This is an El Nino year, which occurs approximately every 5 years. This means that we get a lot of rain and temperatures are much cooler than normal.
This weather has wreck havoc on my seedlings. I have lost all of my Winter Melon and Charentais seedlings.
My Cherry Tomato seedlings have survived but have definitely not thrived. I had one Cherry Tomato seedling that was tall enough to transplant (see this blog entry). I transplanted that seedling two weekends ago and it has surprisingly done very well (see this blog entry)
Unfortunately, my other Cherry Tomato seedlings are much smaller (see the pictures at the top and below)
Because of a problem with my Grow Light setup, I only got one Cherry Tomato seedling during my first attempt at seed starting this year (see this blog entry). This was the Cherry Tomato seedling that I transplanted 2 weeks ago.
My other Cherry Tomato seedlings germinated 2 weeks later. We had decent weather in the last half of January and that enabled the first seedling to get a good headstart. The other seedlings suffered through the cold and wet February, which has stunted their growth.
See this blog entry and this blog entry for how my Cherry Tomato plants look a year ago at this time.
I probably made a mistake by turning off my Grow Lights right after the second batch of seedlings germinated (see this blog entry) But, I don't like to have my plants under the Grow Lights for too long. The light from the Grow Light is not the same as the natural light from the Sun. I find that if I leave Cherry Tomato plants under the Grow Light for an extended period, the plants grow long and spindly (i.e. "leggy").
I would rather take them outside and let them grow naturally. In the past this has worked well, but the El Nino weather pattern has messed this up.
Still, if you look at the Cherry Tomato seedlings in the pictures above, they look fine ("not leggy"). They have just not grown as well as you would expect 6 week old Cherry Tomato seedlings to look. I think they will be fine. If not, I can always clone new plants from my first Cherry Tomato seedling.
It was very windy today and I thought that the wind chill would lower the effective temperature that it might harm the Cherry Tomato seedlings, so I brought them all back inside tonight. Hopefully, the wind will die down tomorrow and I will be able to take them outside again.
My Dove Melon Hybrid seedlings are doing ok (see picture below). The seedlings are bigger than they were last week (see this blog entry). However, I am still waiting for them to grow their second set of leaves.
I started another batch of Winter Melon and Charentais seeds this past weekend. I am not using Grow Lights this time. Just leaving them outside like I did the Dove Melon seeds (see this blog entry)