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Last year I started my tomato and herb seeds on March 14. “Sacrifice seedings” started going outside on March 26 to see if they could fare well outside (I’m pretty sure all the sacrifices lived). This year I started them today, March 6. I also have a much better setup (see March 2009), so I think they’ll do much better. It was gorgeous and nice and warm out today (well, in the 50s).
Today I sowed: sungold tomato, Russian rose tomato, purple passion spinach, Japanese black trifele tomato, speckled roman tomato, black from Tula tomato, black cherry tomato, rainbow cherry tomato, Campbell’s tomato, sweet basil, cinnamon basil, lemon basil, lime basil, lemon cucumber, lovage, ground cherry (omg small seeds!), luffa, spacemaster cucumber, gold rush bush bean, lemon grass, maxibel bush bean, dragon tongue bush bean, white hot habañero, green tomatillo, pineapple tomatillo, peachy mama pepper, serrano pepper, black pearl pepper. (Thanks to betweenthelimes, snarkyvegan, and getinthegarden for sharing some of these seeds with me!)
I used my dollar store stuff plus stuff I had gotten before, except I didn’t use the sand from the dollar store. Since I know it doesn’t have anything weird in it, I used the sand from a truck weigher downer roll (do they have a name?) of sand we got when it snowed. One had busted so I used it at hubby’s suggestion and will prob donate the colored dollar store stuff to my mom for the art teacher. The sand seems to be doing a nice job of keeping things moist without just having a ton of sitting water. So I’ll water from the bottom, then I have a spray bottle to keep the tops moist without drowning them.
I also have lots of saved yogurt containers and larger pots to up-pot as needed and to start the outdoor seeds. All the other seeds I have will be started outside when it’s warm enough, or will be direct sowed…you know, once there’s actually 3 raised beds of about 130 square feet between these sticks and not just sticks stuck in the grass. (Except for the parsley, which I forgot I need to soak first – those I’ll soak then do a few cells of soon. I actually overwintered one parsley plant and the one in the pot outside looks like it may come back – hm.) Hubby has drawn up a nice plan, we just need to till up the grass and get things started. I aim to have it ready for plants/seeds by April 9 at least.
So…they’ve been in there for a few hours. Think they’re sprouted yet???
(Finally did it! Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts.)
(And don’t worry…I did take the lids off after I asked and @getinthegarden replied!)
I am considering purchasing a dwarf key lime tree from Springhill Nursery. Though I have had some issues with Springhill in the past, for the most part I have been happy with them. They’ve replaced plants without question when necessary, and I got some fun stuff that I would not have found locally (though for quality of plants, I’d reccommend Bluestone Perennials). Every year, Springhill sends out a coupon that is just SO hard to resist. You order $50 worth of stuff and you get $25 off. Shipping is usually around $10, so you get $50 of plants for about $35 – all in all not a bad deal.
This year as I was flipping through, I don’t see many new things that pique my interest. Most of my flower beds are pretty full at this point with perennials, and we’re focusing more on expanding the veggie beds this year.
But I did notice this little guy – a dwarf key lime tree. My husband happens to make a crazy good key lime pie with coconut almond crust – from scratch. And though I know we probably wouldn’t get enough limes from this for more than (maybe) one pie, how cool would it be to have a home-made key lime pie with our own key limes? I know it’s been pointed out before that people far south see citrus trees as boooooring and are amazed at apple trees. Well being farther north, I have never seen a full-size citrus tree (with fruit) in person, and apple trees are nothing special.
I would be able to keep the tree in a nice, sunny location through the summer here in zone 7A, but it would have to be indoors in a pretty sunny spot from roughly November through April/May. So…what do you think? Should I try it out? I would be able to find $30 worth of other plants between me and my mom to use the coupon.
Right now I’m trying to decide where the shelves will live. I asked hubby today how we’d be able to get it to the shed, when he said “why don’t you just leave it in here?” Excellent point, actually. Since it is currently in the “cat room”, I was concerned the cats might get into it. It I use the greenhouse cover, that could help that situation though. I think I’m going to put the thermometer in the shed to see how cold/warm it is, then I’ll make my decision. If it’s too cold in there, the shelf will have to stay inside at least until it warms up a bit outside anyway. What do you think?
All I need before I start are some trays and sand/rocks for below the plants (to keep water off the lights below and help manage watering) – I plan on getting something from the dollar store for that, and I need to check and see if I need any more seed trays, though I think I’m probably good. I got the shelf and greenhouse cover for $39.99 at Lowe’s and the florescent lights for $7 each with bulbs at WalMart (prob not technically grow lights (though the ones they were marketing as such were exactly the same), but they’ll work. I used a desk lamp last year for god’s sake). Not too shabby! Excited about all the possible seedlings this year 🙂