The vegetable seedlings have been growing fast. I gave them another shot of soluble fertilizer this past week.
The early tomatoes have gotten so tall that they are now sitting on the floor between the supports for the other seedlings. The other tomatoes are on the far left, and the pepper and eggplant seedlings are on the far right. The herb and marigold seedlings nearer the center are growing too, but they are much smaller. The fluorescent light above seems tilted because it is; I had to raise it higher on the left to clear the tomatoes.
Let’s not forget the asian cabbage and pak choi seedlings. I moved them out of the pans under the light, into their own pan.
I did this because I’m getting them ready to be transplanted into the garden. I’m in the process of “hardening them off,” i.e. getting the seedlings accustomed to the conditions outside. Sunlight, wind, rain, and temperature changes are all more extreme than what they have been exposed to indoors. So, I put them outside on days that aren’t too severe and bring them in again at night. Another method is to keep them in a cold frame, which is a wooden box with a clear lid that can be opened or closed depending on conditions. I did that in the past, but finding a place for a cold frame and setting it up seems more trouble than it’s worth.
I’ve been checking the weather forecast to find the right day to transplant the cabbage seedlings into the garden. Ideally, I want their first few days in the garden to have temperatures that aren’t extreme. I also would like a couple of overcast days as sunny days can be too much for any newly transplanted plant. Hard rain and wind can be tough on little plants as well.