So...everything is moving along slowly. Lisianthus is a very slow-growing flower. Frustratingly slow. It is not for the easily bored. Some fellow farmers start theirs in November. That is a bit early for our zone. But we are still figuring out what works for us. The first challenge is just nurturing the plants along until summer. This is my first time growing "lisi," so I've got a back up plan that includes a bunch of pre-started plugs coming in around the end of April.
For now, I just keep watering them when they need it. They were sown in 50-cell trays. From the look of things, they definitely won't outgrow that space before I move to plant them out. But at some point they start moving faster, right? I'm looking forward to that point.
The most interesting part of the experiment so far (for me anyways) is the weird things that grow on the cells. Algae, fungus? Some orange, some brilliant green. I try to cut down on it by watering only as much as I need to and with a more direct stream in a spray bottle aimed near the base of the sprout. Sounds risky, but it seems to be working and no stems have been broken in the process so far.
Here is one of those weird parasites though. I'm not sure what it is. The plant version of a surprised emoji, maybe? Alien fungus. I'm sure he's not great for the little lisi in that cell, but I don't have a heart to kill him just yet. After all, he does seem to be watching...with his 6 eyes. Please drop me a line in the comments if you can identify my new pet!