Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February 3, 2009

Ah, how time flies.  Before you know it, it will be spring.  And me, I haven't even finished my light system.  Sure I've made the unit, and bought the lights.  But where are they?  Still in the garage in their boxes.  I've just been too busy (read lazy) to finish the project.

Oh, today I did get my father to pick up a half sheet of plywood to put under it.  In fact, I had them cut it into 2x4 pieces so I can have one under it for support and another on top for a shelf.  He got 3/4 inch plywood so it should be sturdy enough (to stand on, hehe).  Now I just need to find seed trays and a timer, neither of which I could easily find myself at Lowes, and they're SOOO helpful there it's not even funny.

So, thanks to all my garden buddies, I've got all my tomato seeds in house by now, even if my Territorial order is still en-route.  I'm still kicking myself that I didn't get any Legend tomato seeds from Territorial now that EG convinced me to utilize at least one of my SWC scraps to grow more tomatoes.  Of course, thanks to Cynthia, I now have samples of every tomato seed she bought from Tomatofest.  Bless her heart!  Ok, just for her, Druid's rock! (and so do Bards) hehe.

I'd say tomorrow I'd set up my light system, but tomorrow we have a play to go to.  The Imortance of Being Earnest should be fun, especially since we'll have dinner and see the show with our dear friends.

I can't say I'm too worried about not starting my tomatoes quite yet.  My readers commented below about starting now, and JRo's right.  If we started them now, they'd be ready early March.  The rule of thumb around here is that tomatos shouldn't be planted outside until early to mid May.  I did mine in early May last year, but this year I'll plant them around April 1 and protect them under plastic for a month or so.  I'd hate to have a repeat of our April 21 snow storm like last year.  Not sure when that means I need to start the seeds.  I figure I'll just use plastic cups, then transplant them into cottage cheese containers.  Those should be big enough to grow tomatoes until it's time to plant them in my SWCs.

Oh yeah, and I came across some of my winter sowing containers.  That reminds me. I think I'll throw out two tomato seeds planted in 2 liter bottles.  It will be a good expriement between winter sowing and my light system.  I sure know which is more cost effective, hehe, those lights cost $60.  Sheesh!

Anyway, sorry for my sporatic posting.  It's not that I don't have things to do, I've got tons.  But with work and my hectic schedule, my motivation isn't always there.  /sigh  Well, take care and...

Enjoy your garden!


  1. If it's any help, I start my tomatoes mid February so they will be ready for planting out (with covers/protection) around April 15th.

    You may find that the cottage cheese containers are not big enough if your plants are bigger varieties. Heres a link to a picture of my 2007 tomato starts - during their hardening off process - so I was setting them outside during the day and putting them into the greenhouse at night for about a week to get them accustomed to the outdoor stresses and colder temps.


    Notice the bigger variety (they are Brandywines) are in quite large containers - the plants are 8 weeks old in that pic. The rest are in medium/large containers having been transplanted out of the seed starting cell pack trays to give them adequate growing room. I save containers from when I have made plant purchases in the past and collect them from friends and family as well. Because they are sturdy/hard plastic - they hold up well to reuse. Just rinse out, allow to dry and stack them in the shop for the next year's use!

  2. I know the urge to start them too early is always present, and I had to keep telling myself to wait, too! Mine will be started this weekend, and will be ready during the first week of April. Am I gonna have to come to Seattle to put that propagation setup together for ya? Hee Hee...I know you have other things to do....I'm just teasing.


  3. I am wanting to start all my seeds as well. My area also should not plant out tomatoes until mid May. Around the middle of April the weather is nice enough but you never know when those cold days will come and stunt the plants.

    This year I am going to start the siletz, 52 day one in the second half of February in hopes of harvesting tomatoes by june 1st. I am going to plant it out early under plastic like you are doing. All the rest I am going to start March 20th which will give them 8 weeks of growth indoors before planting out.

  4. Thanks, guys! According to all of you, I can wait until I get home (March 15) to start my seedlings. That's what I had figured on doing until EG got me all excited about starting them earlier. I never set my tomatoes out until May 1-15 any more, having found those in mid-April, with protection, ended up being indistinguishable from those that were set out later, when it was warmer. I've also had the experience of seeing small transplants grow and produce earlier than the large, already blooming/fruiting ones.

    On the other hand....

    Ha-ha, wanna bet I'll have those babies half grown by the time I leave Arizona? ;-) No patience here.


  5. I planted all my veggies yesterday and have them in a south facing window for right now, I have 2 aquarium light fixtures to be reincarnated as something useful once again.

    Our frost date is April first, so counting forward 10 weeks puts me at that range- that and I'm too damned impatient to wait any longer LOL.

    Screw the groundhog, the tortoise here that buries itself in winter came out today for the first time, and fruit trees that usually bloom in late Feb/Early March started leafing out and blooming last weekend. Crazy weather !

    I have about 48 gallon milk jugs washed and saved I need to cut the bottoms off of. I figure worse comes to worse after I set a few things out I can use them as temp greenhouses in a cold spell- and even tho I dont think the lettuces/chard/asian greens would be bothered by our "cold" spells of a whoping 40 degrees better safe then sorry!

  6. Easy Peasy to figure out when to start what -
    Just plug in your answers and click 'process':
    Grow Guide

  7. Sinf: On that spreadsheet I sent you there are dates to start seedlings based on "expected" fruit date. Just plug in the date you want your fruits and it should do the work for you.