Sunday, March 14, 2010

Planting seeds: project 13 of 52

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Last week I got my seedlings started. I usually get them growing fabulously but then loose a lot of the starts in transplanting them outside. I have a couple of theories that I am going to try this year. In any case I thought I would share/journal this journey all along the way. I planned this project last year so I saved my cups from the nursery. I have several trays too. You can use just about any cup. I used the peat moss cups (which are biodegradable), cups from the nursery, and the jiffy cups (the flat discs that expand with water). Add your potting soil and spritz with water to moisten.
I have a wonderful recipe for salsa so I planted lots of tomatoes, bell peppers, and some jalepenos. The boys get to plant pumpkins to sell in the fall for Christmas money so we planted lots of those too. I have a few more supplies left. I am not sure whether to plant more tomatoes or pumpkins....hmmm, what do you think?
After planting the seeds I used wood sticks to label the cups.
Use a spray bottle to moisten the soil. Bagged soil is extra dry and will need time to SLOWLY absorb the moisture. I went over the soil several times until well moistened.
A nice south facing window provides red light and warmth. Yes, the R.E.D. vs blue light part is important. Plants need more red light. Blue light is like what your fluerescent lights emit. Plants like squash, tomatoes and peppers use more red light than blue. 
The lids or clear wrap holds in the moisture and heat for a nice greenhouse effect.
When the sprouts get a couple inches tall I will remove the lids. This is where I usually have problems keeping the soil moistened. I am determined to succeed this year. Yesterday in Lowes I got this.....
Now, I watch it grow for the next 6-8 weeks then we plant outside. And yes that will be before the magical Idaho planting date of May 25. If you protect your plants with "walls of water" covers you can get them in sooner. I am usually way behind so this is my own test run. Hmmm, with that in mind maybe I will plant more of both pumpkins and tomatoes......
What about you guys? What are you planting this year? When do you start?
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1 comment:

  1. This post reminded me I forgot to put plastic wrap over my trays for that greenhouse effect. I have pepper seeds, tomato, radishes, beets, basil all started sitting under grow lights in my dining room. I live in Idaho and plant outside around the 15th. Last year I made the mistake of planting the 8th and had to cover them because of frost. Fortunately, they survived.


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