seedlings, an update

Greetings fellow lovers of all things green!

I am feeling surprisingly chipper this morning – even after waking up at 3:30am to go the immigration office, standing in line in the rain/snow for 3 hours and not getting an appointment (which I really needed because my visa expires today).  It is insane that they only had 40 spots today for 300+ people.  I thought the Germans had this bureaucratic efficiency thing down.  Wrong.  Ah well, at least I had a nice chat with a friendly fella from Ukraine.

Now, I am home drying out and thawing.  I am not feeling up to going to German school, so that means that I have the morning free to relax.  In my case, this means transplanting seedlings and sowing new seeds in the newly vacant seed starting trays.

Just a few short weeks ago there were only seeds, dirt and potential...
Just a few short weeks ago there were only seeds, dirt and potential…
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Shortly after germination…

I will be honest, this year I started a lot of seeds indoors.  Part of it is because I really want to start a small business selling produce.  Another part is because I needed something to occupy my time.  Yet another part really likes to watch them grow.  And then there is the fact that Germany does not have the longest summers (although the days are quite long), so it is essential to get a jump on the growing season.

Lots of tomato plants sprouting
Lots of tomato plants sprouting
Tomato plants sprouting
Tomato plants sprouting

As of now, almost all the seeds I purchased/was given have sprouted with the exception of the Oxheart tomatoes, Ancho peppers, celery and leeks.  I suspect the Oxheart and leek seeds were a bit too old.  It may be that I have to purchases these plants or maybe someone in the Berlin area wants to trade plants.

seedlings in .2L cups
seedlings in .2L cups
seedlings in .2L cups take #2
seedlings in .2L cups take #2

The seeds that have sprouted are getting quite big and already need transplanting.  The jalapenos, Manitobas, Green Zebras, White Wonders, Striped Caverns and Mr. Stripeys have already been put in bigger containers.  This puts the tomato plant count at 56 and the pepper plant count at 10. I used (unecological) plastic cups from the discount store, because they were inexpensive and deep which I have read is better for the roots of the seedlings.  That and I am not rolling in dough, so the less expensive the better.

The Yellow Pear, Cherokee Purple and Jubilee tomatoes, as well as the banana, sweet and bell peppers still need to be transplanted.  Altogether I should have about 100 tomato plants and 40 pepper plants.  It sounds like a lot, but when I really think about it I have a whole lot of planting space and I really want to sell some plants!

Baby Brussel sprout plant!
Baby Brussel sprout plant!

As for the Brussel sprouts and broccoli, I am not sure if they will be transplanted to a bigger pot before transplant.  I am leaning towards “no” and thinking I may in fact plant them directly in the garden this weekend.  I still have my ghetto cold frame made from two small boards and a few old windows.  Plus, it would be nice to have the space to start more seeds.  I am considering starting another round of trays (216 growing spots).  A 12 hour rotation schedule should be sufficient.

This time I want to start things like nasturtiums, oregano and marjoram.  I know that they can be directly sown, but I want to be sure to get a jump on things (those pesky short summers).  I guess I better get to planning.  Good thing I have some time today after another lovely Ausländerbehörde experience.

I hope your day is better/warmer/not so complicated as mine.

Tray of tomato seedlings #2
Tray of tomato seedlings
Happily transplanted pepper and tomato plants : )
Happily transplanted pepper and tomato plants : )
Seedlings in a basket for easy transportation/maximum space efficiency
Seedlings in a basket for easy transportation/maximum space efficiency
Soaking up the "sun" aka light from a few flourescent lightbulbs!
Soaking up the “sun” aka light from a few flourescent lightbulbs!
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