The sun is back this weekend in Philly. I don’t know who has missed the sun more – me or my young vegetables. I feel badly for them, really, gazing longingly toward the window.
In garden-speak, my sprouts are ‘leggy.’ What I would consider a compliment is apparently not a desirable trait in plants. The tomato seedlings main stem has grown tall and thin (I wish!), looking like it may topple over in an effort to support its maturing leaves. A leggy plant is a result of insufficient sunlight and a sheltered environment – a sure symptom of the recent string of rainy days and a light-starved condo (which, our Realtor tells us, won’t help sell our place).
With a few of the starter cells looking a bit crowded, I transplanted a few hardier seedlings to large containers to help sustain their growth. While I wasn’t 100% certain this was the right thing to do at the time, a few of them had their second set of “true leaves” so I rationalized they needed more room to allow their roots to grow. I think they are looking quite comfortable in their new homes.
My plants were also confronted with mold this week. Unpleasant, yes; I scraped away the white fuzz and used cornmeal to temper its growth. Not sure what I found more disturbing: the mold itself, or the fact that an ingredient used to make cornbread and a host of over food stuffs can be used to treat it. Hm.
With the mold and the legginess, I felt guilty. Anxious to make it all right, I gave my sprouts a new home. I’ve noticed that the sun seems to shine brighter and for longer around the bay windows in our living room. Since these window sills are a bit more narrow, I relied on a space heater to prop up my containers. Additionally, without the space to invest in a plant growing fixture with fluorescent tube lighting, I now supplement their daylight hours with a nighttime regime on our stove-top, where the light under the microwave keeps the seedlings warm and radiant. It was time to get resourceful.
Overall, I believe I’ve created a sunnier place for my plants to hang out. Treat them right now, and I will be thanked later with some tomatoes and fresh basil. Fingers crossed.