Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Transplanting and Hardening Off Seedlings

Since we really wanted to grow some heirloom tomatoes and their plants are not readily available- we started some indoors on March the 1st.  Lauren and I started them in the compressed peat pellets and placed them under a growing dome.  It took seven days for most of them to germinate- aunt ruby's german green took almost 12 days to germinate.  We took them out of the dome and placed them under a grow light until their first true set of leaves developed and then transplanted them into larger pots and gave them half strength fertilizer.  Here is a picture of them as of today. 

We started hardening the off last week- hope to plant them out in the garden around the 15th- last frost date is april the 8th here in Arkansas.  The above tomato plants are Brandywine Red, Cherokee Purple and Jubilee.  Brandywine is commonly found in plant stores.  The yellow cherry tomatoes are already in the sunshine today along with the better boys.  My thoughts are to use use cages for some tomatoes and part staking to get an idea of which method I prefer.  Any comments from those with experience???  Thinking air circulation would be better for those staked although more work involved in trying them up as the grow. Very humid here in the summer.

Today we transplanted our pepper seedlings and the aunt ruby german green and box car willie tomatoes.  Kicking myself that I chose a mix color packet of bell pepper seedlings- I am in love with the red - the packet we planted had green, red, yellow, orange and purple.  Thinking I will grab a red bell at the store to make certain I have them- we are having shrimp and red bell pepper sauce for dinner tonight and at last Friday's pizza party- one of the guests brought red bell peppers- mine never made it to my pizza- are they ever good just plain raw!!  Still I do hope to have some purple come up as well- next year might have to buy in individual packets. 

Here you can see the impatiens that are in need of pricking out this week- if you are thinking I probably had some help sprinkling the seeds - you would be correct.  Hoping this will tolerate the eastern side of our home's front- although I have noticed the sun is still shining in that bed as late as 2 pm- crossing my fingers the trees filter enough sunlight for them to thrive.

Wish us luck and good weather.  Still have zinnia seeds (around 100) and basil and sage to deal with.   Will add that this project and ongoing gardening will play a big part in our homeschooling for this summer.  Just think of all those cool vocabulary words and brining  in math and science.  Don't worry- she will get a week off each month in May, June and July.


  1. Alecia, I am so interested in your post today. I have never planted seeds, but would love to. May do this next year.
    Oh, I can just see how beautiful your pick of tomatoes will be this summer. Please post them in some delicious recipes! I don't eat tomatoes unless they are summer ones. I am ready for a big beautiful tomato with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and basil ribbons. Oh, this has made me long for summer.
    Great post! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. This looks like so much fun! Your last frost is so much earlier than ours! We always use tomato cages, but have used stacks in the past, too. Zinna's are a favorite here...100 seeds will be so beautiful!

  3. Inspiring! Makes my mouth water, just thinking of fresh tomatoes!

  4. What fun! Your tomato seedlings are ahead of ours...I will post photos soon on my blog. DH is doing heirloom ones, too.

    I hear that Cherokee purple is wonderful!
    I totally agree with you about the red peppers, too. I must remember to start some of those, too. We can't put ours outside until after Memorial Day, for fear of frost.

    Thanks for checking Tues.M. for my bunny sugar bowl. I appreciate your efforts. Maybe I'll find it next year.

  5. forgot to say I did not finish Ms. C.'s dress. :(
    Her Mom bought her a beautiful one to wear. I'm getting excited about some spring sewing, though.


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