Friday, March 4, 2011

Getting a head start on the growing season

I've never started my garden plans inside before. Usually I get my tomato and pepper plants from my dad, who starts them indoors, and get the rest either from seed sown outdoors, or transplants picked up at a garden center. This year I decided to do things differently. I got seed catalogs, growing mix and some trays, and started some things early.

In designing my little seedling table, I tried to do everything that was necessary at the lowest cost possible. I built a frame for three shop lights and hung it from the ceiling. I found out warming mats are ridiculously expensive, so I built my own out of foil-backed foam insulation and several strands of Christmas lights. So far it seems to be working fine:

Here's the seed table so far. Do you like my ghetto heat mat?
Growing so far are:

  • Romanesco Broccoli (Seed Savers Exchange)
  • Joe's Long Cayenne (SSE)
  • Sheepnose Pimento (SSE)
  • Broccoli (Burpee hybrid)
  • Rosemary (SSE)

I think it's still actually early to be starting stuff, but I have hoop houses up over two of the raised beds in the garden, and I figure I should be able to put at least the brassicas in there pretty soon.

Some of the Romanesco has been moved to peat pots
I've never grown Romanesco before, but being a computer nerd, I have to appreciate any blatant existence of a fractal, especially in food. So I'm looking forward to giving it a try. The pepper plants just popped up a couple days ago, after 8 days:

This year I'll be growing a lot more herbs than in previous years. Rosemary is one of those herbs that I really love but I never get fresh. It doesn't grow wild in Ohio, and the house doesn't really have a lot of natural light to keep one happy in the house. So this year I started some under the lights. I'll put it out in the garden and see how it works:

Now if only Spring would come!

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