Saturday, January 7, 2017

Willpower, where are you?

Yes, I have tomatoes, but three is not enough.  They are growing on a couple of my plants from last summer, but the plants are tired of blooming and I think it's time to start new ones.

First things first.   It was time for a new project.

My old seed-starting light panel was worn out and I needed a new design.  It was a bit difficult this time as buying fluorescent lights has changed since the last time I looked at them.   I was looking for 24 inch lights that could be mounted on a 3' piece of wood.   I don't think LED lights are going to work for this project.

I use the lights two ways.  I first use them as a heat source for the bottom of my seed trays so that the seeds will sprout.  Once the little flowers and veggies are up, I turn over the light panel and put the tiny plants underneath the light.

I did some searching on the Internet for the lights, but didn't have any luck.  I did come across a great idea for mounting the lights though - velcro.  It worked great.

The tiny plants need closed monitoring and a warmer temperature than the 60 degrees in the basement, which is where I have my big plant grow-light stand.

I am going to use an old cookie sheet to set my seed trays on.  It should work well to warm the seed starting mix and the seeds.

Petunia, pansy and geranium seeds are really tiny.  I can start dozens in these two small trays.  (I usually start way more than I am going to use)  The problem with that is that as the plants get bigger and bigger then one needs larger pots for them and more space and more lights and more potting soil and so on ......

OK then.  "How many petunias, pansies and geraniums do I need?"  Probably not hundreds.  You laugh?  In the past I have started over 100 pansies.  Don't even ask how many of the others I started.   A gardener must have a certain amount of "flower and vegetable willpower".   I am going to put the blame on all of those seed catalogs that are arriving in the mail and a certain amount of cabin fever.

Let the 2017 growing season begin!
(How about 90 pansies and 45 petunias, 24 geraniums, lobelia, zinnias, marigolds, tomatoes, peppers.....)

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