Thursday, February 19, 2015

We Have Lift-off!


So what to my wondering eyes should appear when I checked on my asparagus flat yesterday?

Asparagus Seedlings
If you look closely, you can see all 4 have come up in this cell pack
 
Hip Hip Hurray!

I sowed the seeds on February 8 and by yesterday, only ten days later, 18 (out of 26) had germinated - so much for three weeks!  I'm breathing a big sigh of relief.

I removed the lid and placed the flat under the lights.  I will keep the tray on the heat mat for another week or so, in the hopes that I get some more to germinate.  After that, I will remove the mat - our basement is around 18C (64F) which is a good temperature for them once they have germinated.

As a side note, I went to William Dam again last week - the Eleonora basil (which is downy mildew resistant) is still on backorder, so it will be another couple of weeks before I can get it.  I did pick up the Camelot shallot seeds, which I had forgotten to get the last time I was there.  And then I caved and bought another heat mat:


Seedling Heat Mat
 
At the time, I was worried that since the asparagus was taking up an entire tray for (what was supposed to be) a minimum of 3 weeks, that my heat mat wouldn't be available when it came time to start my onions & peppers.  I would never have guessed that only a few days later most of the asparagus would be up.

Well, at least now I have the option of using one mat for my starts & using the other one for seedlings that may benefit from a little extra bottom heat.

Till next time...

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

22 comments:

  1. I've never used a heat mat for onions. In fact I haven't used one here for anything. Our house in the plant room is around 65F and nothing seems to have any trouble coming up. Even when I used to grow eggplants. It might help make them faster, but those seeds want to come up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the heat mat made a big difference for some of my starts last year, especially the tomatoes & peppers. I recall at some point having to start a whole bunch of seeds & there was no room left in the tray that was on the mat. Those that were on the mat germinated very quickly, while those that were not did not come up until after I placed them on a vacated spot on the heat mat. Having said that, I did go without a heat mat the previous year & was still able to grow from seed by placing the starts in a sunny room where the sun heated up the soil.

      I don't think the heat mat makes a big difference for the onions, but since they do prefer temps around 75F, they will likely germinate more quickly - I'm just one of those impatient types, I guess ;)

      Delete
  2. Wonderful!
    I was wondering how the asparagus seeds would do. How neat! Those will really be special plants since you raised them from seed.
    I've never used a heat mat---but I do have one small room in our house (right above the furnace!) and it's super toasty in there and that is where my seed starting rack is. I mean--It gets REALLY WARM. Too warm for me.....but perfect to get things going.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I first started some of my veg from seed 2 years ago, I placed the trays in our spare bedroom, right next to a south facing window, and that did the trick. Last winter, however, my husband commandeered the room as his office - and my cozy seed starting area had to be moved to the frigid basement. It didn't take me long to pick up a heat mat - since I'm so new at this, the fewer variables I have to worry about the better!

      Delete
  3. My Asparagus seeds are currently in the airing-cupboard, which is nice and warm but completely dark. I have to keep checking them to see if they have germinated, so that I will be able to quickly bring them into the light.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't expecting any germination for about another week so I didn't check on them every day. Judging from their size, I definitely should have placed them under the lights about one day sooner. Thankfully, they are fine now & several more have since germinated.

      Delete
  4. I like to use a heat mat to get things started, but it sits on my dining room floor by a window and more often than not a least one of the cats snuggles up on it too. That's generally not a problem, except that one of them has decided that my labels are nice to chew on.

    ReplyDelete
  5. How neat, I've never thought of starting asparagus from seeds. I did try to grow them 2 years ago but the roots from neighbor's tree zapped the nutrients from the spot they were planted in, that was the end of my asparagus growing experiment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My plants still have a LONG way to go before they are even in the ground - I probably won't rest easy until I get that first harvest....in 3 years (ugh!).

      Delete
  6. I have a heat mat I use for the peppers and tomatoes. Onions may not need it but I think it does speed up germination. I'm thinking of getting a second one like you have, given the number of plants I have elected to start this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely think the 2nd one will come in handy once the season really gets going!

      Delete
  7. Cool that your asparagus seeds germinated, that's so exciting looking forward to reading about their progress in future posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm looking forward to getting them in the ground - they are so thin & fragile looking right now that I'm a bit paranoid about damaging them.

      Delete
  8. Congrats on the asparagus, great job, Margaret! I use a heat mat as part of a jiffy greenhouse - so the base with the heat mat and a plastic lid. It's designed mostly for peat pellets so I tend to just use it for tomatoes and peppers. Since I grow onions in containers that don't really fit the jiffy, I've been successful previously by placing them on the top side of my fluorescent light to get a touch of bottom heat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Susie! My heat mat is hard at work now trying to get those pepper seeds to germinate...chilies especially seem to take forever to get going, even with the mat.

      Delete
  9. Excellent! There is noting like homegrown asparagus!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You got that right! And thanks for giving me that little push to grow it from seed.

      Delete
  10. I used to have large asparagus plants but due to a long-term drought and water restrictions, I no longer garden. I decided as spring approaches to start visiting gardening blogs to sigh/dream/and relish other's gardening adventures. Love seeing these seedlings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Catherine & welcome! I'm assuming you live out west - the drought is so incredibly sad - I do hope that you get some relief soon.

      Delete
  11. They're so cute! Little tiny asparagus! Let's hope the good start puts them in good stead for the future

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate and thoroughly enjoy all of your lovely comments :) Please note that in order to foil those pesky spammers, comment moderation has been enabled for older comments.