i was happy to see that the timer-controlled fluorescent grow lights kicked in this morning. i have it set from 10am to midnight, for 14 hours of artificial sunlight everyday. some of the cypress vine seedlings had opened up a little bit from yesterday. seedlings in group D have also started to sprout (i removed the saran wrap). the pair of seedlings in group B still had their seed casings so i decided to manually remove them. i didn't have any problems with the bigger seedling but i accidently damaged some of the sprout leaves on the smaller one and even then i still wasn't able to completely remove the shell. that one may end up dying. into each container i put 3 seeds: so far, the most i've seen germinate have been twos. i wonder what happened to the other third?

a check of the plant nursery in the guest bedroom revealed activity in several of the containers. the nasturtiums were poking out of the dirt as well as the basil. they weren't completely out yet so i didn't bother transplanting them to the grow closet.

more french toast for lunch! and it's a well-known fact that you're not doing something right if you're not setting off the smoke alarm, which happened when i was cooking some kielbasa over the stove (despite the fact that i had the window opened and a fan blowing for ventilation).

i watched the patriots-chargers game from my parents' place. in the backyard a noticed a flock of juncos sitting on the lawn, trying to stay warm. i slowly made my way outside to try and get some photos, but not before seeing a neighborhood cat creeping up to the birds as well, but for an entirely different reason. the cat scared away the birds before i could snap any pictures. the game was typical of new england football. i was worried initially and watched intently into the first half, before the patriots went into the break with the lead. once the patriots scored again in the second half and put some distance between themselves and the chargers, i wasn't paying as much attention, figuring it'd be another clinical new england victory, which it was. after the game was over, i switched to the packers-giants game. that was a close one and the giants ended up winning. i'm sure the colts are rooting for new york; besides relishing a patriots' loss, there's also eli manning (brother of indianapolis QB peyton) to carry on the family torch.

back at home, i inspected the plants once more. within a 9 hour time span, the just-emerging cypress vine seedlings in group D had already grown about a centimeter. the basil and nasturtiums had sprouted even more since i last checked, so i decided to relocate them to the grow closet, a pair on each shelves. they're still covered to preserve the humidity, but once the seedlings start to touch the plastic i'll take them off. the basil seedlings are tiny, about the size of a sesame seed. i put about 7-10 into each basil container. i'm curious to catch the nasturtium seedlings, which i've never seen before. the seedlings are pretty juicy, almost like a bean sprout (the nasturtium seeds were pretty big, the size of a pea). they few that are out are about half a centimeter in height at the most.

plant suggested germination actual germination
cypress vine 7-21 days 4 days
sweet basil 7-14 days 5 days
nasturtium 10-14 days 5 days
chinese cabbage 7-10 days* ?
cilantro 14-21 days ?
parsley 14-21 days ?

here is a scorecard of what's been going on so far: the particular plant, the suggested time to germination, and the actual time of germination. i seem to be able to get the seeds to grow at about half the minimum suggested germination time. at this rate, the cilantro and parsley should be germinating in a few days. the one that isn't following the trend is the chinese cabbage. that's also the one where i'm not using freshly-purchased seeds, but rather seeds from my father's collection, which are 6 years old at least. they may just be no longer viable. i'll do a germination test in a piece of wet paper napkin to see what happens.