I have kept a little garden for the past couple of years, but I’ve always a) planted starts b) sewn my seeds directly into the ground once the last frost was over or c) a combination of a + b. This year, I decided to get my herbs, tomatoes and peppers going indoors and avoid starts altogether.
So for the last week, I’ve been obsessively monitoring my seed tray: Is the soil damp enough? Is it warm enough? Is it getting enough light? Perhaps I should move it near the heater at night and to the window by day?
I learned that for $30 you could purchase a foil pad that heats your soil—and heat is necessary especially for the tomatoes and peppers, which need the soil to be at least 70 degrees to germinate. This seemed a bit spendy to me, and instead I opted to insulate my tray with my down jacket and a towel, rotating my seeds from heater to window with the rising of the sun. (Luckily for the seeds, it’s been cold enough in my room to need heat.)
My makeshift plan has had me worried all week—what if they never sprout?! And then, last night, the first cilantro seedling poked up through the soil. By morning, four tomatoes had joined in (three orange tomatoes and one red) along with what might possibly be basil. And they are growing FAST! Since I took the pictures below half an hour ago, the tomatoes have already doubled in size. Behold:
Tomatoes! (It’s hard to see it, but there are three)
Here is a more recent photo of the tomatoes (I just took it!):
When I got back from ultimate practice, the tomato you see above had become positively huge. Observe: