So much time and so few things to do…

Wait, no, scratch that. Reverse it.

We had high hopes of finishing up the pallets and putting in some more garden beds this weekend. Unfortunately we didn’t get to any of it. We did have a busy weekend, and ended up buying a new (to us) car at the end of it all. It was a pretty miserable weekend, weather wise. Hopefully we will get a break from the rain and some good long hours in on the garden next weekend.

I did upload some more photos of our seed starting operation last week.

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Here we are filling up our self watering pots. We even got the kid to help!

 

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Lina planting the seeds. We had some left over from last year that did well, especially the yellow pear. These were either from Carpinito Brothers in Kent, or Seed Savers Exchange. We have been ordering from SSE for a couple of years, and really enjoy being a part of their mission. Carpinito Bros. is one of our favorite, and only local, farm stands to visit, and we just can’t help but pick up seeds when we shop there in the spring. We also ordered from a couple of new seed companies this year. Victory Seed Co. and High Mowing Organic Seeds. We may try to get over to the seed exchange at Sustainable Renton on April 12th as well.

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So the idea here is that this old aquarium we had will be like a mini-greenhouse. We will see. We started seeds indoors the last two years.

The first year the seeds germinated really fast, and we had 3 inch tall plants in no time at all. But after a couple of weeks we noticed the plants were really spindly, and most likely were not getting enough light. We started them in what we thought was the sunniest location in the house. But even after adding a 4 foot shoplight, the plants were still not getting enough light. A couple of weeks went by like that before the weather got nice enough to put the plants outside. We ended up with probably 60 really tall, skinny, dead tomato plants at the end of 2 months or so.

Last year we decided that we would keep the starts in the garage, hoping the cooler temperatures would keep the plants from outgrowing their modest amount of light. We stuck 4 foot shop lights on top of 3 standard start trays. The germination took longer, and the starts did look better. The took much longer to grow. After many weeks, I forget exactly how many, we had 4-5 inch tall starts. We ended up planting them, along with a bunch of big sturdy foot tall starts we got at Carpinito’s.

It is pretty clear that we have a temperature problem and a light problem. The bulbs in the shoplights are probably the suitable for growing plants. The high temperatures and low light inside the house are also not a good environment for starts. So I am hoping that by giving them full sun and what have been so far very cool temperatures, our starts this year will be strong and bushy. We have been getting a lot of rain, and thus a lot of cloud cover. I put a high/low thermometer inside the aquarium a couple of days ago, and so far the lowest temp has been 40 and the highest 65. I am a little worried about how much the temperature is fluctuating, and about the amount of light. So far nothing has come up. It’s SCIENCE! So most likely, none of it will work. But if it does, it is a pretty simple solution for making starts, and if it doesn’t, Carpinito’s is already selling some pretty good looking tomato plants.

Thanks for reading. More later!

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