Wednesday, January 26, 2011
round 1-starting seeds
Yesterday I finally got my tail in gear and started some some of our early planting crops. Although I said I was not going to grow cabbage and broccoli in the spring again, I could not start seeds and at least start a few of each. Most of our cole crops I direct seed but I do like to start onion seed, cabbage, broccoli and this year some pak choy that is not part of a mix of greens. I started tobacco too because it takes so long for it to get growing and I would like to plant both an early crop and a late crop of it this year. For experimental purposes and with hope of a few early producing veggies I started a few zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes. All total, I started 16 trays of various veggies and tobacco, 2 containers of basil and a large container bed of thyme, parsley and cilantro ,a dozen cucumbers and sixteen tomato plants.
Since it is still way too cold to put seedlings in the green house, I again used the loft of the shack for my starter room. It gets more light than any other room so we can get by with very little supplemental lighting and I do not have to worry about my babies freezing. The only disadvantage to using a second story room is that it is second story. Everything that goes up must come back down and we do not have a typical stair case but more of a ladder. Most of our seeds now get started in large styrofoam trays rather than individual cups or tray packs. For the onions and and tobacco it completely simplifies the process as both need very little soil, need to keep moistened and do quite well in shallow flats until transplant time or graduation to a grow cup. I even do this with my tomatoes as maters like to be transplanted and I can bury the roots deeper into individual grow cups when the time comes. For the cukes and zucchini I make mini greenhouses from recycled plastic containers much like would be done if you were to winter sow seeds. Most of ours are nondairy creamer containers because it is the one absolutely horrible for you, made of garbage, not even close to a real food item that we still use and regularly. The lids have conveniently vent holes that can be opened and the container is large enough to keep the plantling until it is ready for the garden. It also makes them very easy to move in and out according to the weather.