Wednesday, March 3

Maters



The tomatoes (aka maters) are doing quite well so far as you can see in the above pictures.  Actually all the plants are doing well, the peppers, the cabbages, the leeks, the broccoli, and we've even got some of our herbs to germinate that we had trouble with last year starting indoors.  It's about time to repot them into 3" pots and start hardening them off.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but if the weather holds up we could have our barn project done very soon.  Part of that project involves trenching power to the greenhouse from the new barn. I have framed both end walls of the greenhouse over the last couple of weekends so all that will be left is the covering and wiring up the fans and heater.  If we can get the greenhouse completed soon I won't need to spend time and materials building cold frames, everything can go into the greenhouse.

In the meantime we toil away in our basement each night watering the seedlings and adjusting the lights up.  I shot a video a few days ago showing our set up for this.


We fertilize the seedlings with fish emulsion.  Yes, it smells as disgusting as it sounds.  The stench reminds me of the area of the dock at the lake where everyone cleans their catches for the day, but it is great fertilizer.

This year we plan on doing all of our planting in raised beds.  I built a few previously with 2x8's but this year I found an excellent source pre-made raised beds and for free.  A buddy of mine works for a local window and siding company where they get all of their materials on 12' long pallets. The pallets come with siding material and each end is boxed in with a 4' by 4' box of rough sawn oak.  The pallets themselves I have mentioned before (in fact the shelves in the video are built entirely from the pallet material).  I plan on using the 4' by 4' boxes as raised beds and filling them with compost and soil.  Our ground is so rocky and the soil has been depleted by years and years over use by the previous owners that raised beds seem like our best option.

5 comments:

Jennifer said...

You are way ahead of me, I have not started any seeds at all yet! I think the cold winter has me in a slump, hard to realize Spring WILL get here soon!

Duane Keys said...

Better hurry, it'll be here before you know it!

polly's path said...

yours look so much better than ours!
It may be because you kept one seed in each pot, and I didn't quite think my husband knew what he was talking about when i stuck at least 4-5 seeds per pot. Mine are tiny and skinny-we'll see what we do. I have already planted some seeds outside(using better judgement.)

Sunnybrook Farm said...

We have yet to build our greenhouse so we wait later to start tomatoes but I have started cabbage and similar plants, they will go out in a cold frame probably this week if it warms. The winter in VA has been cold since November, it is time for spring!

Duane Keys said...

Jennifer is very careful to put a single seed in each cell. She has a good trick where she pours a few of the seeds into a lid, then uses a wet bamboo skewer to get a single seed on the end, then pushes the seed down in the soil to the correct depth.