Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chuckin' out the poor and pottin' up the good stuff..

Did some house cleaning today. Removed the Roma seedlings that were still in the propagator, as they were looking downright sad today.. they were turning a pretty good purple color due to lack of nutrient's in the soil-less mix.. so, that part of the experiment is over with. Here's a pic of them just before I pulled them out of service:

Sad Roma seedlings that didn't make the cut..

Those guys are gona get flung over the deck when it stops raining out I think.. Now, we're just gonna concentrate on the good ones. Speaking of which, check out how well the good test subjects are doing:

The biggest of the bunch
Clearly there's some disparity in the sizes of these little guys. You can see in the photo just above that the biggest seedling is parked in the six pak right next to the smallest seedling and there's just a huge difference in size between the two of them. I guess that's the key with this project.. grow lots of them, because then you can pick out the biggest, strongest little guys from the bunch and not have all sorts of differences in the sizes between them when trying to keep 'em under lights indoors. 

In related news, the Basil seedlings also got moved into their own six pak yesterday:

And then this morning, I was looking at the Jalapeno seedlings and see that they're really not doing anything anymore. No improvement, but nothing bad either.. just stagnant as far as growth goes. So, I figured maybe they were just out of food and needed to be potted up to a larger area to grow.. even though I really don't see much in the way of second leaves on them. Just a little sprout of green in between the seed leaves is all. But hey, an experiment is an experiment, so into a six pak they went. Here they are:

That flashed out tag says 'Jalapeno'..

Closeup of the Jalapeno's. Still looks like just
seed leaves to me.. 
Interestingly, when I started pulling them up with my trusty letter opener, out from the propagator, several of them had really huge amounts of super long rootlets.. so I'm wondering now if I should have moved them a few days ago. Those roots gotta be searching out for something they're not getting readily if they're getting that long. Hopefully, they'll do much better now. 

Speaking of peppers, the Habanero's are all still failing, on the surface anyway. I looked at the propagator again and see absolutely nothing sprouting. Today is the 15th day, and the last day, according to the packaging, that these guys are supposed to take to sprout. Irritated, I started to dig around in the propagator to find where the seeds were and what they were doing. First one, dead.. nothing going on at all. Second one, also waterlogged and shot. Found the third in the middle of the propagator and saw that a tiny rootlet had in fact jumped out and was reaching for soil.. so I covered it back up and let 'er go. I did not dig up the other three in there, so they're still a mystery, but if I can get one of these guys to start up, the Habanero's are the plants I have now that I'm most interested in keeping going if any.. I would like to keep a nice Hab in a pot next to my desk or something. After I found out these things are perennials and not annuals like the other pepper plants, I thought it might be fun to keep one of those around.. plus, it'll fire right back up and start fruiting again in the summer a lot faster than the others if I can keep it alive over the winter. 

Lastly, a pic of the light setup as it stands right now. I think I might be able to pull out the propagator pretty soon, because the six paks are much easier to keep watered than the tiny propagators, and I think these plants don't need quite as much water as they're getting from the self watering tray right now.. I pulled them off the watering tray just a few minutes ago and I'm gonna let 'em dry out a bit so I dot get 'em all fungus'd up or something. Check 'em out..

That's it.. I'll give an update in a few days or so. Heck, I just took a look at the gardening calendar I made up and it's telling me Broccoli get's seeded in the propagator in just 3 weeks from now. Yikes! A month and a week or two from now, it'll be time for the real deal of pepper plants.. this experiment might be over just in time to start the main event!