Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Seedin Ain't Easy!

Big Daddy Kane once said "Seedin Ain't Easy" and I wholeheartedly agree. After enjoying a wonderful St.Patrick's Day yesterday, I woke up this morning determined to start my seeds. My twitter feed notified me that it is also National Agriculture Day in the United States. While I thought growing plants on St. Patrick's Day would be amazing due to the greenness of the day, I figure you can't grow (heh) wrong when you plant on a day devoted to agriculture. With this in mind, I pulled out and set up the brand new folding table I bought this year to grow and hold my seeds.
It's so SHINY!!
After setting up my table, I assembled my seeds and pulled out my Jiffy Greenhouse, peat pods, heating pad and a measuring cup to fill with water and then pour onto the peat pods.
The Setup

Looks like someone already knows it's garden time!
(On a side note, my dog Poppy was very fascinated by the proceedings. She sat in the chair beside the table and watched me plant the entire time. Well, she sat and watched when she wasn't trying to crawl onto the table and help me out. I feel I will have even more problems with her attempting to eat my harvest this year than last. YIKES)

Once I pulled open the greenhouse, I figured out how many pepper plants I was looking to grow, removed the extra peat pods and then poured water over the remaining pods in order to make them expand, moisten and be ready for seeds. 
It's gonna rain!

It's raining!
Once I poured water over the peat pods, I sat back and waited for the peat to soak in the water and the pods to expand. While I thought this might take some time, I was surprised how quickly the peat soaked up the water.

From pod to this in minutes!
I found that the pods were still a little dry, so I added a bit more water to make the pods moister and began organizing my seeds while the last of the water soaked in. I was planning on labeling each pod with a popsicle stick but they were too big. Instead, I drew up a fancy chart to keep track of which seeds were planted and in which pod.
In total, I am growing 13 different kinds of peppers from seeds. I have 11 heirloom varieties as well as two kinds of Thai chilis that a friend suggested I try. The main peppers I am focusing on for this season are Early Jalapenos, TAM Jalapenos and Cayenne Peppers. I want the jalapenos because it's one of my favourite peppers. I also want to try to make chipotle peppers this summer and figured I would need a bunch of jalapenos to make it work. I wanted more cayenne peppers because I want to dry them and turn most of the peppers into either pepper flakes or spice and also I want to try and make my own hot sauce. The rest of the peppers I am growing were chosen for no other reason than they sounded pretty fun.
I started out by seeding each pod one at a time. In order to try and make sure that you have the right amount of plants, it's suggested that you grow 3 seeds per each pod. This means that you have more chances of propogating all the plants you want, plus being able to select the strongest and healthiest plants.

I don't know if there is an appropriate method for putting seeds in dirt but I pretty much just put three seeds on a pod and tried to bury them as deep as I could before covering them with moist peat.  
Now you see me!
Now you don't!
I found that seeding each pod one at a time was very time consuming and also made your hands dirty. This became more and more of a hassle the more I handled the seeds as I had to stop after each pod to clean my hands and then handle the seeds. I decided to change up my method and seed every pod with seeds and then bury the seeds.



Once I had all the seeds buried I put the cover on top of my greenhouse, plugged in my heating pad and I am pretty much good to go. It is now just a matter of time and patience to see when my seeds sprout and start to grow. I also made sure to fill in my pepper seed chart in order to make sure I know where I planted each seed. Let's get growing!

Seeds in the greenhouse!

Seed Chart!

P.S. Poppy was trying to get up on the table the entire time I was seeding. Her dedication to the garden is truly inspiring!
Queen of the scalawags!

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