Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Getting this garden started

It's February 1st - again.  How about that?  I know that last year I planted a bunch of cold weather vegetables on the same day and was going out of my mind because the ground was so soggy that I didn't get my garden tilled until the end of April

That's a long time to have lettuce, cabbage, and kohlrabi sitting around the house - in my window sills to be exact.  In my dining, living room, and bedroom window sills.  My husband doesn't have very many pet peeves but that is one of them. And they really do block the view. 

Three things have changed this year: 

#1 - I have two square foot gardens that don't require a tractor to till and with better drainage I will be able to plant even if the spring is extra soggy thanks to my awesome dad and my husband too. (I still have lots of space to be tilled - there are some things that grow just fine in regular old soil)

#2 - I finally figured out how to hang my full spectrum light over my plants so they are on a table in the basement and not in my dining room window.

#3 - I'm not planting Kohlrabi

These little jiffy pots fit in my Jump Start 12 inch window sill trays.  I refilled them today. I don't like these for peppers or tomatoes.  Last year I had a hard time getting the tomatoes and peppers to sprout in them.  They are great for all of my cold weather veggies.  

You might notice that is actually the plastic piping from a ladder toss game. I purchased the light at Lowes last year and it just sat in the storage room until today. I stood out in my garage trying to figure out what I could use. 

And then I saw it.  I practically skipped into the house with it.

 It's all just kind of shoved in the corner. It doesn't look great but it's better than sitting in the windows on the main floor of the house. The heating pad is on  low on a timer.  The light is on a heavy duty timer with 4 outlets in it, perfect for when I get another light or two. (I bought it years ago for the Christmas lights on the front porch) It'll be on from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.  

I've never used grow lights before. This will be interesting.

 I put the lights nice and low.  They are just a few inches from the Jump Start boxes.

 On the left is the Pink Brandywine.  I purchased the plant at Walmart last year.  It's an heirloom so I collected some of the seeds and I decided to try and start some now.  If they grow -  good.  If they don't I will know by March 15th - in time to purchase seeds somewhere.  It was a delicious slicing tomato.  It just takes forever to grow. End of season sort of tomato but so worth it.

The middle pot hold green bunching onions with seeds I collected myself.  I've done it before.  They grow like crazy with no problems.

The pot on the right is the Red Beefsteak. Again - just trying to see if the seeds I collected with sprout. It's a late season variety.

Romaine Lettuce, and 2 boxes of spinach. I might plant more but I need another light before I do.  I have always started Spinach outdoors but the last 2 years were a total flop.  So I'm experimenting and starting it indoors just for kicks. And I'm going to plant them in my west square foot garden.

Just a few bits of stuff started.  The boxes on the right are not filled with anything.  They are just sitting there so everything is in one place. The Jump Start tray not on the box is on a heating pad.  I find that the cabbage starts better when the trays are kept warmer.

It's about time I made my seed list.  This year I want to keep my expenses down in the veggie garden because I want to plant a few more trees (the 4 last year were $450) and bushes. I better get my plant written down or else...

The best part - this cost me $0 this year. I haven't purchased anything for my garden since September of 2011.  I do need some seeds.  But I'm going to try to not get all crazy eyed when I go into Anderson's in a few weeks.

And to keep my tomato cravings in check I've been making tomato soup with the canned tomato puree you see in those jars.  It's spicy with home grown garlic and onions too.


Robin said...

Great set-up! You will love growing with lights. The plants do much better and don't get so leggy! All of my lights have been given to me. I use regular light bulbs and they work just great. I can't see spending the money on new bulbs.

Have fun making your seed list!

Trishelle said...

You inspire me!! I'm already getting hungry for fresh garden goodies! Good work! This effort will certainly bless your family and so many others!