day 30: growth report

Mottled colors on a pea plant leafIt’s been thirty days since I planted the seeds for the cellar garden experiment. The plants are doing quite well. I did have a bit of a scare when the leaves on the pea plants became mottled. Fortunately, the good people over at GardenWeb calmed my fears and let me know this is perfectly normal.

Ken at GardenWeb also made me think about various things such as temperature.  These plants are growing in my cellar which is currently hovering in the mid to high sixties.  Tomato plant 30 days after planting the seedThe soil is trending in the low to mid sixties.

The tomatoes are coming along.  They are getting bigger and developing more leaves.  They haven’t stunned me with their growth, but they are still growing.

But the real star of the show are the peas. Remember this photo showing the same pea plant on November 21 and 22?  The yard stick on these photos is buried 4 inches into the dirt, so on Nov 21 the topmost leaves were 13 inches above the ground.  Pea plant photographed on November 21 and 22On Nov 22 they were 14 inches up.  Now on December 3rd, just eleven days later, they are 25 inches above the ground. That’s one inch per day. This yard stick is in one of the middle pots, it is not in one of the ones near the lights.

I find I need to tend the peas twice a day. Every morning and every evening I stop by the cellar to wrap the peas around the strings. Pea plant 30 days after the seed was plantedEven doing it that frequently they are often grabbing onto the plants around them. In a real garden I’d train them up a trellis and wouldn’t worry about them tangling up with each other. However, in this experiment they are packed in pretty tight and I need to be able to reach through them. Also, every pot has at least one tomato plant and I’m going to need to be able to tend them as they grow. I need to keep the peas to their own string in this experiment.

I am quite pleased with how well these plants are growing.  I’m also a little surprised the ones in the middle are growing so well. The impression I had from some of the things I read online was that they’d have to be right next to the lights to grow well even in the beginning.  I guess that is debunked.  The question now is, will they continue to grow well as they get larger and as they block more of each other’s light.  Once that question is answered I’ll be looking to see if they produce any food.  If what I’m reading on the net is right, only the ones at the end of the row should produce any significant amount of food, but you don’t know until you try…

The four packed pots on day 30

(The yellow leaves aren’t actually yellow, the lights are just making it difficult to photograph them.)

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