Is there a name for a plant’s middle stage between being a little seedling and an adult plant? If there is, then that’s where we’re at with ours!
Well, with the tomatoes, anyway.
Looking back at previous years, we’ve generally had good luck with tomatoes, but because we planted so many seeds in 72-count trays, they always came up small and spindly. It was never the worst thing in the world, because we needed that overflow of plants in case the ones that we transplanted died. This year, planting fewer seeds in larger trays has resulted in larger, much heartier plants. Even at just a month on, nearly all of them have their second sets of leaves, and they stems, while still thin, aren’t as spindly. We actually now need to go in and fill up the trays will more soil to protect those fragile spots near the plants’ roots. Hopefully that’ll really get them going! Another next step will be to start hardening them off. It’s looking like this coming weekend will still be too cold for that, but surely Spring will “spring” with warmth soon enough. As long as we can get the plants in the ground by early to mid May, things should be fine.
Meanwhile, our peppers are looking just…okay.
Ever since we had beginner’s luck with peppers in our first year gardening, they’ve given us mixed results. Last year we recall that our pepper tray had come in much more fully by this time. At this point, what’s most prolific are the hot peppers. None of the sweet peppers, save for a couple pimentos, have wanted to make a showing. Shame on us for planting sweet peppers in another tray, the one as tomatoes. Tomato and pepper seeds have somewhat different needs in terms of water and soil temperature. But still, April’s just beginning, so there’s time.