A Journey to Grow a Little Food Close to Home

Monday, January 24, 2011

Seeds are started

I was planning on starting seeds about a week ago but I got it done this weekend!!

You might remember this thing from a past post...

It's a hydroponic micro-garden that grew some GREAT lettuce. I could have reseeded it but I decided instead to use its growlight to start my seeds. While I don't like using electricity to grow my garden, growlights are almost a neccessity in the northern lattitudes.

I found a neat little toy that helped out with the seed starting.

I got mine from Bountiful Gardens but the device can be found all over the internet. Here's how it works:

- Rip newspaper into long strips, but only about 3 inches wide
- Wrap a strip around the shaft of the device
- Fold the extra paper under (yes...you want to have extra)
- Press the newspaper-wrapped shaft into the base as hard as you can

Once those steps are complete and you've removed the pot drom the tool, it'll look like this:

And from the top

Once done (I made 18), I filled the pots with potting soil

Planted seeds (you can see a pea right in the middle)

and lined up all 18 pots under the growlight.

With this tool, you'll never need throw-away plastic pots again!

Based on some of my recent posts, it might seem a little early for me to be starting seeds. I pushed up the recommended date by two weeks because of the coldframe protection that I use. The earliest plants that can be started are peas. The 15 that I have in the pots are dwarf peas called Tom Thumb here in America and are based on an English pea called Early English Frame (because they were cultivated to be small enough to start very early in coldframes).

Basically, they are simply very small plants - last year, mine got 14 inches tall, which is actually quite large for these plants. Also last year, the peas weren't ready 'til the middle of June. My hope is that if I start them earlier and keep them covered with the frame longer, I'll have some peas at least in May, if not earlier!

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