Sunday, February 1, 2009

February 1, 2009

Wow, excuse my absense.  I've been out of town all last week and spent the weekend with the family, resting up to hit it hard at work starting tomorrow.  I want to say what a game today.  Very little reminincense of 2005 when the referees beat the Seahawks, I mean the Steelers.  hehe.

Well, I just read an article linked from from NPR saying that the damage done to the planet by burning fossil fuels is so bad that even stopping completely now would not turn things around within our lifetimes.  More likely it will take 1,000 years to normalize, if we stopped now, which is impossible.  My first thought... that there will never be a baseline for me to get a handle on this gardening thing.  Every year will be crazy and unpredictable.  Crap.

So, today was beautiful, but unlike a good gardener, I did nothing outside.  The only thing I did was to buy the light fixtures for my system.  I went the T8 setup because they said it's likely that the T12s will be discontinued next year.  For the bulbs, I went a 3,000k Kitchen and Bath bulb, to be paired with a 7,500k Daylight bulb.  That way I get the red and blue hues, or whatever, represented.  I sure hope I chose right.  I didn't spend much time doing research because there seems to be a ton of strong opinions out there.  Besides, I went the cheap light fixture with the weaker ballast, whatever that means.  As long as it works.

I also picked up a surge protector so I can have a light switch.  It'll also work well to plug into a timer.  Of course, we can't find the one we bought years ago, and I couldn't find one at Lowes.  So I'll have to come up with one or manually work it (not likely).

Well, according to my brother's research.  Today is the day to start tomatoes indoors.  I posted a question on about how I should germinate the tomato seeds I've got.  Should I use my standard damp coffee filter in a baggie on the fridge?  My seed starting room doesn't get above 60 degrees so I don't think things would germinate there without some help.  So I was hoping to germinate them in baggies and then plant them in the dirt upstairs.

Speaking of planting them.  I expect my first tomatoes will be planted in cups, but soon I should make a decision to buy the soil block maker or not.  So it would seem that I've got some planting to do this week.  Goodie!  Spring gardening is starting for me (finally).

Enjoy your garden!


  1. Can't wait to see your light setup. Those T8's are suppose to pump out a lot more light then t12's.

    I would just stick those tomato seeds in the soil. Sure it is nice to have a 'sneak a peak' but they will grow just as well in the soil without the added work/steps. If you pot them up and place them under the lights it should warm up enough for them to germinate.

  2. I agree with Dan - just plant them and let the heat from the light do the work for you! Be sure to turn the lights off for at least 8 hours a night, plants need the dark period to grow well. I used to have a link to the study that documented this but darned if I can find it now. I use a timer so I don't have to worry about being around or remembering to turn the lights on and off.

  3. My next project will be a soil block maker. People seem to have good luck with them. I will probably blog about it. I am not too sure about my current project though, the lettuce seeds are taking there good old time sprouting. I hope the seed is still good and I did not use the wrong glue. I will give it some more time but it has got me wondering.


  4. Good choice on the t8's. Time will tell how the t12's do, on my newest light setup. One thing's for sure....i'll be stocking up on bulbs! I would think that you can germinate the seeds in several ways, and I've heard good results with the coffee filter method. I'll be starting mine next weekend. Yay!


  5. I started my tomatoes in February last year and came to regret it. It's not really warm enough to put them out until May and they got way too leggy waiting for the transplant. I'm planning to start them March 15 this year.

    Also, I still have a programmable thermostat for you (my partner finally pulled it off the wall this weekend). Still interested?

  6. I can agree a little with JRo. It's probably a good time to start those brandywines and cherokees (of all varieties...), but the stupice would be apt to get too large, too quickly. I started my seedlings in March last year and it worked out perfectly, but I will probably start the longer season ones soon here. Just repot them as necessary, my dad says that tomatoes love being transplanted and I think he's right.

  7. nooooo, according to my "planting by the moon" caldendar Feb 4th was the good day to plant tomatos, oh well. I have to run back to lowes and get another set of trays and mroe seed starting mix.

    I tried to buy some lights for a growing setup and got too confused and walked away empty handed. I bought a cheap 5 shelf garage storage shelf thing on sale and wanted to hang some 24 inch shop lights on each shelf- but got confused about how to choose a ballast- don't they sell good ole cheap plug n play units anymore for females like me?