Kale, Dill, And Basil = the Cotyledon Forest

Seedlings emerge from seeds with the familiar white stem we think of as a “sprout”, topped by a set of special leaves. This first set of leaves looks nothing like the leaves this plant will grow next and forever. This initial set of leaves is called the cotyledons. The leaves that follow, in the shape characteristic of the plant type, are the true leaves.

Here’s our own miniature “forest” of cotyledons, mostly kale, with some other herbs stepping up.

20120205-225732.jpg

Here are chives, bustin’ out. The one on the left is just short of a centimeter in length.
20120205-225748.jpg

First emergings

20120203-072520.jpg

Here’s the kale, recently changed from seed to seedlings.

A few leeks have sprouted, too, and about 5 of the 100 chive seeds are now about 1cm tall.

20120203-072952.jpg

2012 first seed starts

Here’s the kickoff of my 2012 vegetable container garden. I started some seeds in my garage, to get a jump on the growing season. I use a heat mat to urge the little plants to get started.

I’m trying three starting methods:

  1. a plain flat pan, filled with moist seed starter mix, for the chives;
  2. a tray of 72 cells containing the same mix, into which I planted leeks, which looks like this empty:

     

  3. a Park Seeds 40-cell Jumbo planting block in a Bio-Dome, which looks like this when it’s empty:

     

It feels good to have some spring seeds started. This is my fourth gardening season, and I hope to make the entire year productive.  How hard could it be?  Heck, it’s the end of January and I’m still harvesting 15 tomatoes every few days!

Here are photos of the starts.

20120129-234141.jpg

20120129-234205.jpg

20120129-234222.jpg

20120129-234237.jpg