Sow seeds outside in the WINTER??
You guys! I just found a new way to garden and I feel like my world has been turned upside down. It's called winter sowing, and I had never even heard a peep about it before until I saw it in the Jan/Feb 2014 Northern Gardening magazine in the break room at work. I was sort of puzzled and excited - could it really be true? Can you plant seeds and stick 'em outside in the winter and magically have seedlings to plant in the spring?
I googled it, and the answer is a resounding YES! I don't know how I had never heard of it before because there is tons of info about it out there. Even Bachmann's and Home Depot have info about it. Where was I - under a rock? How had I never come across this magical method before? Well, who cares - I am SUPER EXCITED about it now - can you tell? :)
I am also stoked that it will be WAY more green than using grow lights, and you generally use recyclable containers to plant the seeds. Also, seeds that say "soak overnight", "pre-chill" or "nick with a knife" you just plant and let the elements take care of that for you. I have many seeds I have never had much luck with that require this and now it'll apparently be easy as pie. I'm telling you, it seems like the best thing ever!
I don't know about you, but as a seed addict I have dozens of seed packets for flowers that I thought would be so pretty that I've never ended up with time for - or space under the grow lights for that matter. Now I can plant them out in containers and forget about them until spring!
Ok, so by now those of you like me not in the know are screaming at your screen - but how does this seemingly magical and impossible trick work??? Well, here are some resources with all the info you need to get you just as excited as I am:
Rest assured, I WILL be doing this for sure this year, and I plan on posting how to's on it as well, so stay tuned!
Lorika in the Star Tribune!
Hurray! I'm in the Home and Garden section of the Star Tribune today!
The article is on the rise of vegetable gardening in the city.
Check it out!
Homegrown heats up
First Pepper Seedlings of '08
Well, here are the first little buggers of 2008! I followed my friend Maggie's advice to plant peppers on St Patrick's Day and they came up on Easter! How fitting. We'll see if starting them this early gives them a head start, or just gives me a headache with so many larger seedlings to fit under the lights come June.
When do ya'll start your peppers? Do you start cold weather veggies indoors too? When do you start them? Is it just madness to start earlier every year?
Well, here they are so far. Most of the tomatoes are up, most of the peppers too. Just a few stragglers that I'm trying to coax/force to sprout. The Blondkopfchen Tomato seeds I got from Seed Savers last year are still a no go. I tried them last year as well, and got nothing. Anyone else try these? The other problem child is the Early Yellow Stripe from Tomato Fest, also a last year seed. According to my notes I got one to germ last year, but I think it got lost in the shuffle, because I don't recall any yellow stripey tomatoes. Unless that was one that was lost to the hail storm? I'll never know.
Tonight I planted 6 more Blondkopfchen and 7 more Early Yellow Stripe. Not sure why the 6 and 7, numerology? I dunno. That's just what I ended up doing. I only used 2 peat pots between 'em though, I through wasting peat pots on those suckers! Grow, or you can forget about it! (or, I'll try again next year.) Peat pots are cheap, but come on.
I also planted some Peruvian Purple Chiles I got from a friend and a couple Orange Mini Peppers, and one more red one. Oh, and one more tomato - I swear it's the last one! A Black Plum Paste from my friend Kelly. They are 2006 seeds from Seeds of Change, freebies I guess. We'll see if I can tell why they were freebies.
What's up in your pots or patch?
First Seedlings of 2007!
Well, it has begun. The first seedlings of 2007 are already crowding each other for precious fluorescent juice. Most of the peppers I've planted are up - though some are having a bit of trouble getting their seed casing off, so hopefully those will make it. Several of the 30 tomato peat pellets I've planted have sprouted as well. And the Romanesco Broccoli that I originally had atop the fridge sans heat, was moved last night to the basement heat pad and - viola! They were all up and crushing at the plastic dome when I got home from work! Hurray! And here I was worried they weren't going to germinate. I guess they just wanted a little comfort was all.
So far here's what's germinated:
Alma Paprika Pepper (2)
Thai Dragon Pepper (2)
Sweet Chocolate Pepper (2)
Red Mini Pepper (1)
Jimmy Nardello Pepper (1)
Cherry Roma Tomato (2)
Pineapple Tomato (1)
Romanesco Broccoli (4)
Starlight Scentsation Flower (4)
I'm pretty sure I'll have an update tomorrow as there were a few white specks poking out that I just didn't want to put under the lights yet. And of course, I'm going to check again before I go to bed!