Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Early, Early Spring Seeding



By this time of the winter, I am usually waiting impatiently for spring. I so want to be digging in the dirt, smelling it and planting things in it! One thing that helps me is planting a few very early seeds. Even though I am still indoors, at least I get to play in the dirt!

Last year I got so impatient that I planted all my tomatoes in February. Big mistake! This year I will wait until April to plant the tomatoes and the peppers.
I did plant a couple of small tomato plants just for early in-house tomatoes for us to eat. We are getting tired of paying for those store bought tomatoes! This is the 'Ailsa Craig' tomato that I planted a couple of weeks ago. It's doing well under lights. By the time it gets too big for the lights and the window, we will have enough sun for it to grow in front of the patio door.





At that time I also planted some catnip for the kitties. It is doing well under the lights.


I am using styrofoam cups simply because I have them left over from a summer pup party. I don't like using them as well as I like
My Newspaper Pots and I don't really approve of using styrofoam at all. I don't think I am going to continue using them for pots as they are tippy and I can't get as many into a container. The newspaper pots work much better.



My helper was right there with me, as she always is. Regardless of where I am or what I am doing in the house, Abby is near, unless she is sound asleep somewhere in a box or basket. If I am sitting down, she is in my lap. I paint with a cat and a canvas in my lap, I compute with a cat and a laptop in my lap. She is fully grown at 1.5 years old but small so she is an indoor cat. Being a tabby, she rules the roost around here and we love her dearly! Even with her small stature, she takes no guff from Buck! lol! She's definitely a "daddy's little girl"!





I am using horizontal blinds, cut into small pieces, as markers. I have done this for more than a decade and have been happy with them. The marker fades outside, but it fades from anything if left out in the weather. I have yet to perfect a long lasting outdoor marker that is easy and affordable. I have used styrofoam cups cut up and they work ok outside if you use a pen and make the letters indented into the material, but the ink still disappears.




For planting trays I reuse those hard, clear plastic food containers from the grocery store. I plan to use these to grow our own sprouts, as well, which will probably be another post soon. The bottoms need to be water proof and all labels removed from the top so the light can get in. They make excellent seed trays for the newspaper pots. I like reusing "garbage"!



I am not growing as many vegetables this year as I have in years past. We just don't need the food now that there are only the two of us to eat it and my time is so short, with working, gardening and all.


I am growing more of our own grains. I have planted chia, red quinoa and white quinoa already since they have a longer growing season and need the extra time. They are all sprouting now!

The quinoa is the tallest, which is good because it has the longest growing season. I will be offering these seed on my seed site soon, now that I know they germinate well and quickly.


I love setting up my "grow" room and planting things in winter! It was -20c last night and is still -17c this early morning! Will spring never come??

5 comments:

The Japanese Redneck said...

I'm ready to start growing too. I'm going to wait until the end of March to start ours. That should be about right here in MS.

MikeH said...

I am using horizontal blinds, cut into small pieces, as markers. I have done this for more than a decade and have been happy with them. The marker fades outside, but it fades from anything if left out in the weather. I have yet to perfect a long lasting outdoor marker that is easy and affordable.

You are closer than you think. Write on the other end of the marker as well, the part that goes into the soil. It's sheltered from the weather and the sun's rays and retains the writing for at least the growing season. We have some markers that are now 2 seasons old. The exposed writing has long since faded to white but the writing on the buried part of the marker is still clear and legible.

In stead of using blinds, we cut up the white plastic containers that margarine, ice cream, and yoghurt come in. We either use longer rectangular markers for the garden or smaller triangular markers for seed flats.

Before we recycle this plastic, we re-use it thus reducing the overall level of crap that we produce.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

That's a great tip and one I am going to implement immediately! Thank you so much!! It fades in the south windowsill too so this is a big help!

I use the margarine, sour cream, yogurt and ice cream containers as pots to plant in. I poke holes in the bottom and use the lid as the saucer underneath to catch the water. They last long enough to be used over and over again too. I have a huge pile of "pots" out on the deck corner that I should probably find another, less visible place to accumulate!lol!

I like reducing my overall crap generation too. (lol! Is that an industry term?) That's why I like using those plastic grocery store food containers.

I think I will use the rest of the styrofoam cups for markers since I am not going to plant in them and don't want to send them to the dump. I could also put them in the bottom of huge plant pots for more drainage and to reduce the weight. Styrofoam peanuts are good for that too. (Please do not send me your styrofoam peanuts! lol)

Bethany said...

This post got me so excited. I haven't started anything yet. But I found 2 sets of old blinds by the side of my road this winter and was so thrilled to haul them home to use as plant markers. Your post made me smile.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Great find! I'm getting low, myself. I need to scrounge up another blind!