Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring - Get Started

Today is the first day of spring? Maybe it was yesterday. One couldn’t tell by the sleet and snow this morning. Actually, this time of year the weather is so changeable here, that it could be mid-spring and we’d still be getting sleet. No biggie, and we can’t let it stop us from what needs to be done.

Yesterday I sat down and ordered seeds. Lots of them. Herbs, veggies, flowers. About $300 worth of seed, and at an average of $2.50 per pack, you can get an idea of the task ahead of me. So, in preparation, I went out to the barn today and started filling planting cells. Lots of them. 4,136 to be exact.

I started with 12 bags of soil, each holding 2.8 cubic feet of soil mix. I used 5 of those bags today, along with a little left over soil, and about half a box of six-pack cells (36 cells to a tray). This should get me started.

When I bought the six-pack cells, I was given a choice between shallow or deep cells, and I chose the latter. This will allow for better root development and a stronger transplant. Most of the starts will be planted in these cells: broccoli, corn, beets, cabbage, etc. I have another box of 4-inch pots that will hold starts such as eggplant, peppers, tomatillos, and the like, plants that tend to need to have some size to them before being transplanted. Tomatoes will be sold in gallon cans.

I have a little system for filling cells and pots with soil. I set up my table with a row of empty trays and another row of containers. I put the containers in the trays and set a tray into my wheelbarrow full of soil. I pile the soil into the containers, and spread and smooth the soil out so that each cell or pot is full. Over the years I have found that I have a tendency to underfill the outer cells, so I add a little more soil to the cells around the edge, just to be on the safe side. (The outer cells also dry out first after watering the starts, so a little extra soil helps.)

I’ll start filling these trays with seeds as soon as I get them from the seed sellers. I place a seed in each cell, push it down with my finger, and when a tray is completed, I place it back in the wheelbarrow for some top dressing. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself here.

Tomorrow I will get the greenhouse ready.

1 comment:

Memphis MOJO said...

Looks like you have your system is going to work well. Thx for the photos.