...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Opening Day!

Unlike baseball's opening day, garden season's opening day begins quietly, and usually indoors.  The "field" shows nosigns of activity yet.  But indoors, many types of seeds can make an early start in a germination station and then move outdoors in March or April.

This year I used a spongy "growsheet" to start my cool crop seeds.  The sheet fits in a 10 x 20 tray and has a clear cover to facilitate good humidity levels during germination and seedling growth.  The process is quite simple:
Step 1: saturate the grow sheet, and then pour off excess water.  Other similar systems have peat pellets that you wet and then wait for them to expand as they absorb the water.
Step 2:  "plant" the seeds. My advice would be to take tongue depressors and make markers to remind yourself what kinds of seeds you plant and how many of each type is in the tray.
Step 3: re-wet the seeded sheet but don't over water.  My particular tray called for 70 oz of water to be added before covering with the clear lid.

Once the tray is under its lid, you merely need to keep it exposed to light for 8 hours a day and keep it room-temperature warm.  The lid insures proper humidity, so no extra watering is needed at first; but after roots are apparent, the lid should be removed to minimize disease threat.  Watering with the addition of a nutrient solution (Miracle Gro type of thing) works well at this stage of growth.

Eventually, seedlings will be ready for transplanting.  As warm as the predictions are running, these may be ready to go directly outdoors as they are all cool weather crops--all but the sunflowers. They'll need to wait a little longer to go outdoors. They'll probably go into peat pots in the interim.  I'll transplant them about the same time I start germinating the next round of seeds, the ones for the summer crops. 
Welcome, Garden 2012.  Glad to have you here!

1 comment:

  1. I was just thinking about this a couple of days ago!
    Hey you coming to the Winter Woolen Workshop with that drop spindle, yarn, needles, whatevah else you wanna bring...

    Cindy bee