Seed Starting Anew

I finally made my way to the part of the To Do list that allowed for some digging in the soil.  I meant to do this a couple of weeks ago, thinking I was already late, but realize now, as I count back the weeks from our Last Frost Date (LFD) that I’m right on target, more or less.  Checking back to last year, when at this time I was on the fence about starting seeds at all, I see that the vigorous seedlings I toted to our first Farmer’s Market weren’t even started for another week or more.  It’s not too often that I find myself ahead of the game.

The trusty lunch pail was overhauled in the process.  All of the seeds that you see here are left from last year and should be viable, provided that accidental 24 hour stint in the sun-baked greenhouse during the summer doesn’t shoot my efforts in the foot.

Building off of last year’s great success, I invested in an assortment of soil block makers.  I can’t even begin to say how fantastic the teeny 3/4″ blocks are.  There are over 600 little blocks warming up by the fire in these 3 pans.  Once they germinate, I’ll set them up under my lights and pot them on to a bigger soil block with this handy tool.  That I can start so many things using so much less soil, in a fraction of the space, is a real boon to me.  I used Nancy Bubel’s advice for making my soil mix: 2 parts peat moss, 1 part garden soil (which I regrettably had to buy, not having had the insight to bring some in before it froze) and 1 part compost.  For this, I drained the sludge from the bottom of our worm compost bin, gave the kids an hour of fun picking out the worms inadvertently transferred to the mix, and found it to be a perfect consistency.

Cozy up, little ones.  The sun is coming.

3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    aejohnson said,

    I want to eat the soil block. It looks like a nice pan of brownies.

  2. 3

    Angela said,

    I thought I was late too and realized that it’s actually early for some varieties in my area. I like your soil blocks. I read about them in “The Season’s of Henry’s Farm: A Year of Food and Life on a Sustainable Farm” but didn’t realize they could be used on a smaller scale. I’d be interested in a follow up on how well they hold together and transplant. 🙂

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