The year is flying by, and what was anticipated to be a busy spring with the 30 X 72 hoophouse build has gotten even busier. I admit feeling a bit daunted by the current state of the garden with the unassembled greenhouse parts, but the snow will eventually melt, the ground will defrost, and the day will come when the frozen ground cloth fabric can be lifted from the surface. The hope and plan, God willing, is to have the construction completed before May 1 rolls around.
Between now and then, I will continue to grow and care for the potted tabletop gardens for our customers and Town and Country Foods, start seeds, prep for spring, tweak the garden plan, and do life.
Perennial Seed Starts
Seed starting activities so far have focused on perennials, including these:
One of the ways I am able start this many seedlings in limited space is through the use of soil blocks. On the bottom two shelves in the picture below there are 800 seedlings on the colorful trays, and the shelves are not even full. Each colorful tray (purchased at The Dollar Tree last year) has 80 3/4” soil blocks on it, so potentially 80 seedlings.They are covered with plastic wrap to keep in moisture during germination, otherwise they would dry out rather quickly. As soon as germination is detected, I remove the plastic.
I have had my small soil blocker for years, using it with varying degrees of success. I tried it again last year and bombed. I attributed it to the (disfunctional) soil used, and determined to try it again. This time I followed the soil blocking recipe found at The Gardeners Workshop. So far, I am pleased with the results— I started all the basil, pansies, and dusty miller using soil blocks this year, and so far all are doing very well. As these newly seeded perennials grow, I will bump them up in to 50 cell trays. I might also purchase a larger soil blocker, the 1.5” or the 2”, and go that route. For more info on soil blocking, The Gardeners Workshop had lots of info and supplies, as does Johnny’s Seeds. (These are just referrals because I like the products and process- I do not get referral credits or bonuses for these links.)
The last items sowed today before the weekend are the sweet peas. They are now in the garage where they should germinate over the next few weeks. I am growing one new variety, “Enchante”, and the rest are repeats for a total of 6 varieties. There are some other colors I wanted to grow, but with everything else going on this year, I opted to keep it to the saved seed and just one new purchase.
the onion family
The next seeds on the sowing schedule are all in the onion family.
In addition to the greenhouse build in April, we had another oppportunity come in to us for that same month. It so exciting we could not turn it down, even with the need to get the greenhouse completed. I will share more on that next month because this newsletter is more than long enough.
Until next time-