The Weekend Update

jleiwigMarch 2, 2009

So...middle of last week I started 9 seeds ( 3 each of broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts) I originally started them in a small container a la EG's method of sprouting them.

However after one night in the container, there was no moisture present. I decided that my container must not be very good at keeping humidity in, so I started them the same way I've started everything else.

I put them into 9 cells of a 72 cell tray under a humidity dome. 4 of the 9 seeds sprouted immediately (thanks to my super duper heat mat!), and for the life of me I do not know which 4 they are!

Saturday afternoon, I also planted a whole pack of Candy Onion seeds. I've never grown onion from seed, but I hear it's fairly easy. Once they sprout, I will move them to their own individual cells. Hopefully they will be big enough to transplant out into the garden at the end of March/beginning of April.

I've also got some impatiens that have sprouted up. Since they are a shade/partial shade plant, I put them on a lower shelf not directly under the lights. Not sure if that was the right move, but they haven't died yet!

Next up will be tomatoes and pepper seedlings started inside. That will be the end of this week/start of next week that I do that. March 11th will be exactly 8 weeks from my projected last frost date.

I plan on sprouting them in the 72 cell trays under the humidity domes and then tranferring them to their own individual 32 oz. clear deli container that I am going to go get from GFS tonight hopefully. I am hoping to avoid potting up past this container as I think it will be big enough for the tomatoes as long as I can get them in the ground around my target date.

I also plan on picking up some bales of peat and compost from the store next weekend for the actual garden bed. It's going to take a bit more than I want to buy since I decided to go with 11" high instead of 6" like last year.

I'm going to see how much the old soil will fluff up, and it it won't I'll just dump on top instead of mixing in with it. I want to get the IRT 100 mulch on as soon as possible to start warming the soil up.

Once it's warmed to a decent temperature I'm going to direct sow the peas and carrots, plant out the broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and Brussels sprouts. Probably the first/second week in April I'd hope.

well that's my update. I'd normally post this in my blog, but it won't let me post new posts for some reason, so I've given up on it!

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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

jleiwig - I think you're right. When I use my little plastic containers for germination, The paper towel squares usually stay moist for 3 or 4 days. Sounds like you've got a good start on everything.


Here is a link that might be useful: EG's Garden Blog

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 5:47PM
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OOOH an adventure!!! Playing name that tomato will be fun!

You guys and your heating systems have gotten my brave up. I may just have to try next year to try more than just broccoli and lettuce.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 7:21PM
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Careful, Ribbit. I planned on only two window shelves of 2 varieties of peppers, a half dozen tomato plants and maybe a few flowers. Now I have visions of those two shelves, two or three picnic coolers to use as propagation chambers, maybe a series of shelves and shop lights in the garage, at least nine varieties of tomatoes and 5-6 varieties of peppers, melons, cukes, squash, non-stop lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli....I tell you, it's becoming an addiction! I blame John and EG. Sheesh, next thing you know I'll be drinking BMs and begging people to call me "Poopyhead".



Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 8:50PM
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Sorry, couldn't resist. However, I did have to make it more lady-like

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 8:57PM
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I'm just so unsure of everything! I read everyday about people in zones north of me starting their seeds for peppers and tomatoes already, and I'm not doing it for at least another week.

The cole crop seedlings are growing like gangbusters though. They have been in the soil for around 4 days now and are already 2" tall. I'm going to pull them off the heatmat today and see if that will slow them down. I don't want them to get real leggy!

I'm thinking I'm going to have to invest in another set of shop lights so I have a second shelf just for lighting after I pull them off the heat mat.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 8:46AM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Not sure if I'm one of the farther north folks, but I don't share EG's 8b zoning for nothin. Hehe, not much, but not nothin. I hope to plant out under plastic in a month or so, though likely I will start hardening off in a month. And keeping the little guys in 50-65 degree temps has slowed therir growth, hopefully creating stocky seedlings.

Good idea on the second light fixture. I'm concerned I'll have space for everything when I pot up, hehe.

Good luck and have fun!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 9:55AM
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jleiwig, I'm wondering what I'll do with the peppers and tomatoes I've already started. The tomatoes are almost large enough to set out into the garden right now, and it will be another 8 weeks before I can do that! Luckily I have only four, and they can all be grown in containers, so I might just spend a couple of months carrying them outside on warm days and back inside at night.

It certainly is difficult being patient in the spring, isn't it?


Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:06PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Granny - 8 more weeks is a long time for those toms you showed the other day. Send them to me, and i'll stick them in the ground in 4 weeks....heh.

jleiwig - some cool temps around 45 to 55 will slow them down pretty well. At least that's what the ones in the chamber are doing...


    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 8:04PM
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The only problem is that I have no space that will maintain that low of a temperature!

Where they are now is in the garage that has been converted into another room. It's not directly heated, but it never gets below 60 degrees in there. I can't put them outside because it will surely kill them with the extreme cold we've been experiencing.

They haven't grown much beyond that 2", so maybe the will level off and put some energy into growing stockier. If not, it's only broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts.

No big deal really.

As far as your tomatoes Granny, I'd say if you can, get an SWC built for them! Not sure if you have room for it on your ride back, but if not make one when you get back, then wrap the whole thing in plastic, sort of like a giant wall-o-water for your tomatoes!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 8:51AM
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Dan Staley

SWC is a great idea, or a little hoop house with a row cover and a layer of plastic for those 24º nights. Maybe a SWC made out of a Roughneck with wheels on it...


    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 9:30AM
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Hey guys, they are just little Tumbling Tom tomatoes...I'll put them in a bucket that can be carried in and out of the house as weather permits...I'll double up the buckets and provide drainage holes in the top one, just like I would with a SWC, but I won't add water and wick it since I'll have to be packing it in and out...I'll try to keep it light. I'll start some new plants at the proper time, just in case.

I must say, the plants are looking great. There is only enough room in the cooler for another 2-3" of growth, and five days before they'll be home in WA. The peppers are getting their second set of true leaves.


Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 11:18AM
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jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

The best thing you can do is get them off the heat mat as soon as they sprout. Give them as much light as possible 24/7 if it its artificial. Also keep 60-50 deg f day/night temps. If the soil/ambient air temps are too high, they will get leggy.


Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 3:33PM
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