First Chilli seedlings of the season

First arrivals for 2021

My first Chilli seedlings burst into life in the middle of last week. As soon as they germinated they taken out of the propagator and moved under grow lights. This needs to done immediately otherwise the seedlings will become leggy.  If they do not have an immediate source of light they go looking for it. This results in long, unhealthy stems that are not good for the seedlings at all .

I must admit I was a tad apprehensive about how good germination would be after the drying out hiccup earlier in the season. It, however, would seem (on the peat pellet side at least)  all is well. All in all, I have about 25 seedlings, with my Barak and Longhorn FI  seeds being the first to germinate. Since then, I have had germination from my Basket of Fire, Scotch bonnet, Numex, Baccio Ciliegia Piccante (Satans kiss), Prairie Fire, Habanero and Purple Tiger seeds. (I know, I know – many of these varieties were not mentioned when I started the season, but somehow the temptation just grabs you to plant more Chillies ( even when you vow not to! )

Rockwell cubes

I have not had as much luck with my Rockwell cubes. Germination has been abysmal, with only two seedlings having shown their heads. Similarly, my Aerogarden has not been performing  well.  The paper towel method has done well( barring some drama), but that is the subject of another post that has yet to come.

I have had to re-evaluate what I am doing wrong with the Rockwell cubes.  I am convinced that this too could be drying out. I had noticed that the cubes seemed a bit dry when I did my daily spraying, but thought I was curing the problem by giving more water. Alas, to no effect!

The time has come to figure out what is going on. In an attempt to solve this, I have decided to place the cubes on capillary matting in the propagator—the idea in doing this that the cubes will be given moisture by keeping the matting wet. Water is then drawn into the cubes by capillary action.

All this illustrates how much of a delicate balance it is between giving your seeds and seedlings too much or too little water. The key is definitely moist, not wet. To achieve this, capillary matting is definitely a good idea. ( Need to remember that when I start next season !)

My next post will explain what I believe the problem has been with my Aerogarden and  what happened with the paper towel germination method.


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