Though I've become comfortable repotting plants, I always fear that my seeds would never ever germinate. Sometimes the seeds germinate in two or three days and sometimes they never do (the same seeds from same company). I am not sure if it is the problem with seeds or me not doing it right.
In 2008, all the sunflowers, cornflowers, Gaillardias, Pansies, and many others that I sowed germinated well, but I lost them all (well, almost all of them except very few) to the unexpected rains (http://inartliesmyheart.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html). I did a stupid mistake of sowing them all close and letting them grow thin and wobbly. Well, I was an amateur (not that I am an expert now, but at least better than what I was two years ago - thanks to great bloggers like Tina, Prue, Catherine, Randy and Jamie, and many others - I'd have to dedicate a separate post to mention all of them).
This year, my germination rate has been really poor so far. I was excited when I got packets of seeds from a nice-hearted friend from Germany but only a very few germinated. This time, I should blame myself for not doing something right with them.
Here's all that've germinated so far:
- Balsam (Balsamina impatiens)
- Sturts Pea (Swainsona formosa)
- Sugar Melon (Can someone help me with its botanical name?)
- White Gaura - Gaura lindheimeri
- Another one, I don't remember the name :D
- And this one, I seriously hope is the most-badly-wanted Grape Hyacinth - Muscari comosum (Can anyone confirm?)
I sowed many others this week and this time, instead of placing them in the terrace (where my watering could be a problem), I placed them below the tubelight in the hall (Good that we Indians use those white florescent tubelights in our homes).
- Tomato 'Yellow Queen'
- Strawberries (again, YES, I'm not ready to give up yet)
- Dahlia (I'm not giving up on these either!)
- Green Beans (God! What was I thinking? Am I be brave enough to grow veggies?)
- Cayenne Long Pepper
- Canarina canariensis ex Tenerife
- Black-eyed Susan (Thurnbergia)
The balsam and co that germinated in small cells were drying out due to the lack of space. They didn't give out more than four/three leaves. The Tomato 'Yellow Queen' seedlings died! I thought it was time that I transplanted them, but was not sure if I should transplant them directly into the pots so I decided to transplant them into paper cups, where they'd spend their time for two more weeks and then move on to their final destinations.
I made three holes at the bottom of the pot, filled them up with my coco peat + sand + compost mix, made a two inch hole in the centre.
Then I scooped up the seedlings with a spoon from the cells after pressing them from the bottom to loosen the soil.
Look at how much growth the seedling has put up in so little a time!
Plopped them into the hole in the paper cups, pressed the soil gently, water them and we're done!
I hope they all grow into adults! Palms enjoined (Well, that's the Indian version of fingers crossed :D)!
(The above one is the White Gaura)
And today, one of the Dahlia seeds showed up a green stem, it's yet-to-be opened cotyledons still buried into the soil. I was so excited and a small tiny reed-like seedling emerged from the soil. I hope it is Aristolochia which is what I sowed in it. There's no chance that it could be anything else as there's no soil for weeds in the cups. But does an Aristolochia seedling look like a tiny reed? Tiny as in less than a centimeter tiny.
Oh, I almost forgot about the Black Gram (Vigna mungo) that I sowed more than a week ago and it germinated within three days! The germination was 99%! I plant to use it with my tomatoes as a cover crop. I'm not sure if cover crop concept would be effective in containers, but this is gonna be a trail. I also bought carrot seeds yesterday and I think I have Summer version of radishes somewhere in the seeds box. I plant to grow them together in pots using tissue papers - I learnt of the seed tapes yesterday and read that it's useful while growing carrots to avoid some virus (am I correct?) infection. I also am planning to grow Black eyed peas to plant with my veggies in future. Any of you have an idea if cover crops would good in containers? I think they should theoretically, but is it remarkable?
(The leaves are a lush green and look so fresh! Lover of flowers at heart than vegetables, I am excited to see its blooms)
And here, is the picture of my first tomato (if at all there's some other already forming that missed my eye). Isn't he cute? Veggie growers must think I'm bonkers, but hey this is my first official vegetable!
I think the curl that I was talking about in one of my past posts is due to potassium deficiency or could also be deficiency of micro nutrients which reduced Potassium intake. I saw that there were purplish venation at the bottom of the elder leaves.
Have a busy weekend everyone!