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April 07, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

I've lived in apartments for the past 10 years and now I finally have a small plot of Earth to call my own (at least until my lease is up). To take full advantage of this dirt, I am planning a garden for this summer.

So far, it hasn't gone as smooth as I had imagined. I purchased a bunch of seeds, soils, pots, etc. and thought I knew more than the directions on the packets. I just tossed the little suckers in dirt, kept them watered, put them in my window sill and figured it would all work out just fine. No such luck.

My lettuce came up right away, and died just as quick. It turns out the few hours of direct sun they get through the window is no good. I tried again with CFLs shining down on the tops of the seedlings. This worked much better, and after thinning the extra seedlings last night, I had enough for a small salad.

The tomatoes came up after only a day in the dirt, and I immediately stuck them under a fluorescent grow light (see the photo above). My peppers (bell and jalapeño) are very stubborn. Not only do they want water, dirt, and light, but they also need to be warm. I ended up setting them on top of the hot water heater to get the seeds to the proper germination temperature. A few have sprouted, but so far they aren't looking as healthy as the tomatoes.