04 February 2016

Sprout rates and damping off

While still waiting for the rain to finally get here, I decided to get a few pics of sprouts and make notes on germination sprout rates.  First up, the happy wild success: the turnip seeds I planted earlier this week have sprouted overnight.  Hooray for me - the bunnies and birds will be quite pleased, as turnip greens are their favorite treat.
new turnip sprouts

Next up, the peppers tray (planted almost a month ago) which has good and bad.  The good news is hubby will have a good amount of jalapeno pepper plants, and I should have a decent amount of pasilla bajo peppers.  The bad news is the sweet peppers didn't do as well.  So far, one Cubanelle pepper plant and four "Tangerine Dream" sweet pepper plants.  No bell peppers sprouted, and no Marconi Red Italian sweet peppers, which I had high hopes for as a substitute for the Carmen sweet peppers I enjoyed so much in 2013.
Pepper plant sprouts
The Swiss chard tray planted two weeks ago is also a bit mixed, but I am seeing some late sprouting seedlings, so it may turn out better than it looked yesterday.  It now looks like all but the Lucullus variety sprouted decently, with the canary yellow being the most vigorous.
Swiss chard sprouts
Broccoli and spinach ... it's a half-and-half situation.  The broccoli popped up immediately, especially the Calabrese variety ... and is suffering the same fate as the tomato seedlings listed below.  The Waltham and de Cicco varieties are slower to sprout, but they may end up being the better plants.Spinach was very hit-or-miss, with no sprouts from the Satin, Bloomsdale Long-Standing, or Round Leaf varieties.  The Giant Noble variety sprouted, so I do have some baby spinach sprouts, and the Tendergreen mustard spinach (looks a lot more like a mustard than a spinach!) is also up.
broccoli, spinach, and mustard spinch sprouts
Now, about those tomato seeds I planted the middle of last month .... They came up alright, although when I first took the clear plastic cover off there were only two Old Germans sprouted.  That is the reason why I will likely have more Old German variety than Mortgage Lifter.  I didn't know what was going on until someone posted about a similar problem with his rhubarb sprouts, and the answers were all, "That is damping off."  No solution given, because apparently most people just replant when they get damping off instead of attempting to save the seedlings.  Uhhh ... y'all will notice the empty seed packets in the tray.  I don't have more, and have not yet located more of either variety.  It seems this year's heirloom variety will be Brandywine/Pink Brandywine.  No sign of Mortgage Lifter or Old German in any of the stores yet, and I've even checked the East Palatka Ace Hardware.  (*Bleep!*)  So, I am letting the tray dry out a bit (hopefully only enough to kill the fungus responsible but not the seedlings) and will just see if any of the Mortgage Lifter plants survive.
tomato sprouts with damping off
The other two trays are pretty much are busts, although the Seven Top turnip (greens mainly) seeds did sprout, they are also  too "leggy" and look damped off as well.   Nothing has sprouted so far in the salad tray.  I'll try it again in a week or so, with different varieties.  On all the seeds that did not have even a single sprout, I will scatter those into the compost heaps, and any volunteers will just be a pleasant surprise.

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