Posted by Oliver Gardner on February 12, 2014
For you folks who really enjoy vegetable and herb gardening, the fun doesn’t have to end with the first hard frost in the fall. It simply means it’s time to move inside and find a good sized south-facing window to set up operations. Now if you happen to live in the southern states from Florida to southern California, you might be just planting when the rest of the country is seeking shelter. Over the past few months, I’ve been posting advice that applies to both groups of enthusiasts. The plants that I recommend you grow on My Garden Post and the soils and fertilizers used is the same. Germinating your plants from seed is a magical experience that I encourage everyone to practice. My post this week shares some pictures of the rewards of starting from seed and helping Mother Nature with the process of pollination.
I often refer to the magic of seed germination and the first two photos below are proof of it. The BushSteak Tomato seeds I planted in early November sprouted in a few days and grew 2 ft. in the sixty days that followed, and then produced several clusters of blossoms. Each blossom in turn produces a tomato, if pollinated. Read on………
When the first blossom opened, I started my daily routine to insure pollination and fruit production. It’s really pretty easy; I just hold the main stem and give the plant a shake for 2-3 seconds. Refer to my last blog post for more details.
I’ve been growing vegetables and herbs inside for many years, but today I’m as excited to see the first vegetables as I was the very first time. The tomato in this picture is the first of many to follow. The cycle from seed germination to the dinner table will be complete in a few weeks.
My peppers are doing equally well. I find it interesting that it takes a week to ten days longer for peppers to germinate than tomatoes, but both flower and produce fruit about the same time. The peppers like the tomatoes are self-fertile but require a daily shake to insure pollination when growing inside. This next picture is proof positive the technique works:
I have this California Wonder Pepper growing in one of the small 9” planters on My Garden Post with tomatoes growing in the two large 14” planters. (Note: the bamboo shade was lowered to allow for a better picture)
The first Tuesday in March is of special significance for two reasons. For the civic minded here in Vermont, it is town meeting day. For gardeners, we know it as the beginning of the year’s gardening season. Heat mats are plugged in, germinating trays are filled and seeds are sown with the goal of having transplants ready to go outside just about Memorial Day.
Whether you are growing inside or out, My Garden Post and this blog will help you garden with more enjoyment and better results. Thank you for following, Oliver