Friday, April 22, 2011

Gardening with Gumby: First Starter Seeds

I am finally getting around to posting pictures of our seeds that we have started for the garden!  We are having a lot of fun with this project.  We haven't had a garden for several years and are looking forward to it now that I will have more time because I stay home with Gumby.  This is also something we think she will enjoy and we are sure she will learn a lot.
We have never started any garden veggies from seeds before, ever.  This, like anything else in life, is a learning experience for the whole family.

We went to a couple of stores and let Gumby pick out the seeds herself.  She had a lot of fun doing this.  It gives her ownership on the project and lets her know she is a contributing member of the family.  We didn't worry about the few things she picked out that we don't really care for - we're going to grow them and try them and let her try them.  We try not to limit her tastes and preferences because of our own.  She was so excited.

We also picked some neat looking plants such as the Carnival Peppers (purple, white, yellow, orange) and Chili Peppers.

To start the plants, we got a couple of those seed starting kits with the pods. They are cute and Gumby had fun investigating the pods while they were little dry disks. We all enjoyed pouring warm water on them and watching them expand.

We started planting around the end of March and did maybe 18 plants each evening once every few days or a week.  It was the right amount of time that Gumby would enjoy planting before getting bored.

Choosing a spot to place the next two pepper seeds.
 Carefully placing 2 pepper seeds.

Covering the seeds.

What we have so far: Eggplant (which has mostly died :( by the time I am writing this), Celery (tiny, TINY seeds so we have way more than the suggested 2-4 per pod), Carnival Peppers, Tomatoes and Cayenne Peppers.

The first thing we planted was celery and this is how it looked as it started to come up.
Gumby likes checking in on the plants and seeing their progress :)

This is how the seedlings are coming along today.

The first column on the left are the tomatoes.
The next 4 and a half are the 2 types of peppers. You'll notice they have tan soil. Peppers took the longest by far to come up. And, before they sprouted, the pods were encased in this fuzzy white stuff I had never seen before. Thanks to the internet, I learned it was called "dampening off" and is a fungus that grows if the pods are too moist from having the lid on, etc. I found a few natural remedies that did the trick: a strong batch of chamomile tea and cinammon, which not only gave it the tan color and got rid of the fungus, but it made it smell great too! The fungus is mostly harmless as long as it doesn't overtake the seedlings. And, as a side note to "getting rid" of it, I don't think you ever really get rid of it once it's there (bummer), but you can easily control it.
The next 2 and a half are what remains of the eggplants :( I don't know what went wrong here. They came up just fine. You'll notice a couple of the pods are missing. I gave them to my mom. I think hers are still doing okay.
The final 4 rows are the celery which seem to be doing okay. I should probably thin them out. Mom got 2 of these also.

In exchange, Mom gave me 2 wonderful little basil starts with a clever plant marker made with a plastic spoon and marker :) My mom is clever like that :)

As shown below, Gumby is having a rockin' good time with the family garden! :)
I can't wait until we give her a garden sensory box ... but that is a post for another day! :)

Are you starting a garden?  What did you plant?
Do you have any tips for involving toddlers?