Thursday, March 19, 2015

Starting the first seeds, inside.

I'm going to start by giving a shout out of thanks to our first patron on Patreon, I promise I won't say something every single time someone sponsors us on the blog, but I'm very happy that our first day on Patreon we have a patron.

So, now that spring has sprung, it's time to get started with planting, well, not out here yet, but let's take a look at our planting areas and what they look like at the moment before starting the first plantings. Above is where the garlic is right now. As soon as the snow melts we're going to have to pull up the paper we put down to protect the beds. There's also a few other random beds down the slope that had tomatoes and peppers last year, so this year they are going to have radishes and the like.

Left is our front bed right now, I took it from above because I didn't want to try taking a photo with the Lady of the House's camera on the ice, and risk damaging it when she needs it for her art business. Last year this front slope was garlic and squash, so it is probably going to be a variety of beans and leafy greens depending on the beds. These beds have been around the longest, and are starting to self terrace so I'm going to see about improving on the terracing of them this spring if I have time.
Left is the other side of the front bed that we didn't plan out well, and we are considering what to do with it. Depending on our planting space we may end up just letting it to back to being unused for at least a year. I'm thinking though to use it for squash this year since last year it was almost entirely peppers and tomatoes. Below is the raised bed. I know, it doesn't stand out very well when it's leveled down a lot from what it was. Due to what happened with it last year I'm going to have to rebuild a lot of it, so I'm going to actually probably have to bring in soil for it in addition to the rabbit manure if I can. Given that I'm trying to expand every year I'm probably going to be digging some more garden in this area to plant the peppers since we aren't doing tomatoes this year. Speaking of peppers, that's the first thing we're starting off inside.

This year we're doing a more limited variety of peppers than we did last year. Part of that is having fewer seeds on hand to start with, and part of that is discarding some of the peppers that didn't work. So far we have in the starting tray Limon Peppers, Red Cap Mushroom Peppers, Banana Peppers, and Orange Bell Peppers. If I have the time and money I'm going to get more Czech Black Pepper seeds because those were fairly good. We're reusing our seed starting trays from last year for another year at least, but given how damaged they've been just from one year of use, this is probably going to be the last year using these trays.

Each seedling pot is to grow one plant in, given that we don't have germination tests on these seeds we put 2 seeds in every hole to try to make sure every hole has at least one seedling. Depending on the germination rates I'm probably going to be killing off a lot of seedlings where both grow in one hole, but that's ok.

Our seed starting set up is the same as last year, I need to get my hands on some jump rings because I got some cool ratchet hangers for the lights so they'll be easier to keep level and raise without risking dropping the light on the seedlings which has happened in the past with the hanging system we have up which is literally just twine over the shelf bars. I'm really looking forward to the first green in the house which if things go well will be far ahead of the greening outside. I still am going with the bottom watering that we've done in the past since the floor is level enough, and it's worked out well. The thing I do need to remember to do that I learned from last year is to not over water the plants, now drowned peppers this year. Having done this a few times now getting this full tray of 72 pots ready to go was fairly quick. It took about 20 minutes including putting soil in the tray, which isn't bad. The Critter's help this year is mostly limited to staring and pterodactyl screaming. Next year his contribution will probably be throwing dirt, and the year after he may be able to help given some of the kids I've seen around farms.

For now, signing off, thanks again for reading.


  1. I have to admit I'm not a huge pepper fan (sweet or hot) but there is no way I would ever eat anything named "Red Cap Mushroom" -pepper, chicken, cupcake, nope. I learned well Mom's rules of eating things you find growing outside "No mushrooms, ever! Don't even touch!" and "Red means dead."

    (I'm sure it's a perfectly nice pepper. But who picked that name?)

    1. I'm not sure, it seems a rather unwise name, and they're kind of ugly peppers too. I'm a big fan of a variety of hot peppers though, so I'm definitely giving them a shot again since they almost survived to produce last year.

      To be fair, the hot and spicy crowd does tend towards really unfortunate names for products. For example.