Monday, March 7, 2016

Planning 2016 Garden

Started planning for the garden this year!  I started my indoor seeds today using a basic Seed Starting kit from Menards and we use a seedlings heat mat to keep them warm along with a grow light we installed on the upper cabinets in our laundry room since seeds sprout best at 65°F to 75°F.  Make sure to use seed starting soil, not potting soil for this step.

Going in the garden this year (so far, others I will direct sow closer to May): Tomato, Bell Peppers, Leeks, Basil, Cilantro, Swiss Chard, Lettuce, Mexican Sour Gherkin Cucumber, Snap Peas, canning cucumbers, and chili peppers.

This year I am testing an option to pre-soak all of my seeds prior to planting.  This process supposedly makes the germination period shorter.  I sandwiched seeds between two damp paper towels and put them in individual ziplock bags.  I placed them in lids for the other two pallets under the grow light to keep a temp of about 70°  These should start sprouting in 3-7 days, those that sprout I will put in dirt.  

Here is how the set up looks for now. I keep my galileo thermometer (nerd) by the plants to keep an eye on the temp to stay in the 65°F to 75°F range.  I keep the heat mats on but have the grow light on a timer.

When the seedlings appear, I'll remove the plastic cover and when the seedlings get their second pair of leaves, I'll transplant them into individual pots filled with a potting mix and leave them inside for an extra day or two then put them in the covered greenhouse outside until the weather is ideal for planting.

One of the best resources for everything gardening is the Farmers Almanac .  I bought all of these seeds an Etsy store called Cheap Seeds.  And it looks like she is still running a special: 
Take 20% off your purchase today! Enter coupon code Spring16 upon checkout to receive the discount. Minimum purchase is $25.

The rest I ordered online from Burpee which should come sometime later  this week.

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