Only a week has passed and here are the many little miracles that have occurred. No matter how many times I do this, I'm always struck with a sense of awe and wonder at the life contained in each tiny little seed. There is something so satisfying about nurturing a seed and watching it grow. Everybody should do it, even if just to watch and experience it. Glory be to God the creator of life!
Note: Other members of the cabbage family include: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc., and will grow very similar to these.
I will transplant them deep and they will be just fine. Setting them outside during the day when it is sunny and above 40° really helps to strengthen them. Wait till they are all up nicely before setting outside.
Notice how much greener they get once they are in the light? :)
A tip that slipped my mind whenever I planted them was that you can soak them 12-24 hours before planting for better germination. Reckon I should've done it!
Little eggplants emerging after 6 days.
Here they are, a little over a day later. Don't they look exactly like they are yawning and stretching, glad to be up? :)
Isn't it fun to see what can be produced in just a week's time? With proper care and the right elements of light, heat, food and water, your seedlings will flourish. I was amazed how well they did in the house since I was used to always having a greenhouse. You can do it too!
Compost tea is one of the best ways to feed your plants organically. It has a wide variety of nutrients and live microbes that feed plants almost instantly. To learn more about compost tea you can find tons of info on the web, or buy one of my favorite gardening books: Making Vegetables Vol. 1 from http://www.bulkherbstore.com/.
This book has all the information you need about compost tea, plus much more on seed starting and organic, heirloom gardening.
I like to feed my plants at least once a week, and even twice a week once they are transplanted and a little older. You can also grow nice plants using Liquid Fish Fertilizer. Another way is to mix organic granular fertilizer into your soil before transplanting seedlings. The fertilizer will release gradually and feed your plants over a period of time. You can find these fertilizers at most garden centers like Lowes. Just follow package instructions for application rates.
Proper watering is critical to the health of your seedlings. Most people water too much since of course, they don't want their new plants to wilt - and die! But your plants can die just as easy by overwatering. It may take a little longer and you might not see it coming since they will be rotting at the roots. If you see signs of plants starting to turn yellowish or getting droopy even if the soil is still wet, then you might be overwatering. If this is the case, just let them dry out really good before watering again, and then water with fertilizer. A lot of times people think their plants are wilting if they get droopy but if your soil is still wet and heavy, this is not the case. This means their roots are rotted far enough that they aren't getting sustenance from the soil. Watering will just make it worse! The best thing you can do is put them in a well ventilated area and give them a break from direct blazing sunlight. Make sure they are warm enough, and there's a fair chance they will recover.
Check out my previous post, 'Pt. 2 - Adequate Lighting' for more instructions on light and heat.
An ounce of prevention
I will clean out the fallen ones and take precautions to provide better ventilation.
Another step you can take towards prevention is misting the soil and plants with Chamomile tea. Chamomile contains antifungal properties that will help offset pathogens in the soil. Just add 1 Tbsp. Chamomile to two cups hot water, or 1 tea bag to two cups making a diluted tea. Steep like any tea, let cool, and spray plants and soil 2-3 times a week. You can put it in a spritz bottle and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. This would be good to do right after watering to keep from wetting the soil more times then necessary.