Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Seedling Update and Random Bits!

It's been almost 2 weeks since I started 6 flats of seeds indoors.. Tomatoes, peppers, basil, parsley, geraniums, petunias, gourds, giant pumpkins, onions, leeks and so many more.. Due to some work travel, I was a bit late this year for some things, but it never ceases to amaze me just how fast seeds germinate and the plants grow! My onions are now 3 inches tall and need to be trimmed back with scissors (we toss the trimmings into scrambled eggs - yum!). The tomatoes are entering the 2nd leaf stage and the Chinese cabbage (Little Jade, a new dwarf variety from Renee's Garden) is ready to be hardened off and moved to the cold frames!)

Just popped down to the basement, where the temperature is a steady 15 C and a fan keeps the air circulating 24/7. Blowing air can help prevent a host of problems, but it also toughens up the plants, making them sturdier, stronger and more ready to deal with the 'real world' once they are moved outside.

Here' s a peek under my lights on this cool and cloudy Wednesday, along with a few other photos from the past week!

A photo from the Spring Ideal Home Show last weekend.
Finally, a company that sells quality cold frames! For
contact info and pricing,  check out Nova Tree Company. So exciting!

Paul MacPhee of MacPhee's Landscaping Services. Paul is also
the current President of Landscape Nova Scotia!

Retail Sales Manager, Jackie from Blomidon Nurseries! I had
a great time speaking there last month and will be back again on
Friday, May 25th from 10 am to 12:30 to speak on Year Round
Veggie Gardening and do an extended Q & A session! 

A GIANT pumpkin seedling from garden friend, Pete. You
can't buy seed like this! He sent me some from a 1200 LB
pumpkin! This baby is already 5 inches tall and I have 4 others
that are quickly catching up.

A peek under the lights - look how things have grown in
just a few days. Plus, I have more to start - zinnias, cukes,
zucchini, more gourds/pumpkins, etc.

Ragged Jack Kale. Love that the true leaves are so 'raggedy'
and divided. You can even see the purple centre vein already.

Another photo.. gourds, kale, tomatoes, onions and more!

Portuguese Kale from Renee's Garden. Huge flat
leaves grow 18-inches tall. Heat tolerant with a mild,
sweet flavour. Can't wait!

Last, but not least, my Little Jade seedlings. I'm not sure who
likes Chinese cabbage more - me or the slugs? But, I gotta
keep trying. These seedlings are only 12 days old and
will be moved to the cold frames by Monday I hope after a
few days of hardening off.


  1. I love looking at seedlings. It's just like admiring baby pictures, really. And wow, that pumpkin is a big baby already!

  2. Niki, thank you for the seedling pictures. I agree with Melissa completely.

  3. Niki, what starting medium do you use to fill the germination flats; and do you use any preventative measures against damp-off?


    1. Hi Debbie. I use pro-mix and buy it in big bales of 3.8 cubic feet compressed. It's the best bang for your buck and I use a lot of potting soil over the course of a year. Typically they cost about $30 to 35 depending where you go.

      For damping off, I have found that keeping a fan on in the room where my seedlings are growing is the best preventative. Air circulation is key! Some gardeners swear that a thin layer of peat moss on the soil surface of their flats/pots will also prevent damping off. Since I've had a fan in the room (15+ years), damping off hasn't been a problem for me (knock on wood!) Just don't overwater and keep the air moving.. good luck!

  4. Nice and very informative post. its very good idea to grow some vegetables in our home garden with plants and flowers and you have shared some good ways of growing seeds.

    Landscaping Toronto


Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)