So! I had a big weekend. My brother got married and Charlotte has her first ear infection but what I think you are all just dying to know about are my tomato seedlings.
Katie clued me in on Twitter to this darling site called SproutRobot.com where you can put in your ZIP code and it will tell you what to plant and when. I am very fond of the internet telling me what to do, so when the directions for this week told me to start tomatoes indoors, well, I listened. (It was helpful that my seeds came in the mail while we were at the wedding.)
I bought a seed starter thingy at Lowe's a few weeks ago. (This is probably a good time to remind everyone that I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm making this up as I go along.) I had read that a lot of people start seeds in styrofoam cups, old paper egg cartons or other oddball things around the house, with the sentiment seeming to be,
"You don't need to BUY something to start seeds! That's PREPOSTEROUS! A Real Gardener could start seeds in her belly button if she wanted to. It's so easy! Don't buy into the marketing hype!!"
Yes, well. I am not a Real Gardener and I thought I might like a little $7 crutch. It's basically a plastic tray with 72 of those little pop-up things of soil. You pour hot water on it and they puff up and turn into 1.5" cylinders that you can start seeds in. There's a little indentation for each one in the bottom so they all stay in their proper spot.
Next, I got my seeds out. This feels like possibly the only appropriate moment on this website to tell you that I am 1/64 Cherokee. One might say these are My People's Tomatoes. (You know, if you take a multi-generational leap with me.)
Here, see? This is Sarah Lockridge. She is my great-great-great-grandmother and she was born in 1830. She's 1/2 Cherokee. I wonder if she grew tomatoes? Hrm.
Anyhoodle, it took a lot longer than I thought to pluck a few seeds in each pod, but the girls watched with semi-interest and it didn't even make a big mess. In fact, that was my favorite thing about this seed starter tray thingy: it was ridiculously simple and I didn't have to buy a bag of dirt or scoop it around and now all of my seedlings are in a very compact and easy to move around tray. It's all very tidy.
I put two or three in each one and I planted a dozen pods of each variety. I'm hoping half of them germinate and another half make it far enough to planting and another half survive in the yard, which would be 1.5 plants per variety. (I are keeping my expectations LOW.) If I have extra seedlings I'll bet I can find good homes for them because can you even imagine if I had SEVENTY-TWO tomato plants in my back yard?!
No. We are not going there this summer.
I made some labels with toothpicks so I don't forget what's what.
And then I stuck the lid on and walked away. I think they are supposed to get 14-16 hours of sunlight/day to really do well, so I'm thinking of rigging some kind of fluorescent light over them and then making jokes about my growhouse and pretending I'm on Weeds.