First seedlings of the year…

For me planning the garden makes the winter more bearable.  It’s snowing right now, not a big storm, but it’s not spring.  So a few weeks ago my husband and I figured out what we needed for seeds this year and got them on order.  It’s like Christmas in January when they come! 🙂

We learned quite a bit last year on what works and what doesn’t for seedlings so hopefully this year we will do really well.  I think we’ve sorted out which seeds need to start now and then to stagger the rest.  We planted our peppers, leeks, bunching onions, broccoli, and Brussels Sprouts.

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To start we brought out all our trays we had from last year.  Thank goodness they are reusable!  I fill the tray part way with organic seed starter and then water.  I use a spray bottle so there is an even spread of moisture.  You don’t want mud.

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I don’t want the drier soil to wick away moisture from the seeds.  Then furrows are “drawn” in the soil and the seeds are dropped in.  I try to match the spacing on the package as much as I can.  We’re limited for space in our setup so I want as much to come up as possible.

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Once the seeds are dropped in they get sprayed again.  Then the soil gets pressed down over them lightly.  Spray again!  Our house is quite dry in the winter time so it’s important that the seeds get the right environment.

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Pop the clear lid over the tray.  These are great for keeping the moisture and warmth in.

We set up a spot in the back room with grow lights and heating pads.  We learned the hard way last year that the heating pads should be on timers.  Our house runs 55-60F/13-18C and some seeds require soil temps of about 75F/24F.  So we bought heating pads that said they would raise the temps 10-20 degrees.  Perfect we thought.  Until the soil temp shot up to 110F/43C.  Great way to kill seeds!  So there was a false start there.

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It’s been a week and the broccoli and Brussels Sprouts are coming up!  We also have alfalfa sprouts coming up as well.  🙂

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Can’t wait for spring!!

Green House Part 2

I am a very lucky woman.  I have a wonderful husband who supports my garden habit.  Thanks to me he’s probably built more raised beds than he ever planned to and we’re not close to being done!  And he put a lot of thought into making the greenhouse workable for me.  And I love how it came out!  🙂

Rich designed a series of shelves and a workbench at the right height for me to maximize the space in this little greenhouse.

He came up with this great idea for a workbench and a peg board to hang my tools up when I’m finished.  We just need to get the hooks for them.

I got right in and started planting things!  Here are some cilantro seeds.  I also planted lettuce, basil, and radishes as a bit of an experiment.

I can’t wait to see what grows!

Radish Seeds

We accidentally got into seed collection this season.  Which is probably what happened thousands of years ago so this is not new!  I first decided to try it with some peas that were past freshness on the vine.  When I opened the dried pods I saw the seeds looked like the ones we bought.  So I planted them in August and they are coming up just as well as the ones we already had.  Sweet!

Every year we plant the radishes alongside the carrots.  We don’t eat a lot of them, just on salads but they are easy to grow.  Well this summer some bolted quickly and got pretty tall.  I saw they were developing pods so I opened on and saw the seeds.  I took one radish and cut the pod bunch off to dry.

They have been hanging round in the kitchen for a few weeks.  So I decided it was time to collect the seeds.  I wasn’t sure what to expect as I haven’t done this before but I was pleasantly surprised at how many seeds per pod there were.

So one radish that bolted got us this many seeds:

Not a bad return on investment!  I read recently somewhere that you should store seeds in the fridge to simulate winter.  I haven’t done this with any other seeds I’ve bought and then used for a few years so I wouldn’t mind some feedback on this.  In the meantime I put these seeds in a little bag and put them in the fridge.  I don’t see it would harm them.