garden thoughts

I’m taking a break from grading and thinking about the garden. I’m not having much luck starting seeds in little pots filled with potting soil. I’ve been reading about starting seeds in moist paper towels but haven’t really found a good guide to doing so…everyone seems to use a different method, none of them are very specific, and most of the instructions contradict the instructions of other sets of instructions. Have any of you guys had good luck with this method and what exactly did you do?

I should note that the potting soil I’ve been able to buy here is far inferior to the potting soil sold in the U.S., the U.K., and Germany. It is much more comparable to the peat mulch you can get there than to potting soil — like peat mulch with lots of small rocks strewn among it.

I’d hoped to have new tomato plants to set out in the beginning of March but that is obviously not going to happen unless I go buy some small plants — one plant for the cost of a whole packet of seeds! If I don’t have established plants by the end of March, though, (and that is pushing it) I won’t have any tomatoes until the fall because it gets hot so quick here. Unfortunately, it is still too chilly to get germination outside and the temperature in my apt is even chillier than the temps outside, so the method of indoor propagation I’ve always used is out.

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5 responses to “garden thoughts”

  1. Lynne says :

    I don’t like the potting soil sold here either. It’s too light, too much peat moss or other organic materials and my plants never thrive in it. I just use garden soil and they do much better. I’ve never had luck starting seeds inside, but I am hardly a master gardener. I hope that others have ideas for you!

  2. chairwoman says :

    The little stones are good for drainage.

    Use liquid tomato food for anything that flowers and Miraclegrow if you’re feeling flush.

    • Lynne says :

      Chairwoman, do you find that liquid food really works? (In that case, I’ll try it.) At what point do you apply it (once the plant is a few weeks old or later)?

  3. israeliminx says :

    Chairwoman –heh, if they were little bitty stones I wouldn’t mind but a lot of them are bona fide rocks! I’m very interested in the tomato grow stuff…. is it organic? :)

  4. chairwoman says :

    The much-missed Chairman grew gardens full of flowering plants from seed every year,

    Starting in February we would put our dining table in the bay window of our sitting room, cover it with newspapaper, and get as many 48 cell seed trays onit as we could. Each cell would contain John Innes compost, or leaf mould and sand. 2 seeds would be planted in each cell.

    We grew mainly flowers, but also tomatoes and herbs, He watered with a watering can with a fine rose, held at a distance so as not to drown them. Usually about once a week. The watering can contained tap water and liquid tomato food,

    When each cell contained 2 healthy bushy plants, and all frosts had passed, the trays were put in the garden close to the house, to acclimatize themselves, They would be planted into earth prepared with a little Gromore and thereafter watered once a week with Miracle Grow,

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