Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Begonia and Pansy Progress

Almost balmy in Philadelphia, 22 degrees today and sunny. I thought I saw, barely visible begonia seedlings yesterday but wasn't sure. Today I got a flashlight to inspect them. I saw correctly. They have germinated! Would you like to see them? That's not possible. You wouldn't be able to see them if I took a picture with my camera. Probably if I had a "good camera" with a zoom lens and properties for close up photos. Tiny, tiny, tiny. Last Winter my vinca seedlings were the smallest germinated seeds I had seen. This year I have a different variety and they aren't small at all. The begonias are clearly the smallest I have ever seen and really require high light or a magnifying glass to see them. A review of online information indicate begonias take a long time to get to planting out size. I would be upset to have to buy them in the Spring because mine aren't ready. An online image search of begonia seedlings was very helpful to give me an idea of how seedlings may look. This encouraged me go back and inspect them. They are as tiny as they looked in an image on line. Someone had a good camera to take the picture. It will be interesting to watch their progress.

There was almost a catastrophe last night with  the vinca. The cover was removed when I put them in the light except for some pieces I cut to keep seeds that had not yet germinated in the dark. I put the trays under shop lights and it baked them. I was horrified when I went down stairs to peak at them. It's hard to resist peaking at seedlings frequently throughout the day. Some that were plum had dried up from the heat of the light. I thought this can't possibly be damping of with coir pellets. I took them from under the shop lights to give them time to recover. I never thought I had to slowly introduce them to light. I don't remember having to do this last year. A lesson learned.

The pansies are strong and since many are developing a set of true leaves, I may transplant them over the weekend. I ordered pots a couple of months ago instead of starting with styrofoam cups. I have 100 square cups. When these run out, I will use cups. All of the seeds didn't germinate but many did. After I transplant the seedlings that did germinate the others are going to be put back in the dark to see what happens. I try not to get stressed if all seeds planted don't germinate because I have learned that just because a seed germinates does not mean it is healthy. Some seedling can be misshapen and unhealthy looking. Letting them continue to grow won't produce a healthy seedling. Maybe some seeds that don't just aren't healthy.
Pansy Seedlings. Many on the right side did not germinate. They are different from those on the right.
Sorry it's not clear.
Begonia seedlings. See if you can locate them? They are there, tiny green spots.

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