Becoming An Amateur Nurseryman

I’ve had a garden for a long time but this is the first year I’m growing my own plants transplants from seeds. At $2-3 a plant from the local nursery, I usually end up spending $50-100 in plants. I came up with the grand scheme to grow enough transplants for myself and to sell the remaining ones to friends and family for a good price. Based on the results so far, I may get lucky to give them away for free.

I engineered a lighting scheme, one that’s already going to need to be updated because it doesn’t cover the area I have. I planted the seeds on February 10th and so far, things have been a little hit and miss. The squash got entirely too leggy and I’m not expecting much from them. The cucumbers are doing pretty well. I actually just transplanted both of those into bigger pots today. The tomatillos are not faring well at all and I’m not sure why. Most of the tomatoes and peppers are slowly growing though not as quickly as I would like. I have about 3 more weeks before planting time is here and I’m not sure they are going to really be viable. I’ll probably upgrade the lighting scheme today and see if that makes it any better.

I’m using 1 Burpee grow kit from Lowes and 2 Gardens Alive kits. Neither seems to be outperforming the other right now but the Gardens Alive will definitely be easier to transplant as they have grow plugs that will pull right out of the planter instead of the soil that comes with the Burpee kit. Also, the Gardens Alive kits have a lower profile and require less water which is nice. The styrofoam holder floats in water so that the seedlings always have the right amount of water.

You can see the results of the experiment so far in the pictorial expose below. Notes for next year include to plant earlier, maybe around the middle of January and avoid the squash as I don’t think they are good transplanted. They grow so fast straight from seed anyway that I think direct planting in the garden might be better.

4 comments on “Becoming An Amateur Nurseryman

  1. Cool, let us interwebs people know how it goes. I’m not sure what the grow kits have going on, but if you’re up for additional experimentation you might try some straight Gibberellic acid. There might be data published from big greenhouses on “dosage” otherwise you’d have to play around a bit. I’ve seen it work great if you get it dialed in just right. Too much though and the plants end up growing out to fast and end up resistant to their own natural hormones.

  2. that’s actually pretty awesome. i’ve seen those things at the store, but never in action.

  3. also: i really like your site template, btw.

  4. Hey Nic, welcome to my little corner of the internet. Well, actually I have about 6 corners, it’s a 4 dimensional world, you just comment in it.

    The pepper plants turned out really well, they are now growing in the garden. The tomatoes and tomatillos were all dismal failures. I’ll have to try those again next month and see if I can get better results for a fall garden.

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