[Homestead] Seed starting methods
Lisa K. V. Perry
lkvp at floydva.net
Wed Feb 1 09:05:33 EST 2006
Clansgian at wmconnect.com wrote:
>How about an imperfect greenhouse setup?
Of course. Works for me.
>I planted tomato seeds yesterday hallucinating over being able to plant very
>early tomatoes in the former hog log in hot beds.
Sounds heavenly. I'm so excited to begin planting I can hardly stand it.
>The greenhouse is PVC hoop covered with 6 mil polyethylene that, of course,
>has to be replaced each year. The idea is to trap heat when it's available and
>suvive when it's not. On a recent day when it as 52 degrees sunny ouside, it
>was 92 in the greenhouse.
I had no idea the difference was that great--40 degrees!
>If the temp is going to get down to 25, I put a plastic painter's drop cloth over the flats, and if it is going to get below 25, I light a kerosene lamp under the tarp.
You place the lamp on a stable box or something in the middle of the
>I put a 1/2" piece of hardware cloth (rat wire) on the flat and make a
>depression with a chop stick on every other square on every other row. That gives
>me something like 190 holes on the standard sized flat 1" apart in all
>directions. Into those holes I sow onions, kale, leeks, caggage (et al), lettuce,
>tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, turnips, beets, flowers, and herbs. Sometimes
>sweetcorn and peanuts. When the seedlings emerge and have true leaves, I
>transplant them to 4 oz or 6 oz cups, Beets and turnips are transplanted directly to
>beds out of the flats when they are about 1" tall.
Sounds like you really fill that flat completely full. Do you recognize
the true leaves of all the variety you sow or do you label each and
every hole (or row) you've planted?
>Also by seeding things
>like lettuce and kale in the flats, I am not encumbering the growing beds for
>the first 30 or more days of the growth cycle (counting germination time) so
>that more successive plantings can be done on the same ground.
Please talk about this a bit further. Also, does your kale overwinter
and come back next year? We inherited (from the previous owner) a large
kale plant that came back every year--until last year. It had a stem
about two inches in diameter with shoots off it. Last year it didn't do
anything, but we left it alone hoping it might come back yet.
Here's a funny story about that same kale plant. Two years ago it was
enormous, we had more kale than we wanted and it was a beautiful plant.
An new acquaintance of a friend of ours came to our garden for a visit.
This person was considering moving to our area and was going to all the
neighboring farms to visit and glean information. Anyway, he saw the
kale and practically fainted he was so overcome with enthusiasm about
how much he loved kale, it was his favorite vegetable, he'd never seen a
plant as nice looking as ours....and could he have it?! My husband told
him the story that we didn't plant it and it was now several years old
and again the guy asked if he could have it. My husband looked at him
like he was cross-eyed and cut some off for him for his dinner, but the
guy again said "no, could I have the plant?". At that point, my husband
said he needed to go in and make lunch and get back to schooling the
boys. The guy left and went home. He didn't move here, he moved
on...perhaps to a place where more generous people give away their
garden to strangers.
More information about the Homestead