Monday, April 11, 2011

Seeds and Stuffed Raccoons

Things are happening in my little egg carton garden. So far all of my tomato plants have germinated, all of my yarrow is growing nicely and after having a little peek under the soil I can see that my peppers are beginning to germinate as well. It is very exciting to see things grow right before your eyes.

Here is one of my tomato plants a few days ago, just after it had germinated

Here are my tomato plants today

The tomatoes are looking a bit leggy (long and reaching) because I didn't realize they needed to go under a light as soon as they had germinated, so they went light-less for a few days before I clued in. I don't yet have proper lighting (I will be doing that this weekend) but they seem to be doing well under the small light that I do have, which is just a CFL bulb in an Ikea light placed very closely to the plants. I'm doing what I can with what I have.

Something that I tried that worked really well to get my heat-loving seeds to germinate was putting them in the oven. Now hold on! Don't freak out. I didn't turn the oven on. Phew! Scared you didn't I? I placed them in a regular egg carton (one I hadn't messed with), closed up the lid and put them into the oven with the oven light on. After making yogurt in the crock-pot and learning how much warmth that little bulb in the oven puts off, I thought I would give it a try with my seeds. They stayed nice and toasty in the oven overnight, and the next morning I saw major growth. If you need a warm place to put your seeds while they germinate, try this!! Just make sure you don't forget they are in there and turn the oven on, like I always do with my frying pan (I have a very large frying pan that won't fit in my cupboard so it lives in my oven).

Here is my yarrow growing happily

Here is another view of the yarrow

I had planted a row of sweetpeas along the fence that separates my yard from my neighbours, but so far I'm not seeing anything happening with those. I think the seeds I had may have been too old, which is unfortunate. On the plus side, if they don't grow then I'll have more room to grow more food.

After making the knitting needle/crochet hook roll I decided I wasn't done crafting, which is a great feeling. For awhile I was in a bit of a crafting slump, my sewing machine was collecting dust, and I was very much uninspired. Lately my sewing machine has been quite busy, as well as most of my crafting tools. I'd dare to say that my slump is over, but I don't want to jinx it because I'm having too much fun. I made a stuffed raccoon for the kids the other day, and they haven't put him down or stopped cuddling with him since I made the last stitch. They named him Jasper :)

 This weekend I will be putting a permit on my van and picking up most of what I need for the garden. I need to make some more soil for my raised square-foot garden so I can start planting in there, I need to pick up a fluorescent light or two, and a few containers for some Lavender, Lemon Balm, Stevia and Peppermint to go into. The sun has made a surprise appearance today amidst all of this heavy rain we've been getting so I need to get outside and enjoy it. I hope wherever you are the sun is shining also and you are out playing in the dirt!

This post is being shared on Homestead Revival's Barn Hop #8


  1. I put mine on top of my gas stove to germinate! Great idea to put them in the oven. Mine are also looking long & skinny. This is my first year growing tomatoes from seed, should they not be skinny?

  2. Hi Nicole :) From my understanding, if they get too long and skinny they become very fragile. If they continue that way when they are transplanted they won't produce much. I'm told that if one has leggy plants, when you transplant them to dig a trench and lay most of the bottom of the plant in the trench, covering it with the soil. Leave the top of the plant out above the soil and that will help them produce more roots and become stronger, then being able to produce more fruit. Another problem with them getting leggy is they do that because they are reaching for light, which would mean that they aren't getting the adequate amounts of light they need to grow strong and healthy. Does that make sense? It's my first year doing tomatoes from seed as well. It's my first year growing anything from seed! Good luck with your plants, and thanks for commenting :)

  3. Love the seeds in the egg shells, what a great idea. What frost zone are you in? I'm in 6 so we cannot plant until the end of May, my tomatoes are leggy also. I get full sun in the morning where I had my seedlings, but...there hasn't been many days with sun. I am also doing a SFG..the strawberries are in. ( my first year w/both.

  4. Do you plant the egg in the ground after you break it up with the seedlings or do you take the seedling out of the shell and plant it?

  5. Hi Anonymous, thanks for the comment! I plant the egg with the seedling. Once the seedling has developed roots the longer roots will start to find their way out of the small holes I poked in the bottoms of the shells before I put the dirt and seed in. When I go to transplant the seedling I break pieces off of the bottom of the shell which is easy to do at this point. Then I plant the whole thing in it's new home. Hope that makes sense!



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