Sunday, April 6, 2008

More on Seed Starting

Seed Starting

A few weeks ago I blogged about our colleague, Michael, who starts seeds in his basement. I thought you might be interested in how we do it on a large scale here at the ‘Side.

We grow all our own vegetables from seed and start around 1 March, with the peppers and tomatoes, then the lettuce, cabbage and other cucubits, and finally the squash, melons and eggplant (the French call them "aubergines," which I think sounds much more elegant but Lori won’t let me call them that on the signs). We also stagger our seedings so that we, and you, can have successive plantings. We make sure that we have the more popular vegetables in several container sizes. The tomatoes here are being grown in a four-pack, but we also grow them as single plants in 4" square pots (we call them 4D pots) as well as 6" square containers. Earlier in the year, we seeded tomatoes in plug trays and Friday the guys transplanted those into one and 2 gallon containers.

Some of the seeds are so small the girls accidently put two seeds in a pot. After they germinate, the second seedling is pricked out and transplanted to its own container. Here Anastasia is transplanting some pepper seedlings.

Here are the cool season lettuces and the onions in the very back of the house. The onions have been given a "hair cut," so they don’t get floppy.
We keep the temperature in the houses at about 65 degrees. Sometimes it feels like a sauna in those houses and if it is cold outside, my glasses always fog up when I leave the house! We don't want it too warm though and have the plants mature before it is time to plant outside so it is a real juggling act to keep the houses at the right temperature when we have sunny days. We check the temperatures during the day and often have to open and close the doors several times to regulate the temperature.

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