Oh joy of joy, my peppers look amazing. From out of their little sprouting box, they are being moved to fresh soil with room for roots to grow. It's Monday, March 16.
Following up on my seed starting post, it's time to ensure the seedlings turned plants are given proper light, a little fertilizer, fresh air and lots of love.
My garden begins indoor with these little plastic trays. Measuring about 10-inches square, I can plant seven rows of seven seeds for 49 transplants in a limited amount of space. Keeping those seedlings properly labeled has always been the bane of my existence, but not this year. This year I am attempting to keep my peppers labeled, so all my friends and customers receive properly labeled transplants.
It's also advisable to allow the seedings to "dry out" as it it much easier to get them out of their starting trays and cleanup of dry soil is really much easier than the wet clumpy stuff you see in the photo above. After transplanting and speaking words of love to my plants, I place the trays beneath full spectrum (one warm and one cool) fluorescent lights. As you can see there are two 48-inch shop lights chained to the bottom of my heavy-duty metal shelf. The chains allow you to keep the lights as close as possible to the seedlings and move them upwards as the plants develop. Because we have a cat that eats pepper seedlings I wrap plastic around the shelving unit and secure with clothes pins. So far that has worked, but only because I was home. We will see how many I lose to Walter in the near future. Or whether we lose Walter :).
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.