Monday, March 7, 2011

It's Time!

No, nobody has given birth this weekend.  It's seed starting time.  Actually I started onion seeds a couple of weeks ago and did some last minute winter sowing the other day but the more interesting stuff is starting now.

Onions.  Not impressed with the germination rate.

I store all my seeds in the freezer until they are ready to plant. They get sorted into baggies based on planting date.

The original plan we to make soil blocks. I've used the plastic inserts in the past and they suck. Also used the jiffy pots that are supposed to break up once in the ground and they suck too. What also sucks? The little flat disks that puff up into a pot shape when water is added. So I thought soil blocks was the way to go. You stuff wet soil into a soil block maker, push the blocks out and plant. Here's the block maker that Limey made.

Doesn't it look full of hope and promise?
Sigh.  Didn't work.  My soil mix would not stick together.  Not in my hand, not in the block maker, it just kept falling apart.  We tried more water, less water, amending it with different stuff.  Nothing helped.  I don't have time to mess around with things that aren't working so I said "screw it" and we used the most readily available "pot" in the house.

Egg Cartons!

We have a crazy amount of egg cartons. Limey made the mistake of getting a double order of them and our customers give us back way more than they use from our eggs. So we're going to use egg cartons until the seedlings need to be potted up and then on to newspaper pots.

Multiply this by 10 and we might have enough space.

Here's the list of what has been planted so far.

40 giant mixed delphiniums
20 magic fountain delphiniums
40 english daisy bells
10 blue pansies
20 echinacea
10 monarda
10 impatiens
110 foxglove
15 orange sun pepper
25 pimento pepper
10 little blue pepper
100 early california wonder pepper
30 hot yellow hungarian pepper
30 sweet yellow hungarian pepper
10 antigua eggplant
130 black beauty eggplant
90 jalapeno
20 oregano
and a bunch of onions

That's just the 10-12 weeks before last frost stuff! There are still four more baggies to plant inside and then two huge bags of direct sow stuff.

It's going to be a busy summer!


  1. You will be running out of room quickly when you need to transplant,that's allot of seeds!
    Do you have a greenhouse to move them in?
    What are you using for soil?
    it looks pretty coarse,Seed starter/plug mix is the best it is very fine and make it easier for seeds to come up,that might be why your onions are sparse.
    I plant directly in my flat black trays,the plant has more room to expand roots that way.I also use those clear plastic containers spinach or lettuce comes in,they are just like a mini greenhouse.
    I have nearly all of my 17 kinds of tomatoes up,sage has started to come up but peppers are so slow,hoping by Sunday they will be up.
    Good luck with your plants,busy season ahead :)

  2. I usually use promix and that's what I requested. I guess Limey just heard "fhoadurgfg" because he just brought home cheap potting soil.

    We don't have a greenhouse. Hoping to build a hoop house but probably not until next year.

  3. You may not be impressed with your onion germination rate, but at least you have some! Mine did zip. I'm impressed with all the seeds you have started. Way more than me but I'm still trying to figure out where to put them.

  4. I have trouble with onions too. Wow, you have really gone to town with seed starting. Sometimes you just get in the groove and it's easy to keep going and going. I've heard Promix is great, I hope they germinate well in the cheap stuff.

  5. Wow, look at you go! I'm envious, but I still have to wait a little bit longer.

    Maybe I should just start some flowers now? I am getting itchy fingers, especially when I see pictures like yours