Blog partner Melissa says she has baby plant envy.  My seedlings (in a photo taken this am) are much  bigger than her’s.

After a Q&A over wine we determined that she’s using the same soil mix, Fafard Professional Growers Mix.

Lots of light–my adjustable grow lights were a long-ago investment from Park Seed. I have them on a timer.

A fan–it keeps the air moving and makes the plants sturdy.

But no fertilizer.  I use a very weak solution of this plant starter fertilizer.  Miracle Grow also works–just make sure to only a use a tiny bit.  The water should barely have color (blue) .  And I water with this ultra light food almost every time.

Melissa took some fertilizer home.  We’ll see if her plant envy subsides.

By the way, this fertilizer is a plant starter formula because it’s high in phosphate,  the element that promotes roots and flowers or fruit.   Check out the middle number (10) –that’s the phosphate indicator. When my Daddy lived in Lowland South Carolina two decades ago, the commerical tomato growers put Triple Super Phosphate on their crops as in 0-48-0.  Strong stuff and another reason to grow your own tomatoes.

Now a baby plant horror story.  Can you see the gnats on the sticky trap above?   My sister’s seedling crop had a serious infestation that came out of her Miracle Grow Potting Mix.  She called the company and got “we don’t gurantee our soil to be sterlized”.  She’s using sticky traps from Garden’s Alive to control the problem.  Still–this is another a reason to use a starter mix you really, really trust.   I always buy my mix from a nursery or seed and feed, like  Stone Brothers and Byrd, and Campbell Road.

Any other readers with a crop of baby plants?  Let us know how they’re doing and what you’re growing.  Maybe we can swap. As you can see, I have a lot of tomatoes. 

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