Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's Springtime in the Guest Room

Let me first say, that if any of you are considering a visit to our little homestead, you are very welcome, as always.  And, the coming weeks and months ought to be pretty exciting around here with the promise of goat kids soon.  But, be warned, you may just find yourself bunking in the kids' rooms.  The guest room is currently occupied.

Friday, (the same day Copper died -- see, the circle of life!) the seeds for our new spring garden arrived!  This may very well be the highlight of my winter!  The process of mapping out the garden (deciding how many of each plant we need and where they will be located in our garden grid system) and planning planting dates based on predicted last frost dates presents an organizational challenge that provides me hours of delight!
Here's my mid-process mess.  It basically took over the living room!

The process revealed the need for 3 additional garden beds, so construction will begin on those soon. 
Also, among other things, we plan to add Eggplant to the garden this year.  At 8 to 12 weeks before the last frost date, these seeds start sooner than any other we will grow.  Counting backward, I soon realized that I should have started the Eggplant seeds . . . last week or earlier!

I then dedicated no small amount of the weekend to cleaning up the guest room and turning it into the grow room.

Here are the basics needed for starting seeds indoors.
1.  The brown tub is filled with our homegrown compost mix (brown gold!).
2. The basket holds our newspaper pots (man, can Girl 2 churn these out fast!).  For directions on how to make your own using only a soup can and old newspaper, check out this link
3.  Sphagnum moss, added to the top of the soil in each pot, helps keep moisture in check.
4.  A water-filled spray bottle helps water the young seedlings without knocking them over.


Rather than the popsicle stick markers I used last year, I opted to just write in red Sharpie directly on the pots.

To create a grow space, I cover the queen-sized bed with a tarp.  I use an under-the-bed box to hold the pots.  (Though not pictured here, I will actually leave the lid on most of the time to help retain moisture until the seeds have sprouted.)  Then, I hang my fluorescent shop light from the hooks I keep in the ceiling for this purpose.  Because our lights are suspended by chains, I can easily raise them as plants grow to maintain the recommended 2 inches or so from the plants.

Interesting, huh?  Well, Blossom seems to think so.  :)

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