Sunday, March 22, 2020

Gearing Up for Gardening

We gave up our small greenhouse when we moved to our smaller place.  However, that doesn't mean we cannot continue our gardening activities on a smaller scale.  In my last post, I showed the new raised beds we were working on.  These will be easier to maintain.  If you missed it, here's a link:

In this post, I'll talk about how we are starting seed in our garage.  First, here's a picture of our "mini" greenhouse.

I know it isn't much to look at and is a far cry from the basement in our old house that we used for seed starting.  But, it works very well.  Curious about what's inside?

We started with these little discs that we ordered online.

When you soak these in water they absorb a huge amount and pop up like this. There is a shallow indentation in the middle that makes a small hole when hydrated where you can place your seed.

If needed, I use a toothpick to make the hole bigger, place the seed in it and cover with a little of the surrounding soil.  I then set them in containers on heat mats inside the mini-greenhouse.

I put a different variety in each container.  After a few days, tomato seedlings will begin appearing.  It takes a few days longer for peppers.

In a week or so, they will  begin to grow their second set of leaves.  In the picture below, the 2 Early Girls in back of this container are at this stage.  Actually, there are 3 plants.  If the seed is old, I usually put 2 seeds in each plug.  Tomato seed is viable for several years if stored in a refrigerator.  

Now,  they can be transplanted into larger pots.  I like to remove the outer fabric even though the roots are supposed to grow through it into the surrounding soil.

In our old "life", when we were growing for the  farmers' market, we would have had 10-12 flats of tomatos and peppers.  But, this one is plenty for now!  More later.

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