Saturday, January 10, 2009

First Seedling

This morning, I found that one of my Mother-In-Law's Winter Melon seeds germinated and produced a nice seedling.  

It took 6 days for this seed to germinate.  I expect more seedlings to emerge over the next 3 to 4 days.

Since this is a Winter Melon seedling, I had to transplant it right away.  The APS-24 cell is only 1.5 inches tall and from past experience, I know that the roots of the Winter Melon and Pumpkin seedling are quite long.  With the tomoto seedlings, the roots  do not grow as fast and I typically leave them in the APS-24 cell for several days.

When I lifted the APS-24, I saw roots dangling from the bottom of the cell.  If I had waited another day, the roots would have started growing into the capillary mat.  Once that happens, it is almost impossible to transplant the seedling without damaging it (i.e., need to cut the roots), and then I would have to remove the left over roots from the capillary mat.  

I transplanted the Winter Melon seedling into an APS-6.  I used generic potting mix that I got from my local garden store.  It cost me $4 for a 8 quart bag.  In contrast, it cost me $12 for a 9 quart  bag of Gardener's Supply Germinating Mix when you include shipping costs.

I filled each of the 6 cells halfway with the potting mix so that the APS-6 unit stays firmly on the capillary mat.  I then transplanted the seedling into one of the cells.  

The nice thing about the APS-24 unit is that the cell pops right out when I push my finger through the hole in the bottom.  Moisture keeps the cell intact so that it is easy to just drop the seedling into the APS-6 unit and fill with potting mix around it.

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