No, I’m not counting down to anything. That number isn’t a cutesy way of introducing peppers. It is the actual number of how many peppers I ended up with, after discarding a few dozen straggly looking ones. Three hundred twenty one. What the hell was I thinking when I planted two to four seeds per cell?
I know what I was thinking. I was thinking I wouldn’t get an awesome germination rate. I was thinking maybe one or two from each cell would pop up if I was lucky. I got a better dose of luck this year than I ever could have dreamed of! Nearly 100% of my seeds have sprouted for everything I have planted. Some take a little longer than others, but they all eventually pop up.
So, because I don’t have the heart to pluck these beautiful little green sprouts and throw them in the garbage, I decided to keep them. No big deal, right? Surely I’d have room. Right?
Wrong. Wrong! WRONG!
Three days later, I now have two behemoth shelves that are loaded with baby plants. It took me three days to transplant all the peppers, 7 artichokes, and 27 eggplants. I also got some celery going, mixed the water and soil to start the rice, and watched as the first of my tomato seedlings started peeking out of their dirt blankets and rubbing their sleepy little eyes.
What? You want pictures? Of course I took pictures! Here you go, y’all. Live vicariously through the crazy pepper lady.
I quickly ran out of pots, so I improvised. I cut off the top inch of a solo cup, then cut three holes in the bottom edge for drainage. I labeled each cup with painters tape and a permanent marker… because cutting hundreds of little sticks didn’t sound fun.
I filled each cup to the brim and gently packed it. I used my finger to poke a planting hole in the middle of each cup, then gently stuck the roots of each seedling into the hole and tucked it in well.
Look at the roots on these babies!
Those are rays of awesomeness shining from my shelves.
Happy, happy peppers! Within 12 hours of transplanting, they each doubled in size. Not even joking, though I wish I was. No idea what I’ll do if they keep up that rate of growth.
Onions are ready for their first haircut. I feel like when I do it I should approach them with my lion taming chair in one hand and sharp shears in the other. Down, boys, down!
In the forefront – the runts of the litter that weren’t yet ready for their own big pots. I’ll try to sell those before they need to be transplanted. You can also see the artichokes in the teal pots on the right and a couple eggplants in the top right corner of the artichokes.
My tomatoes were a little confused today because I put them in the window while I was rearranging. They spent all day leaning south toward the sun, then I go and confuse them by putting them back under lights. They’ll straighten up tomorrow.
Sudsy poop slurry? No! Cozy new beds for my rice babies to snuggle into. They’ll settle into a layer of mud and a layer of clear water over the next day. I’ll scoop out the floaties, then scatter the rice evenly on the surface of the water. It will sink of its own accord to the bottom, where it will proceed to root and send its shoot for the surface of the water.
On another positive note, we have had a few warm days. Our three feet of snow has slowly dwindled to just a few inches. I can see about half of our parking lot, and our driveway is no longer a crazy-ice-hill-of-doom. Spring is on its way!