Friday, March 2, 2012

Garden Prep and Seedling Transplant 2012

What a good week it's been, with a focus on seed planting and transplanting those started Feb 14. How quickly they mature.

We're planting every way possible this year. Up on the roof in the unheated greenhouse, I winter sowed some cress, tatsoi, and parlsey...and some Amish snap peas from Seed Savers Exchange. The greenhouse hits 80 when the sun is out, but otherwise it's cold.

See the peas starting to pop?
(yeah I know it's a rotten photo, but thrilling nonetheless)

A good February chore: cleaning the fabric tapes we now use in our SIPs to wick up water from the reservoir. First I brush off the dried roots and potting mix, then into the laundry with soap and vinegar.

The agretti germinated near 100% in a homemade portable microgarden sitting on a low-heat mat, which Art picked up for nada at a resale shop.

This week I started fennel, leeks, and chives in two portable microgardens, covered each with a produce bag, and nestled them together, vying for space with the agretti on the warm mat. At Root Simple, Nance Klehm shows an easy recipe for making coconut coir seed-starting mix.

Then it was over to Bruce's, where the seeds we planted Feb 14 were ready for transplanting. He's been tending and befriending them on his grow stand (shop lights+shelves).

I used screened compost to fill small recycled spinach containers (at right, with holes melted in the bottom for drainage courtesy of the ever-useful soldering iron) and pot up those fragile greens, which will buck up under Bruce's lights and be ready for hardening off in the next couple weeks. Then they'll go out into the cool spring air they love.

 This lacinato kale seed (Wild Garden Seed)
is from 2009, but germinated like a champ

Carl kept me going
with many kisses

I can tell I'm going to like this tronchuda cabbage (Bountiful Gardens)

Ready for transplanting:
Aztec spinach and the lovely chards, erbette and ruby red
Who started all these seeds!


HudyPosh said...

Hi H2, Bruce, and friends,

I just found this blog a few weeks ago off a link from the Global Buckets site. The creative ideas on here are a great inspiration for us. We are "terrace" gardeners in Atlanta, GA and grow as much food as we can in our small urban loft.

Thanks for organizing this blog and keeping it going. We already went out and found 10 5-gallon buckets and started to build some SIPs using H2's soil wicking strategy. So far so good. It gets so hot here by May it is very difficult to keep traditional containers from drying out. Keep up the good work, we will definitely be checking back for updates and catching up on previous posts.

Adam & Margaret
Atlanta, GA

mmpaints said...

great post and even better pictures!

H2 said...

Welcome Adam + Margaret: we're glad you found us and will be eagerly awaiting your results. Send pix and a your experience please.

Growing in SIPs solves a lot of problems, esp re water conservation but also location issues such as ours--too shady in the yard but SIPs can go anywhere there's sun.

H2 said...

Well thank you, mm. Keeps us going, words like those.

Debbie said...

Hi Adam + Margaret. We love feedback and it's great to know that our knowledge has been helpful.

Happy Gardening!
Debbie & Little Green Girl

Anela Marie said...

Are all of the spinach containers SIPS?

H2 said...

Hi Anela:
Those spinach containers are sub irrigated in the sense that they have holes in the bottom and Bruce pours water into the tray, to be taken up via the holes.

But they're not homemade SIPs/portable microgrardens with a fill tube leading to a buried water reservoir. Hope this makes sense.