Saturday, February 26, 2011

When to Fertilize?

The past couple of weeks have been filled with rain and flu running rampant through the family.  The flu running through the family, not the rain.  That stays outside.  Family inside.  Not much time for gardening, although I did seem to have enough time to whip up a batch of American Pale Ale last night.  Go figure.

The book on raising plants from seed said I should start fertilizing when the first "real" leaves appear?  What the hell are "real" leaves?  Are these plastic?  I would like it a lot better if I fertilize when it says "Feed Me, Seymour".  I'm just sayin' it would be easier.


  1. Oooo, I think I've actually got this one. I would like to claim it is due to my prodigious gardening skill, but the truth is that I am just busting out my biology degree.

    The first two leaves on most garden plants (non-grasses that is) are the cotyledons or "seed" leaves. They are not considered "true" leaves. The seed leaves are usually small and round even if all of the other leaves of the plant look completely different. Generally speaking if you have more than two leaves per plant, you have true leaves. If that's not what they meant "real" leaves than I am stumped.

    Hope your family is feeling better soon. The flu is terrible.

  2. Flu...ugh. I'm sorry. I hope your 'flu brew' will help to chase the nasty germs away ;)

    As a fellow biologist, I agree with Elizabeth. Once that second pair of leaves pops up, those are the 'true leaves'. Oh, and don't be alarmed when the cotyledons turn yellow and drop off. As long as the 'true' leaves are healthy and growing, that's nothing to worry about and perfectly normal...and congrats on your seedlings!

  3. I look at the picture every day, and I can no longer keep from commenting. If these were my seedlings, I wouldn't be worried so much about fertilizing them, but I would for sure get them much more light.