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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Feline Transplants Tomatoes

a helper
As I gathered potting materials, this cat bounded up to help me. Here, he/she knows what to do first: get the potting mix. When she finished rubbing all over the bag, she wound her way in and out of my legs. No matter what I did, she would not stop. I am highly allergic to cats. I talk nice to them, but have to keep my distance.
I must have taken a dozen pictures of this cat to get this shot of the shaved skin. She moved fast, so I threw down the cup so I could be aiming at the right spot when she investigated. She still moved too fast. I wonder what happened. The round hole makes me think she had something in a hole, like a parasite that was removed. My cat had one of those holes long ago, and I could see something moving in it. Oh, yuck. I hope I did not make you sick as this is making me. So, let's move on to the seedlings I germinated.
six baggies of 3 pellets in each baggie
I put Homestead Tomato seeds in pellets on April 6 and they germinated about a week later. My rate of germination was excellent.
 Did I tell you? One night I let the whole basket above of tiny seedlings in the pellets fall from the car. The sandwich bags of pellets and seedlings rolled all over the yard in the dark. I sort of put them in straight and brought them in  along with groceries or something. I think they were permanently damaged because I did not upright them until hours later....sigh.
first sandwich bag on end of basket
You can tell these suffered from being on the end and getting colder, being left too long before transplanting and falling upside down!

in better shape
These look healthier. This was a sandwich bag from the middle of the basket. Two seeds germinated in all three of these. 
assortment of "pots"
Buying the pellets at ten cents apiece is as far as I will go spending money. So, I have all sorts of containers: yogurt, cookie container, used pink cups, one frosting container, old storage dish, Hand Candy cup (grape tomato container), and the bottom from a soft ice cream exbf ate. My antique ice pick made a great tool for poking drainage holes.
I have a huge, deep plastic container with a clear lid that I bought just for plants last fall and never used it. However, I could not find it even though I practically touched it each time I searched. Yes, I found it just as I finished up the box below.

large shoebox size box
One of the large shoe boxes I bought 25 years ago for my sewing thread ended up being the greenhouse for right now. However, the large pink cups won't fit inside. The container is full, plus it is too short.
gallon bag greenhouse
Unfortunately, the gallon bag only held two of the three cups. The solution means I wasted this gallon freezer bag. Fortunately, I only paid about a nickel for it after Christmas last year on clearance and using a coupon. 

final seedling
I reused one of the germination bags over the last seedling. It is sitting under the lamp on top of the shoebox of seedlings. My only problem with this arrangement is the fact that the shoebox has a white lid instead of a clear lid. Monday, the shoebox and lone cup will go back to the car. They don't need light on them all night, but they don't need to be too cool. I just did not feel like taking it to the car on Sunday night. Or, maybe I will put the shoebox in the picture window where it is light and not to hot. First, I must use a spray bottle on the plants. 

Hopefully, dropping them and the delay in repotting them will not hurt them too much. Maybe they will all grow a bit straighter! That won't matter much to me. I want to plant them when they are about a foot tall and leggy because I intend to plant them up to their top leaves.  Tomorrow, I will regularly brush my hands across the tomato seedling to make them strong. Maybe it is not too late!

Tonight, I should be germinating the basil and peppers, but obviously that is not getting done.

Some of the pellets actually had three seeds. In one pellet the seed just mildewed. In about 6 of the bags, all three pellets had one or two successful seeds. One pellet had a horribly deformed seedling. The surprise was a tomato plant growing from the bottom of the pellet as I lifted it up from the sandwich bag. It appears I must have dropped a seed and it sprouted as it stuck to the bottom side of the pellet.

I thinned the seedling from two or three to one seedling in most of the pellets. I wonder if the extra seedlings with their perfect little roots would have survived it I had transplanted them to potting medium. I am a genius with germinating, but a slug with transplanting.

Your turn
How is your germinating working out? Do your cats help? How many seedlings are you germinating this year? Any ingenious solutions that are cheap?


  1. That hole in the cats back looked like a healing abcess to me. Nasty things.
    No germinating here for a while. Weeding, and when/if I am on top of that putting more bulbs in.
    The cats do help me. And it doesn't help. At all. They dig things up to snort the fertiliser around the plant.

    1. EC,
      Since this cat was so forward, eager, and persistent, I feared it would try to become a little more involved. It kept looking up at the table as though there might be room to jump up. That would probably have been the end of the seedlings!

      Okay, I did not think of an abcess. At least the cat did not look embarrassed about the lack of hair. I want more bulbs.

  2. I have to start round four of my transplants...maybe next weekend. I'm adding another planting bed, too.

    1. Lynda,
      I don't have that kind of energy. But, I do have plans for more germinating. I will only try to add more buckets, not beds.


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