Friday, August 7, 2009

Seeds, Seedlings and Such

It feels like spring! The weather has been lovely for the past couple of weeks and I've been getting a bit impatient. But I couldn't start planting even if I wanted to. I've harvested 1 broccoli out of 5 plants and can (after a bit of snooping) just make out the first of my cauliflower coming through. I think they have to hurry up before it starts getting too warm. I got them as seedlings in April, who would've thought they'd take so long. Although, I must assume it has to do with the amount of sunlight as the broccoli I've harvested was the one in prime position and Mr B from work (who I shared my seedlings with) apparently has heads of both. The lettuce I'd be happy to pull up at any moment but the snow peas are still going and the beets/carrots not quite ready.

I decided to compromise and have started some seeds indoors.

I've planned out what I want to grow and have sown what I'll need. Last time, my first go at such things, I overcompensated thinking that nothing would germinate. This time with more know how and time up my sleeves I haven't planted any extra. If nothing germinates I've got plenty of time to sow more.

Speaking of seeds, I thought I'd try my hand at those flowering broccolini plants! A lot of petals have fallen leaving bare stalk with... seeds? I had a brief read about what to do and taking into account these seeds looking quite dry already I proceeded.

It wasn't as hard as I thought and quite fun. It reminds me of gathering grasses with seeds for my birds over the years and always puts me in mind of hunter/gathers (I'd definately belong to the latter ;)) I thought I even had a good result with the broccolini as you can see below... until I compared them with the seeds I had bought (top right on the right photo). They're organic seeds so I know they haven't been coloured by any chemicals and their shape is very regular. Am I collecting the right thing? I would assume so... Maybe I have to leave them on the stalks longer before collecting any more?

Really enjoying the warmer weather are my tomato seedlings. I started these about a week after my outdoor tomato plants and while they... lived... they never flourished. They did better once I put them outside (about a month and a half ago) and in the last two weeks have really grown. They about doubled in size! I have 2 pots of 2 and 1 pot of 3. The 3 are tommy toe and the other 2 pots got mixed up a long time ago, although I reckon I can tell by their colouring.

I started them in my enthusiasm and not actually imagining that the ones I planted outdoors would thrive in winter. Boy was I wrong. I've asked a few people if they'd like to adopt any and everyones said yes but not at the moment. Since they've grown I really think they'd appreciate being repotted or put into a garden so I'll see what I can do about giving them away shortly. Not only have they grown, but have started buds =)

I also have a tomato seedling inside, he was my first and strongest to germinate indoors. Just to prove how grossly I misjudged, I thought this might be the one if any to flower over the winter. He's a lot bigger than the other seedlings and has also grown well in the last couple of weeks. No buds though. At this point I'm unsure what to do with him. I had planned on keeping him inside but since my outdoor tomatoes are doing so well, his life's purpose may be better served with someone else.


  1. I'm so jealous you can start tomatoes so early up there. I haven't even planted my seeds indoors yet, I will next week.

    By the way in that last photo your tomato looks really "leggy" from a lack of strong sunlight. I recommend when you transplant it, to pluck of the bottom 2 or even 4 leaves and bury that much of the steam. More roots will grow from the buried part, giving it stronger roots and keeping it from being too weak and floppy.

  2. Hi Alexa,
    Thank you so much for your comment! I didn't know you could even tell it wasn't getting enough light, that's so useful to know and I will definately take note of your advice when transplanting. Thanks again

  3. Hi.., You really are enthusiastic about gardening..
    About germinating, I do face similar situation, putting more seeds than required in little pots and on the vegetable bed as well.. It is difficult and sad to thin them out.., to pull out the weaker ones... urghh, so sad.

  4. The wonderful part about the germinating process is that we get to watch our babies grow up, sprouting from a seed to a baby plant, then bearing flowers and fruit. I am amaze at how fast a seedling can grow in one day.

  5. You have a lot of action there! Is it all growing on your balcony - broccolli, cauliflower? Those tomato plants look healthy. Did you think about growing them in a hanging sack/container upside down?I see many of those around here.Thanks for your message, I'll give a pat to that dog from you, OK?

  6. Bangchik,
    it is so sad. I have avoided thinning and so far have gotten away with transplanting it all (sometimes successful/sometimes not). Hate the idea hence I'm _trying_ not to plant too much!

    its just wonderful! I would never have believed how great it is to watch them grow until I did it myself =)

    yep, its all there on my tiny balcony. There's no way I could've fit so much without that tiered pot. I have considered hanging pots but we can get a lot of wind so I'm not sure they're appropriate unfortunately. Might try it one day anyway.

    hehe, thanks! Your puppy is the absolute cutest! I'm sure they've grown up by now and still as gorgeous.