Sad Little Seedlings

This past weekend was the big planting weekend for everyone around here. I was so happy to see in many yards the tillers going, people bent over with their butts waving in the air as they planted their gardens. The official frost free date for our area was last weekend, Memorial Day weekend. Funny thing early this week we had more frost, after the frost date!

Our garden is still in the building stage. We had plans to do it over the weekend but we need a bit more dirt that Dick will bring home this week so we can finish it up. I also need to get the fencing this week and put that up too. We are making progress though.

I have never put in the garden the warm crops like tomatoes or squash until I could see on the weather a good 3-5 day streatch of 50f temps at night. The cold crops like spinach, lettuce, peas and radish have been growing for 3 weeks now.

Some Sad little Amish Paste

Some Sad little Amish Paste

I took a look at my little tomato plants and peppers I had such high hopes for and just sighted! These here I had just put into the peat pots and watered them…Ok you can stop laughing now… Wish I could figure out what went wrong.

I reread every spring seeding post I could find and came up with no answers other than, MAYBE I should have replanted the seedlings into growing soil when they started their first true leaves. I left mine in the cell packs in the seed starting mix. I guess, I thought that’s what these packs were for, to grow in until time to move to the garden. In my mind I wonder what the special seed starting soil is for if you don’t use it more than a few days? There doesn’t seem to be any food value in it for the plants. Any one care to enlighten me?

I didn’t find many posts that use these cell packs that talked about care for the seedlings once they started growing, only how to sew the seeds and use heat mats.

Years past I simply planted directly into my peat growing pots using plain old garden soil. I guess I thought this would be a better way with the fancy cell packs and starting soil. Live and learn. Stick with what you know unless you have all the details and have seen it work.

A little happier, but not much at 6 weeks growing.

A little happier, but not much at 6 weeks growing.

These are some of the same tomatos I moved into larger pots and growing soil about a week ago and they look much better and bigger than the rest. These might make it into the garden and ripen tomatos before frost hits them in early September. I know they are very leggy at this point, but planting them deeper right up to the first set of leaves will solve this problem.

So what’s a girl to do. I went to the local nursery and bought a few tomato plants before they were all sold out, that’s what I did. These kind of things are very seasonal and will be gone before I know it. Not what I had hopes for. There were some sort of hybrid, Roma and “cherry” for choices. No lovely Brandy wine, Kelloggs Breakfast or Amish Paste to be found.

Any of you local readers have any tomato seedling you are selling or know who is?

I tend to be a look on the bright side of things kind of gal’ and I try very hard not to mention the down side of things often. These kinds of failures give me wake up calls to remind me that not every thing goes as planned.

There will be gardening failures now and in the future. I have to save what I can and rethink what I need to do to pull through. Our family is counting on a garden growing well this year and storing it for use over the next few months, like I think so many others are as well.  I am one step ahead, at least I have some canning jars this year. Last year when I went to get some there were none to be found.

Part of being self sufficient is well just that, purchasing plants for the garden is not my ideal choice. It works because at the moment I have to make it work. The cost of one tomato plant is still a better purchase than the grown fruits at the end of the season.

incubatorA quick update on the incubating eggs. I candled them last night and the Delaware eggs are looking very promising. There are 3 that are not growing they are still clear and have very mottled shells.

The Black Java eggs I wish were doing as well, I have 4 out of the 16 that might be growing, the rest are clear.

No news form Superior Farm as to when my chicks are going to ship…I was told 4 weeks ago “In a couple of weeks”. They still are not answering my e-mail or their phone.

Stewie and Dumpling are getting very big and we have fallen into a great routine. Every morning I go to their over night cage and they are there waiting to go out, and every night when it starts to get dark they start chirping loudly and hanging out at the door for me to carry them back inside to their night pen.

I’m still thinking one if not both are roosters.

feedersI will end on a some what positive note by looking at the bright side of another situation. Over the weekend a bear knocked down, bent (not tipped over) and broke all of the humming bird feeders in the yard. What’s the bright side, well I won’t need to fill them any more, that’s the best I could do on that one. I always enjoy the humming birds, they will be back once the garden starts to bloom. They love so many of the flowers in the yard but I think the monarda is their favorite. Monarda spreads like crazy but I leave large patches of it growing just for the birds. I also harvest and dry the spring leaves for tea over the winter.

Have a great day!




Posted on May 28, 2009, in Chickens, Food Storage, Gardening, Planning and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I lost many of my tomato plants as well. One of these years I will not have to buy seedlings. However, the Brassicas that I started by seed are doing really well outside and I might actually get some brussel sprouts this year!

    A fox got in the hen house and made off with three layers…back to the drawing board:(

  2. My amish paste seedlings are pretty scrawny, too. They’re doing ok outside but they seem awfully small.

  3. I had to google monarda, I had never heard of it. That is a gorgeous flower! Will have to see if it has a chance of survival in Texas.

  4. I had to reread that last paragraph a couple times to make sure I did in fact read a BEAR knocked over the hummingbird feeders. Oh my, a bear! There have been signs of my nightly fox returning to our garden and I am not all together pleased about that.

  5. Your plants look like mine this year…although I didn’t use the cell packs. My plants grew quite leggy, looking for more light, while we were on vacation. Although the peppers and other seedlings will be fine I did replace some of the tomatoes.

    I purchased my “replacement” plants at a local organic farm in Connecticut. I was able to get a few Brandywine tomato plants, too. You may want to check your area for local farmers who offer plants:

    Food co-ops are another good source for plants or postings by local farmers.

    I have just recently found your blog and enjoy reading it!
    Happy Gardening!

  6. lizzylanefarm

    Hi Cherylynn,

    Glad to hear you found some replacements. I only wish we had food co-ops around here! I am on the look out at the local farms and farm stands. In the mean time I’ll nurse the sad little ones along.

    Glad you are enjoying the blog.


  7. lizzylanefarm


    I don’t suppose I would be happy either if it was in the garden.

    Have a great day

  8. lizzylanefarm

    Hi Cheryl,
    I might be worth a try. I will say around here by mid summer is always has bad black spot, not sure if it is the heat or humidity, but it still flowers very well and smells just a pretty. The leaves smell nice too.

  9. lizzylanefarm


    Lets hope they all catch up and grow, grow grow!!!

  10. lizzylanefarm


    Happy seedling hunting, brussel sprouts I can never get to grow. And oh’ no! about the hens!!! That is so dissapointing to hear. Who ever said it was all easy any way 🙂 Think I read some where recently that homesteaders give the impression it’s easy work, I say if so come on over and help out it would be a fun vacation. wink, wink

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