Monday, February 16, 2009

February 16, 2009

Happy President's Day.  5 years ago at 6 am my eldest was born, on President's Day.  Don't ask me how he gets a holiday twice in 5 years, but oh well, I'm not complaining.  That way I didn't need to take a day off work to be with the family.  We had tons of fun, cake and ice cream.  I always figure you need to give the kids cake and ice cream before they go run around instead of after.  Of course I was overruled.  Anyway, twas a fun day!

Well, now I've got 3 of my 6 tomato seedlings under my lights upstairs.  That and I've had 24 hours of seeing how my light set-up works.  I'm worried that my seedlings are going to bake under those lights.  Even with the door closed off providing no heat to the room, the ballast alone boosted the temperature to 75 degrees under the lights.  The low for the night last night was 60, but with the door closed it may drop to the low 50s.  Is that range ok for growing seedlings?

I'm still trying to figure out how best to water these things.  Now that I've got seedlings up, I could probably top water.  How do you normally do it?  I know EG uses larger cups underneath that can be filled with water to water from below.  I may just have to pick some up at the store for that purpose.  Plastic coctail cups would work well I think.  I don't want to flood my tray like I do with the Pyrex casserole dish I use on top of the fridge.

Otherwise, I sincerely hope you had a great weekend and got a chance to do SOMETHING for your garden.


  1. A large squeeze top water bottle works very well for watering seedlings if you do not have a whole mess of them to care for. Just fill the bottle with room temperature (tepid) water and then water them so that you are not getting the foilage wet.

    For large trays of seedlings I use a seed tray that does not have holes in it and then fill it full of water - which bottom waters the seedlings because they have holes in the bottoms of the pots or cell packs which allows them to wick the moisture up.

    Happy birthday to your young one!

  2. happy birthday to your youngin! My my daughter is 4 and son turns 2 in a month- craziness *sniff*

    I asked around how big this parcel is and its surveyed at 1.8 acres- that seems huge to me, until I come across blogs of people with 200 rural acres, then I feel like me and my grass issues are SO insignificant LOL if this place had some more terraces there would be so much more 'plantable' area- but motivating any of the men around here to the task probably will not happen. Other issue is critters, with this weird urbanized wilderness aspect theres bunnies, voles, ground squirels and coyotes to contend with, so I worry if I just mass plant everything without some way of 'protection' its just going to be nibbled to the ground. I think chicken wire and floating row covers as well as the SWCs on the deck out of the critter's sight may help a ton.

    my seed trays have holes on the bottom of the cells and a tray underneath toput water in- but with my lights being so close the top layer dried out quickly. I've been spraying it with water form a spray bottle everytime I walk past them/remember. Keeps the top layer ( and seeds) a bit moister until the seeds germinate and have roots to get water from down below.

  3. A suggestion for your SWC baskets: I use cheap plastic pots and make holes in the sides with a soldering gun. That way, I can water my plants from the bottom and the holes at various heights around the side make sure that they don't get root rot from no air when the water level in the base is too high. I laughed at your description of the hydroponic shop. I felt I should get a tie dyed tee shirt to go there too! But they have an amazing collection of grow equipment. My orchids love the fertilizer.

  4. For top watering, I use a turkey baster for the tiny seedlings. Otherwise, I just water them with alot of water, and all of the excess goes to the bottom cup - then gets wicked upward.


  5. 75F should not be a problem at all for any warm season crops. It maybe a little warm for cole crops but they should do fine as well.

    I water seedlings with a spray bottle and sometimes I will also put them in the sink and use the hand sprayer gently.