Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Plant Killer...

If you have been following our twitters, you know that I (Frugal momma) am trying my hand at growing cilantro, basil and tomatoes starting from seed. They started out great and we were so excited to see little sprouts growing!

But now.... I am so nervous I am going to kill them! I have been called by- ahem Katie (Tasty Green momma)... a Plant killer. Last spring she tried to revive my zucchini plant, egging it on with water, new soil and a new pot... telling it to "not give up!"

So, I need your help! Take a look at the pictures below, I took them today (Wednesday, March 3rd). Tell me what I need to do next!

Here is my basil: (looking good... but maybe a little overcrowded?)

Here is the cilantro: (Is it supposed to be that lanky looking?)

Here are my tomatoes:

So... for all of you gardeners out there- help me... I have a green thumb!

Should I transplant them? If so, how many sprouts do I put in a container? How big of a container?

Help... please!


Susie said...

Sarah Anne,
First let me say, "good for you in starting your own seeds"! Seeds are relatively inexpensive so the learning curve isn't nearly as painful as in learning some things! Once seeds are started, you need to thin them, so do that now. The roots need room to grow so the plant will be healthy. Without a good root system, you won't have a good healthy plant. (That will be true of all the plants.) I don't know much about cilantro but same principle applies with that.
The tomatoes need to be planted in a porous pot, like a peat pot. Glass jars are not what you want to use for starting seeds. You can try to carefully remove some of them and transplant them but I would probably start over with them entirely. You want good healthy plants when you get ready to transplant them to your garden. (And don't forget, before putting them out in the garden, you need to harden them off! They have to get used to being outside in the wind.) You only want one plant per little pot, so if you start with more seeds per pot to make sure something sprouts, be sure to gently remove all but one when they sprout so that it can have all the space and nutrients to grow strong.
Here's a link you might find helpful.

I hope that helps!

Rachel said...

PI have the same exact problem. I can never seem to grow anything. Coincidentally, I just started some cilantro seeds a few days ago. They are barely starting to sprout from the seeds. I can't wait to see what the other readers say to do.

hwg2g2 said...

I helped my Dad with transplanting our tomatoes just yesterday. Gently pull them out one at a time and put them into little cups. We used yogurt cups. One little plant per cup, putting about half of the plant in the dirt, then gently move the soil around the little stem.
You will need to transplant them again when they are about 4-6 inches tall into larger containers or to outside.
This same technique is how you transplant the cilantro and basil too.
Good luck!

SweetTxMama said...

The other comments are great. I just wanted to add that I personally like to start my seeds with little pellets, adding only 2 seeds to each one, and once they start to get a few inches up, thin them to 1 plant and put them in individual paper cups and poke a few holes in the bottom, the whole pellet with the plant. Bury the tomatoes all the way up to where the top leaves are barely poking out. You can easily write on the cups if you have lots of seeds so they don't get mixed up. Then, once it is time to transplant outside harden them off and just pop the dirt out of your cups and into the ground or outside pot and you are good to go. I've tried other seed starting methods but this has worked best for me. I'm doing the square foot gardening and started all of my inside seeds this way and I'd say about 95% of the seeds were a success.