Seedlings Abound

Some of the herbs that I planted last week (unlabeled) and the carrots are popping up in my vegetable garden. The sunflowers, soybeans, chickpeas, spinach, and other Plants To Share are also popping up--just waiting on a few things like the tomatoes and the potatoes, of course. I will be quite happy if they actually grow! They were just eyes, they hadn't grown any leaves yet, so it might take a while.

I have fungus gnats again. I have for a few days, so on Saturday I inundated my garden with Neem again. Those little buggers should be taken care of shortly. Some of them might actually be fruit flies this time, too. I had an apple on top of my fridge that I forgot about, and it had a little rotten spot when I found it. When I picked it up, a tiny fly or two winged away to elsewhere in the apartment. Fungus gnat? Fruit fly? I don't care, they're all going to die!

I tried making mochi the other day... It's glutinous sweet rice in the shape of a cake or a ball, sometimes coloured, sometimes filled with yumminess (like sweet red bean paste). I first tried with the actual rice. That was a disaster. I have a bowl full of delicious booger-looking rice gunk in my refrigerator right now. But I used the foil with the extremely sticky mochi residue near the garden to catch flies. I got about five that way! Then I made mochi with the sweet rice flour, and that turned out much better, but next time I will use powdered sugar as a coating instead of extra rice flour, and maybe I will add a dash of vanilla. (When you get sticky rice at a restaurant, that's a big fat lie--you don't know true sticky rice until you've made mochi!)

Most of the plants seem to be in a holding pattern. The radishes, kale, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and eggplants are just sitting pretty. They don't look like they're dying, but they don't seem to be growing, either. They are just, well, waiting. Waiting for what? I wish I knew... The soybeans, basil, radicchio, and beans seem pretty happy. The squash look unfortunate. I might not have to worry about where I'll train them--they might not make it. The lavender is oh-so-slowly growing.

I have the grow lights set to 12 or so hours, the middle of the recommended time (between 10 and 14 hours). The angle of light means that the farthest plant is the kidney bean (which happens to be flowering) at almost two feet away from the light source. When the plants are seedlings, such light sources should be closer and moved farther away as the plant gets bigger. Maybe the light isn't close enough to the seedlings? Maybe they need fertilizer? Maybe they need more heat (it's been chilly lately)? Maybe they need a lot of things, but they seem to be doing mostly well, so I'm not going to bug them right now.

It does disconcert me that I planted the radishes about six weeks ago and they're still in the seedling stage. I should have been able to harvest them by now--on the assumption that they wouldn't be transplanted, I think. Hm hm hm... Plants, what are you telling me?

I'm going to get a moisture meter and maybe other high-tech gadgets this weekend, I think, to appease myself. I want to get a feel for as many variables as possible, so I can rule certain ones out and focus on what the problem could be.

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2 Responses to Seedlings Abound

  1. Try to put the light four inches above your plants. That'll probably do it. I've seen plants close to death (eventhough they'd been properly cared for in any other way) revive in a few days after I put up added light.

    Another thing you can do is to get some oblong armatures for wet areas and put grow light or cold white fluorescent tubes in them. The armatures are fairly cheap (at least here in Sweden) which means you can buy several of them and cover your indoor allotment in light. You'll need to do some additional carpenting, but in the long run it's worth it.

  2. I will check out the fluorescent bulbs tomorrow, but for now, I put my grow lights on a 6' wooden dowel over the center of the garden.

    I hope the light will help my little babies! Thanks for the hints, Rose!



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