Saturday, February 25, 2012

And stretch!

The vegetable seeds I planted last week have already germinated! I had bought a cheap $10 seed starting kit at Home Depot, one with a self-watering capillary mat and plastic dome, and peat pods. I planted kale, spinach, broccoli, and romaine lettuce. Everything has germinated well except broccoli, which I’m still waiting on. My difficulty now is keeping the young seedlings from stretching too much, so I’m having to rotate the tray to keep all the seedlings under the light equally.

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Once the seedlings get their second pair of leaves, I’ll separate them and move them into individual biodegradable pots, and then transplant into the raised beds in mid April (or sooner, as this winter has been quite warm. I have a hunch we’ll see our last frost in March this year rather than April.)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Outgrowing the AeroGarden


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So much for growing tomatoes/peppers in the AeroGarden. This is how much I had to trim off to keep the plants from growing up into the light bulbs. I have to do this pretty much every week. I bought the tomato/pepper kit under the premise I was buying a special dwarf variety, but as you can see…not so much. Fruit set has been delayed over 5 times now because of all the trimming I’m having to do. So my advice for prospective AeroGarden customers…stick to herbs, lettuce, smaller flowers. Save the tomatoes and peppers for an outdoor garden.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Seed time!

My favorite time of the year is fast approaching…time to start the vegetable seeds! My AeroGarden™ is already occupied with tomato and pepper plants (which I’m having to trim back repeatedly to keep them from growing into the light bulbs), so I ran down to Home Depot and bought a self-watering seed starting kit, which comes with the watering tray, the pods/seed pellets, and bio dome. I want to keep this under $100 so instead of forking over $80 for one of those industrial looking grow lights, I’m going to buy a CFL at the store and put that into a regular desk lamp, which I’ll place over the seed tray.

As for seeds, I’m starting with cold weather crops…kale, spinach, lettuce, and broccoli. Those will go in the first bed, while I prep the second bed for the warm weather crops like tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, etc. With this system in place to grow more seedlings, I can keep a steady crop going the whole year, which I’m excited about. I’m also looking into getting a new watering system, some sort of drip irrigation so I don’t have to constantly run out to save my vegetables from wilting in the hot summer sun!

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