Thursday, April 19, 2012

Egg Carton Seed Tray- FAIL

So this year, I thought I'd be clever and use egg cartons instead of used latte cups to start some of our tomato and pepper seeds.  This was done to save space and make it easy to transplant the starts once they started getting a little leggy.  Well- I'll never do it again.  First of all, the tomato seeds germinated well, but there was so little soil in each cell that the roots started coming out the bottom before the starts were an inch tall.    Also the cardboard absorbed a lot of the water and it was difficult to tell if the soil was moist thoroughly or not, so we lost a few to drying out.  This forced me to transplant the tomatoes while they were still super delicate.  I moved them up to the latte cups that I should've started with in the first place.  It was messy, time consuming, and I believe this handling and disturbance to their roots contributed to the stunting of their growth.  I'm hoping my new grow light and a little fertilizer will help them grow a little quicker now.

So, lesson learned is to start my tomato seeds in latte cups (like I did the past four years), so their root and shoot growth can be undisturbed for at least a couple months.

1 comment:

  1. In the Summer there are a plethora of 4" and pack containers in the alley next to the store. They are free for the taking. I keep all of my old 4" and packs and just clean them and reuse them. I do my tomatoes packs, pot them to 4" and then again to 1 gallon (I keep 1 gallons too).