Saturday, May 2

Note To Michele: Seed Starting

I am envious of your 80 degree weather! Spring is coming slowly to Maine, but even though the temperatures are rising, it still feels chilly to me. My greenhouse gets nice and warm on sunny days, but nights are still cool enough I'm bringing almost everything inside at night.
I'm sorry to hear about the problems you've had with peat pots. In general, I have not had good luck with peat pots. This year I even tried just the biodegradable pots with my own seed starting mix, and those also failed. I don't know what is wrong, since many people have success. Because I've used a variety of containers, all is not lost.

I've re-purposed some items to use in the greenhouse. I always save the plastic pots, trays and flats when I buy plants at a nursery. So some seeds were started in those. But this year I've also tried small Dixie cups. I lined them in a tray saved from a garden center purchase last year. I did put a little newspaper in the bottom so the cups don't tip.
Also, I saved the foam trays you see in the photo above. These are very shallow, but I have found this method works well for starting greens, especially if you are growing them to eat as microgreens.
 These fit nicely together. I poked holes in the green trays and set them in the yellow tray, which will catch the water.
I filled these with a fine seed starting mix. But I didn't water as I usually do with a watering can.
Instead, I used a spray bottle. This works great with very fine seeds and starting mix so you don't create a duluge of water which then washes the seeds around.
With the Dixie cup method, I poked holes in the bottom and filled with seed starting mix. Then I planted the seeds.
 
I do have a few plants which have sprouted. Above is Mustard Spinach which I'm growing for micro-greens. I may also transplant a few strong seedlings into pots.

These are tomato seedlings I started about a month ago. They have been transplanted once.
Very little activity is going on in my garden right now, but my rhubarb is coming up nicely. You may remember I bought this plant about three years ago. Last fall, I divided it up because it had grown so big. I worried it wouldn't survive the winter if I did anything wrong, but as you can see, the plants look healthy. I won't be long before we'll enjoy rhubarb. 

I have packaged up the seeds I'll be sending along to you, so those should arrive soon for you to plant. For our interested readers, do check the pages at the top of this blog to see a list of the seeds we'll be sharing in 2015.
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