Day 28/31 - Seed Starting: an interesting observation

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

For the past couple of years I've attempted to start my own seeds rather than purchase partially grown seedlings.  This has been met with varying successes, but as with any gardening endeavours it's about being thankful for your successes & learning from your mistakes.  I've often wondered why I can't have the large seedlings I so long for even after ensuring the seedlings have sufficient growing time & the care that is recommended.  

I realised a couple of years ago that it is smarter to utilise our house windows 'greenhouse' type abilities when growing seedlings rather than keep them outside in the colder temperatures ( they were protected from the frost).  This meant that come August our windows are lined with seed post. This gave me much more success with the quantity of successful seed starts I got, but I was still puzzled as to why mine were on the smaller side when it came time to transplant them.  I always purchased quality seed starting mix to plant them in & kept their soil moist.  I also used peat pots which were recommended to me as they break down quickly & therefore I didn't need to disturb the roots when replanting the seedling.

This year, however, I didn't purchase enough peat pots to satisfy my requirements so I found some older black plastic pots to use for the remaining seeds.  While I had good success with the seeds sprouting, to my surprise the plants in these black pots quickly surpassed their peat pot equals in size.  Each of these trays holds the same variety of tomato started at exactly the same time from the same packet of seeds.  The growth in the black pots was so large that I had troubles photographing the Amish Paste tomato seedlings.  (Sorry if the colours are strange, I had been playing with my camera & quickly snapped these without thinking.)

We can only surmise that the black plastic warms the soil promoting more prolific growth.  Needless to say, next year we are forgoing the peat pots & will use black plastic pots instead.  It will be very interesting to see the outcomes for other plants as we only used them for the tomatoes!

So what gardening tips have you found work for you?  I'd love to hear of any successes you've had!

Have a wonderful day

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