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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Seeds of Inspiration

I mentioned a while back that I wanted to move my work bench under the garage window and use it for starting seeds.  What you see there is the seed starting tray that I purchased (218 cells) and the first of the paper pots I made with my Pot Maker, and one of the three fluorescent light fixtures that were in the garage when we moved in.  It's hanging from two chains, which are adjustable, so that I can lower the fixture when I'm starting the seedlings, and raise it as they get bigger.  At any rate, there is now one grow tube in the fixture and one regular fluorescent tube. I read somewhere that you get the best spectrum of light with two different tubes, so that is what I did.  The only thing that I need to find now is a heat mat, for a reasonable price and a tray for underneath the seed tray.  I would have purchased the tray from the company from which I got the seed tray (which was around eight bucks), but they wanted twenty dollars for it, and it brought the shipping up to fifty-four dollars! So I passed on that one.  But I am pretty excited to get my seed table together, and already have a lot of the seeds to get started.  The major shipment of seeds is still to come, and it also has my asparagus crowns, so I am pretty anxious to get that here.  It also has my onion and leek seeds, and I'd really like to get those started.

This week I tried to start pulling the deck apart, but the screws are Torx screws, so I had go get a Torx driver bit for my impact driver. Which I have now, so all I need is enough hours of good weather to get at it.  I'm almost done ripping the blasted barberry bushes out of the bed next to the driveway. I'm considering planting a couple of olive trees there, but haven't committed to anything; it's just fine with me to at least have the barberries out of the way.

The fruit and nut trees and raspberry canes will be shipped this month, and I have a spot to heel them in while I dig holes all over the place.  I am looking forward to having trees dotting my yard, especially flowering ones. I decided that I should wait until next year before getting bees because I want to make sure that I have enough flowering plants for bee fodder.  A night or so ago I researched bee fodder and put together a list of plants to grow for them, and once I get the vegetables and trees going, I'll look into the flowers.

But you know what I still haven't done yet? I still don't have my crop schedule together! I'll have to work on that after I apply for a job I found that I really want.  The job posting closes on 23 Jan 2010, so I have a deadline, but I want to brush up on a couple of things before submitting my application and resume.  So the schedule will have to wait a little longer. In the meantime, I need to find the heat mat.


Cottage Smallholder said...

Oh the seed planting set up looks brilliant! Best of luck with it. Some people in the UK have good things to say about heat generating cables.

Great that you are going to get bees eventually.

Cottage Garden said...

Hi Paula, first of all good luck with the job hunting!

Your seed tray really looks the business hope you manage to track down a heat mat. You mention shipping costs - is that because you can't get the items and seeds you require locally?

We had a crop of asparagus for the first time last year and were so excited! Love the idea of the fruit trees and look forward to hearing more about the bees in the future:)

Jeanne x

Paula said...

Thanks Fiona- I'll look into cables, although I think they are geared more toward actually planting in a bed, if I remember correctly. I've seen articles for cold frames that have heat cables in them, which allow growing things (short things, like lettuce) in the worst of weather.

Thank you, Jeanne. Job hunting at 50 in a recession is daunting, to say the least. Thank God I have my husband's income and that we were prepared for one or both of us being laid off. The answer to your question is yes- if you really want good specialty items, you have to send away for them. That is one of the troubles with the warehouse-sized building and garden centers- you're at their mercy selection-wise. Our local Home Depot has a stand of Ferry Morse seeds (whoopie) and some self contained seed starting kits, but I want something that I'll be able to use for years. Besides, if I bought all my seeds from Home Depot, then there wouldn't be much point for seed catalogs, and I LOVE seed catalogs!

Toni aka irishlas said...

Love your seed set up!