Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I started writing this 2 weeks ago, and meant to take pictures. I never got to that stage, so now I'm going to post this and have the update at the bottom.

As I was taking the P.E. test on Friday April 16, I had been asked VERY STRONGLY by my boss to perhaps, maybe, you know, take the day before the test off of work and do whatever I wanted.

So I did. And I went up and hung out with Bob and Lyn at Draco Gardens for about an hour before having to go to a vet appointment. After the vet, I was looking for something to do, so I decided I'd make some seed starter mix. Now I have no idea if this is any good, but here's what I mixed in:
2 parts compost (one part homemade, one part store-bought)
2 parts sand
2 parts garden soil (Lady Bug variety)
3/4 part vermiculite
and 3 spades of Rabbit Hill's vegetable starter stuff (yellow label)

I mixed everything together and then picked out all the large pieces of wood and rocks and other things that don't belong in seed starter, by hand. That took a while. Of the above mentioned items, we already had the compost, the soil, and the sand was given to me by one of my coworkers. the vermiculite and Rabbit Hill stuff were bought from Gardens before they closed a few months back.

Next, I cut all of my saved toiletpaper rolls in half (so I now have 10 mini rolls). Subsequently, I made 4 cuts in the bottom about 1" long. I then created a "box fold" of these four sections thus creating little tiny cardboard pots.

Fill with seed starter.

Open packs of seeds. Plant accordingly. I planted 5 milkweed (sadly it's the bog variety so I'll probably be giving some away to those with ponds), 2 marigold (using the seeds saved from the marigolds in the garden right now, 2 Torch Tithonia, and 1 Red Savina Habanero.

Water pots thoroughly. Let drain. Place in saved blackberry plastic baskets thus creating a nice closeable green house type thing (maybe...I think there's too many holes, but I'm seeing if it will work).

Now the seeds just need to sprout.

AND Epic Fail. I closed the tops and then put the starts out in the sun. FULL SUN. Yep, I solarized my seeds. Yay. Well, at least I know, "Don't Do That." After about a week in the sun, I figured it probably wasn't the best, so I let all the little pots sit in the garden instead. I'm still watering them, but so far there's nothing growing (not that I would expect it at this point). I'll give it one more week and then replant seeds.


Bob said...

Ill give you my take on seed starting, for what it's worth. Seeds normally don't need any nutrition until they have their second set of leaves. It is really better to start them in a sterile solution of very fine texture. I use something called coir. It is finely shredded coconut hulls and is sterile. I put the rich potting mix in the bottom half of the pots, then a little coir, the seed, the more coir. If the seed starting solution that touches the seed is too rich it will grow fast but lanky, not building a thick trunk and can actually grow it self to death.

That said, my mother never did it this way and she had pretty darn good luck. But if your plants get up a little and die or get long and lanky then you might want to try it.

Paul said...

They could still well sprout! Nightshades and annuals are VERY iffy with me. Some have taken over a month to sprout; others within days. Give it until we no longer have lows below 65 for over a week.