March 22: The back deck was a great place for starting garden seeds!
- Bell Pepper (4 varieties)
- Brussels Sprouts
- Red Cabbage
- Tomato (8 varieties)
I filled several aluminum foil trays with a soil mix, and after watering the seeds, I placed the covered trays in the windowsill behind our sofa to germinate.
Meanwhile, we collected empty eggshells in a half-gallon jar. For what purpose, you ask? I got the idea from a friend, who mentioned she heard that using a crushed eggshell solution to water seedlings may help feed them. Looking into it, I found that dissolved eggshells are considered by some to provide calcium to plants, which is especially beneficial for tomatoes. Does anyone know whether this is true? I figured I'd try it, since we had a ready supply of eggshells (especially from Sarah's baking).
I spread the shells in one layer on a cookie sheet and baked them for 10 minutes, which made them brittle enough to crumble. Eventually I had enough finely crushed shells to fill a quart jar. I will mix the powdered shells with water and a bit of vinegar to dissolve the calcium into solution.
Fast-forward to April 24: The seeds have sprouted 3-4 weeks ago, stretching toward the meager light source. It became high time to transplant the delicate seedlings into individual pots to continue growing.
I am looking forward to growing the below heirloom Italian bell pepper variety, shared with me by my friend Meg, along with a few other heirloom tomato varieties she passed along.
The transplanted seedlings were placed back on the windowsill with labels, until they are sturdy enough to plant outside in the garden in just a couple of more weeks.
I water the plantlets each day; a clean milk jug with holes punched in the top works wonderfully as a gentle sprinkler.
Will keep you updated on the progress of the garden as the spring and summer move along.