It has already been over a month that I planted my seedlings under shop lights in my basement. Heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. The peppers and eggplants have done great. They’ve actually been pretty easy. I water them every other week with fish emulsion and they’ve been slowly but steadily growing. My tomatoes, on the other hand, have been the greatest challenge for me. My basement gets cold, so I found out real quickly that tomatoes need warmth. They are also very sensitive to watering. I’ve found out that they like it more on the dry side, so it’s been challenging figuring out how much and how frequently to water. What I ended up doing was putting a small portable heater right by my tomatoes to keep them happy. When they get too cold, their leaves turn purple on the underside and they sort of shut down. They stay alive but grow SLOWLY. They are like little babies that need constant supervision. Watering them with fish emulsion every other week has also helped them along. All I can say about my tomato plants is that they are still ALIVE. Until I have a sunroom one day, I think next year I’ll buy my heirloom tomato starts from local farmers. All of my other vegetables, I’ll grow at home. (We’ll see, I’m sure when spring time rolls around next year, I’ll probably want to start my tomatoes all over again 😉
Praise the Lord that the past couple of weeks have been warm. I have been able to slowly take my plants outside and harden them off. They’re doing great and they do love the real sunshine and warmth!