Saturday, 15 August 2009

advanced propagating

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden09/seedtray.JPGI tried growing tomatoes and chilies from seeds last year with disastrous results.  I didn't water them enough and overheated them.  But I'm determined to try again this year, using an even more complicated system (yeah I know, adding more complication probably isn't the right move but oh well).  What you see here is my little propagation corner in an upstairs window.  We have a plastic bin with a few seed trays in it - two types of chilies in the purple, two types of tomatoes in the black and some cinnamon basil in the red.  But this year I decided to get a heat pad to keep the soil warm, ideally at 20C.  Propagation trays are fairly expensive so instead I found a reptile head pad on eBay, the kind you put under a terrarium.  You can't see it in this photo because it's buried under four layers of bubble wrap, plus two rolls of newspaper to hold the tray above the heat.  Why?  Because it's a very good heat pad, so good it made the soil 32C!  I'm glad I tested it on a punnet with no seeds first, that would have cooked the seeds.  Even with this set-up it's still a bit to hot to I've unplugged it on nice days.

I'm really not sure it was a good idea in the end.  One of the chilies sprouted last week, before I got the heat pad, after 4 weeks germination - none of the other 5 chilies have though, no even after getting the heat pad.  The tomatoes and basil I just planted this weekend so here's hoping I don't mess this up for a second year in a row.

In other news global warming is ticking along nicely, we had a balmy 20C day here today.  My designer twig (the mandarin/tangelo tree) is putting out another flush of growth, and this time there are tiny flower buds forming!  We'll see if it's strong enough to actually grow fruit, it's less than a year old though so I'm not sure.  And my sad little Japanese maple may have survived last year's horrible ordeal, there are lots of tiny red buds and a few bunches of leaves just starting to peak through.  It really is feeling like spring!

1 comments:

Mari said...

If at first you don't succeed, fry, fry again!