Two weeks and we're in business!
It never ceases to amaze me how fast nature does her thing.
Feb 25th was Day #6 and the garden had already sprouted some teeny tiny little basil plants. Cute AF. Even a few days before this I could see a spec of green beginning to push aside the soil. I believe the regular, direct light and the perfectly metered watering via the wicking of the capillary mat really sets up seedlings and starters. You can't get better than a controlled (even half-assedly controlled) environment. I mean I like the capricious nature of growing things from seeds outdoors. The chance you take. The thrill of seeing how things go but the feeling of instant gratification on sprouting things indoors and that feeling of success is unbeatable. Especially if you really don't think your thumb even has a hint of green.
Speaking of instant gratification the very next day on Day #7 we had more success. The dill, which looked so disappointing (read:non-existent) the day before, had popped up overnight. We spent the night at friends and decided to leave the lights on overnight. The '10-to-14-days-to-germination' dill loved it. Each of the four little sites that I had planted seeds had broken soil and sprouted at least two inches!! In less than 24 hours. Wow. I am itching to do some sort of time lapse footage for the tomato plants I plan to start in a few weeks but I don't know if my schedule and/or my budget for mass amounts of memory cards will comply.
Fast forward to March 5 or Day #14 and some serious changes can be noted. The basil is quite full and two more leaves can be seen in addition to the first two that sprouted upon germination. Those first two leaves are known as cotyledon. The 'true' leaves grow up afterwards. This is super interesting to learn as I noticed the dill has now sprouted more feathery 'dill-looking' leaves on top of the two cotyledon. These two first leaves store all the nutrient reserves from the seeds and usually wither and fall off once the reserves are used. You can tell if a plant will have a flower if if has two cotyledon!
Next on the docket: Figuring out which basil plants to thin and when to do it!