08 April 2011

With My Own Two Hands (Part Two)

As I stated in last week's blog post, I was in a "get my hands dirty" mood. Plus I have seen enough people talking about their seed starting that I figured I should get my...er, pots...in gear and get planting.

I finally dragged my grow light out of the basement. This is a small, table-top set up which holds two trays of seeds. Usually that is plenty, as I only have two 8 x 4 ft. beds for vegetables. However, one day I plan to have a set up like this or this

Some of the seeds I have, bok choi, chard and carrots, will be directly sowed in a couple of weeks. They can go in before last frost date, which is April 26 this year, but I am certainly starting late this year indoors. The last couple years I had issues with some plants getting rootbound in the trays, so I would rather start and transplant them a little later than I have before.

Because of the rootbound problems I had with some plants I decided to forgo the cell trays I had been using the last couple of years and pull out my PotMaker finally. You could really use a can to do this, but I like the wood and smaller shape. After creating the pots I ended up with 39 newspaper pots, which will be plenty. I did decide to put my tomatoes in 3 inch peat pots, so they had more room to grow. All of these have the advantage of being able to be transplanted directly into the ground, although I will be slicing up the peat pots to make sure the roots can get through.

So the newspaper pots went into the drip trays and they are low enough for the plastic cover to go over them. This cover will help increase humidity and warmth until the seeds germinate. I do lift the covers each day so they can get fresh air, and I am planning on using a small fan once they are big enough to keep air circulation flowing in this corner of the kitchen. I have had damping off issues with some seeds, but the fan should help with that.

I have started three types of tomatoes: Bonny Best, Orange-Banana and Grace Lehman's. I have one pan which is three rows of Siberian Kale and four rows of Spinach Gigante. The other pan is basil, zucchini, bush beans and broccoli.  I also have bachelor buttons and poppies to go out in the flower bed, but those can be directly sowed in a couple more weeks.

To help with keeping track of what I am doing, I am enlisting Folia this year, a garden tracker that will allow me to input my seeds and help track when I should plant, transplant and harvest. This is a free site, although the features I am using are for a paid membership. It is also wonderful to see what other people in my planting zone (5b) are doing now before the last frost date. If you are on Folia, come find me!

1 comment:

  1. Looks great! Thanks for liking my setup - I'm quite pleased with it myself. And yay for Folia! I wouldn't remember anything if it weren't for that.