That kind of rain just isn't good for young tomato plants, and I hope the people who are planting already will keep their plants.

In any event, my next few weeks will be spent on raising up the best seedlings possible. The goal here is to produce bushy, tough plants that can handle the transition outside with no problem. But for now—at least for today—there's nothing to do but watch the tender young seedlings stretch toward the light and shed their seed pods.

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