Second round of seed starting
I give myself about a
week of wiggle room in my planting calendar, figuring that a few days
early or late won't impact the seedlings much and can allow me to fit
each planting into a much more favorable weather period. On the other
hand, I sometimes use that week of wiggle room for the sake of my own
sanity instead. For example, I planted a flat of tomatoes, borage, and
cabbage a little earlier than I'm supposed to as a way of keeping the
is-it-really-still-white-outside? blues away. Huckleberry was less than
impressed at the way I continue to fill up the sunniest spots with
seedling flats, but I reminded him that he's not really supposed to sit
on the table anyway.
The previous round of seedlings
are doing well, with only the fennel yet to sprout. Age might be a
factor, but it's also possible that the fennel are just taking longer
than the members of the mint family --- after all, my lovage seedlings
only started poking out of the ground a day or two ago.
I've also been pleased to
see absolutely no damping off, which could be due to a number of
factors. Honestly, I think the most relevant is the time of year and
weather --- my earliest plantings often tend to skip that problematic
fungus, presumably because it hasn't woken up in the wild yet. But it
can't hurt that I've been soaking the seedling flats in bleach water before planting,
and that I've been more careful about taking off the clear lids as soon
as I notice the first sign of germination. The latter technique lets
the surface of the soil dry out just enough to keep seedlings happy but
fungi out of the picture.
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