I thought the directions said I should wait to transplant the greenhouse tomato seedlings. I have waited and waited for the two true leaf stage. The tomato seedlings seemed stuck in a timeless space that I walked into once in a while to mist them. The lettuce is growing some, but this advised cold treatment has been testing my gardening-deprived mental state. I should be grateful that I have the opportunity to even play around with greenhouse growing right now, but instead I have been stewing.
Finally, I spied some very small buds of the true leaves! Aha! No matter that I had to put on my reading glasses for them to materialize. They were there. I ignored any thoughts that I should wait until they were larger, and proceeded to happily transplant all 10 tomato seedlings. There is no way I can raise all 10 tomato plants to maturity in my greenhouse, but I have to transplant them all at this point. I am sure someone somewhere has diagnosed this condition…
The roots of the tomato seedlings were longer than the lettuce roots had been at transplant. Most of them were close to 3 inches long. Since the soil in the egg carton was only a smidge over one inch, I felt just fine about gently laying them in the egg shaped hole in their new pots.
When I was done, I re-read my information and saw that only the time for cold treatment was based on the appearance of the true leaves. If I think I should keep them cold for a bit longer, I still can. Meanwhile, the soil will hold a little more moisture and the roots can really grow down.
There is a caution against too much watering in the winter greenhouse. I have been trying to evaluate that carefully. I know from experience with normal spring seedlings that it is important to touch the soil and feel at least a little bit under the top layer. Looks can be deceiving and the plants can suffer too much before there are enough visual clues about water levels. However, even though a guideline of every 10 days was offered, in the dry Idaho winter air, the small egg carton size was needing watering every 2-3 days. It always pays to monitor it a couple of times a day.
All in all, things continue to look hopeful. The leaves are a fuzzy healthy green. The stems look strong. I did pull the remains off of a seed off of the tips of one set of leaves, and they unfolded like it was all very natural. I may have to advertise for adoptive gardeners. Possibly, if I charge a small fee on Craigslist a few people will take a plant home?