Saturday, March 14, 2020

Covid 19 in PNW so seed starting time

Well folks, I've been really busy with life and work, but the garden has been on my mind.

The garden was overrun with grass and weeds, one of the downsides of just digging a bed in the grass and putting compost on it. So I threw tarps over it to try to kill some of it to help with the weeding when it comes time.

Still going to be a ton of work, but with pretty much everything shut down due to the Corona virus I don't have as much to do. And working from home means less stair climbing so I need the exercise. 

I had a free early spring weekend so I decided to start my seeds. Boy did I have a lot of them. Some old and some new. 

I think the old ones that are almost 10 years old will be ok because they have been in airtight containers with moisture absorbing packets in them. I'm hopeful. 

I took out the salad greens,broccoli and cauliflower. Planting the older ones first. If they don't germinate then I will try again with new seed. 

The salad greens I chose were for a balance of color, texture and taste. The base is always Salad Bowl and Red Sails, much better than romaine or iceberg. Then I added two varieties of spinach. See which one I like better. Tons of nutrition in spinach, just ask Popeye! For flavor I like Italianshier and Mustard greens, two varieties of them too. I love salads with these greens. No salad dressing required! 

No garden would be complete without tomatoes! I reluctantly decided on three varieties. Past experience has shown me planting too many varieties too close means they don't grow true. That was a huge disaster. So I'm doing Gil's All Purpose, Sungold and Yellow Pear! 

I grow from seed as it is so much cheaper. I've had great success from germinating seeds on a wet paper towel on top of the fridge. 

Time to make my soil blocks! I mixed together compost, peat moss and a little coffee grounds for nutrients. After wetting it down to a clumping consistency, I made blocks. 

I spent about 2 hours of my Saturday doing this. It was so much fun! I did 4 blocks of each of 9 varieties now, with another 4 in a week or two for succession planting. I didn't have labels so I just taped paper to the outside. Should work. 

Unfortunately I determined that my garage is too cold for germination to occur, even with the heating pads under the trays. So I'll germinate the seeds in the house and move them out to the light system in the garage later. Hope this works. Hehe. Not my ideal setup. The lids will keep the cats off them. Hehe.

Looking forward to spring planting and eating good food from my garden again. Kids are home for 6 weeks and I'm working from home. Gotta slow the spread of this virus. Unfortunately I live at Ground Zero for the US. Grrr. Wash your hands folks. 

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