First Sprouts!

I woke up an hour early this morning, which has allowed me to write for a full hour as well as finishing marking my papers.  It was an accidental delight, as I hadn’t set my alarm and simply woke unexpectedly.  I didn’t go to bed particularly early last night, so we’ll see how I feel this evening.  It was nice to have the time, however.

Even nicer is the fact that my tomatoes have all sprouted.  I wasn’t expecting them to come up so soon — in fact, I thought the first one was a patch of mould, since it started four days after I’d planted them, and the projected germination was for 7-14 days.  Having everything up in six, then, is quite amazing.

I tried getting the Jiffy expandable peat pellets plus plastic dome lid, which may be the reason.  It’s certainly kept the medium moist, hence my concern about mould.  I’d originally used two bits of a wood chopstick to mark which row was which type of tomato, the Tommy Toe and the Brandywine, and noticed mould starting on the sticks three days in.  But the peat pellets seem to be working very well.  I may need to get artificial lights sooner than I’d expected, however, as I don’t think the sunlight is strong enough by itself to let them grow stout and strong.

I have another dome set I haven’t yet made use of.  I got the small ones, with room for sixteen plants, even though it’s more economical to get the larger sizes of trays.  Because germination rates differ from type to type, I didn’t want a case where a third of the tray was ready for the lid to be removed and the other 2/3 would benefit from its mini greenhouse effect.  I’ve been trying to decide which of my various seeds to plant next, since it’s unlikely I could plant anything out for two months, certainly not the frost-sensitive types.

However, as I’m using containers, I might be able to get away with planting some of the hardier plants in mid-April and covering them or bringing the pots inside when frost threatens, as it will, after that.  The pansies, the spinach, the lettuce, and the peas might all work for that.  If I get grow lights next weekend I can hope not to have straggly unhealthy plants, in which case it won’t matter too much if I have to keep them indoors for another week or two.

I’ve also found some basil seeds I bought last year, so I’ll try those, too.  It’s a little-leaf basil, but will nevertheless take a while to come to useful size.

Anyone else have sprouts? Anything planted?

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3 thoughts on “First Sprouts!

  1. We received some really interesting sprouts in the local food box we order weekly. They usually include the sprouts in winter as a substitute for the plentiful fresh produce of summer. These were called “super sweet sun shoots”, came in a black ziploc bag, and are grown from certified organic corn kernels. Really neat!

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  2. Did you enjoy them? I have to say I’ve never done very much with sprouts — besides these this year, which I don’t plan on eating at the moment! — but I’ve been reading about them. Apparently the nutritional value of the seeds increases something like 200% by sprouting, up to the first week or so afterwards. It amazes me that they can transform by that much, especially when you think of the ones grown solely in water, as it must be entirely the transformation of the starches and things in the seed itself. I think I should start trying some sprouts with the intention of eating them. I even have some mung beans I bought for the purpose, but never got around to it.

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