Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Seeding Process

Each year I seem to plant more and more outgrowing my space and giving myself more to care for than I can handle. I suppose there are far worse addictions than gardening. 

It's that time of year to get my seeds started. I'm about one month behind on quite a bit of it. I made a seed order that was lost in the mail and had to be sent a second time. I should just order in December to avoid problems. 

Today I'll share my current set-up. At the end of summer I filled the barrel on the left with what soil I had left. A pick-up full runs $75. I stock pile it on a tarp in the yard. I should have hauled another load before snowfall as I am going to run out this Spring. 

The barrels are old military storage drums and are a little larger than a 55-gallon drum. 

 I mix the soil with perlite...

and peat moss. No real formula. Just whatever makes me happy.

Now I have my seeding soil.

 This is my new planting station this year. My husband ran water lines to the plant room and I have both hot and cold. Love being able to water with warm water. Previously I watered from a milk jug carried from the kitchen. Thirty minutes of watering took 1.5 hours!

I wet the soil and I must say it took a few trials to get the right consistency for my new gadgets.

Last year my husband got me soil block makers as a gift. If the soil is just right they work great. Too wet it sticks, too dry they fall apart. The idea is to make soil blocks to allow the roots more freedom than a small plastic 6-pack allows.

The roots will grow out and then stop at the air barrier between blocks. In a plastic container they begin circling around becoming bound up.

Next I have my pelleted wave or double petunia seeds in a portion cup using tweezers to place them in each dimple in the soil block.

I only have a handful of plastic greenhouse tops so the remaining are covered in plastic wrap.

Here are the first orchid mist seeds leftover from last season making an appearance. 

I am planting a ridiculous amount of petunia seeds this season. I'm halfway through 3500 seeds. Olivia is always such a great helper when gardening so the idea is to let her have a little plant sale this Spring. I have no doubts that she'll sell out. My only concern is room. I didn't think that through and am wondering where I am going to put all this plants until June? 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thawing Dirt and Sprouts

All my seeds have arrived. I've done some planting, but really I'm 1-2 weeks behind with much of it. It's so time consuming mixing dirt, filling 6-packs, seeding, watering when I have so many other obligations (and kids). Hoping to crank out quite a few flats today and get caught up.

These are pelleted wave petunia seeds. They are expensive and I made a mistake in ordering. When I changed my mind about the color of the ditch bed (110-feet long) I forgot to delete the original order. Now I will have 125 Hot Pink Tidal Wave Petunias without a place. That will also take up much of the grow room and later the greenhouse that I did not plan for.

Awhile back Nick brought in some of the frozen dirt and yesterday Emily got me more. 

It thaws by the wood stove that I keep going to keep the grow room warm. I think I had things a little too hot last night and we were chased out of there!

There are quite a few thing sprouting. These are geraniums that already have 3-4 leaves now. The peppers are up as well as some petunias. It will all keep me very busy for the next few months, but it's a busy I love.

Yes, the plant room is still a mess. I'm running out of places for flats so today I will have to do some cleaning.