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Monday, March 25, 2013

Sowing Tomatoes

I should have started writing this blog one month ago because my posts would be more up to date. Unfortunately, I got this idea only yesterday. Anyway better later than never. Tomatoes should be sowed in the beginning of March. I did it more than three weeks ago. In previous years I used to sow my tomatoes in a special soil mix for starting plants from seeds. My gardeners store sells big bags of this mix. This year I wanted to experiment a little and try something new and hopefully easier and less messy. It´s still very cold outside and I did not want to dig in frozen soil so I bought a propagation kit with 24 cubes on a plastic tray. 

The cubes are made of composted organic materials with micro nutrients. They have a spongy texture. They are supposed to help seeds to sprout fast and develop strong roots of the plant. There is a small hole in every cube which makes it easy to put seeds in it. I put 2 seeds in every hole according to the instruction. There are always seeds that do not sprout at all. Therefore it is better to sow 2 seeds in one cube/pot to have more chances to get at least one plant. 

Like I expected cubes were great and easy to use. I only needed to push the seeds a little with a help of a match. The other little problem was to "close" holes over the seeds. I was afraid that they might get dry. I cut  small pieces of the cubes corners and pressed them in the holes over the seeds. Maybe that was not needed but it felt more secure. My tomatoes started sprouting three days after sowing! In some cubes I got one and  in some two sprouts. Normally it takes around a week. When I had two in a cube I picked the smaller and weaker one.

Not everything is great though - my cubes need to be watered all the time. I use water in a spray bottle. The sponge cubes absorb easily small amounts of water but the rest just leaks out through wholes in the bottom of the tray. When I had my plants in regular soil pots I did not need to water them so often. Maybe once in three days. Now - at least three times a day. I work at home so I can do this but what will happen when we go away for a few days? I am going to try to put the tray with them to a bigger tray filled with water. I hope that they can suck the water through the bottom holes like a regular plants in pots do. I hope it works. I will test this today and will write about the results later. 

My tomatoes this morning

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