Monday, February 09, 2009

Starting Seeds


I finally got my seeds planted in my trays. I will be floating some trays in our bathtub. Don't worry, we have a shower in the other bathroom. I float the seeds to keep them watered from the bottom and by having them in the bathroom I am assured that they will stay warm. It is our way of making do with what we have!
I planted a DiCicco broccoli variety. It is an early Italian broccoli that does well in early spring. I also planted another broccoli variety that is good to produce side shoots. It is called Green Sprouting Broccoli. I planted All Seasons Cabbage and Early Snowball Cauliflower. I then planted a tray of Buttercrunch lettuce. As soon as all of these plants germinate, I will plant a batch of Romaine Lettuce.
Looking back at last year's notes, I think I am about 3 weeks behind from when I planted last year. This shouldn't be a problem here. This year has been much colder than last year so we still should be in good shape. For those of you who are watching my plant times for your own use, I will let you know when I actually put the plants in the garden. If I were buying plants from the store, I wouldn't even be thinking about gardening yet. It is only because I am raising my plants from seeds that I have to start this early. I grow seeds because it is so much cheaper than buying plants. I will be planting over 100 broccoli plants this year. I can't even imagine how much that would cost me if I purchased them from the store.
grace and peace,
julie

10 comments:

Dreamer said...

Uh-oh! Starting seeds. I better get my seeds out and figure out when I need to start them. I can't even remember what seeds I purchased!

Paige said...

Wow! 100 broccoli plants?!?! Your garden must be a lot bigger than the last time we saw it! Good luck! Do you freeze all that or can or what?

TnFullQuiver said...

Dreamer,
Take the time to look BEFORE you order the new ones. I thought I was out of broccoli and cabbage seeds so I ran out and purchased more. Later, I found the seeds that I thought were gone. I just didn't put them in the right spot! Happy planting!!!

Paige,
Our garden is the same size as the last time you were here. I can plant 100 broccoli plants in a bed and a half. Believe it or not, we have never been able to grow enough brocoli to freeze. We eat it all up before I can get any in the freezer!
grace and peace,
julie

Paige said...

Wow, I don't know which is more impressive...that you eat that much broccoli or that you get that many plants in the garden! Do you use a dwarf variety? Any problems with it being hot and making the broccoli bitter? And how do you get all the cabbage worms out of them? I tried growing broccoli once and was VERY turned off when I found a ton of worms in the food even after I soaked it in brine....does that really work?

TnFullQuiver said...

Paige,
It really isn't that much broccoli. Our heads tend to be the size of the grocery store variety, but the sideshoots only produce small cuttings. You also have to remember that the broccoli doesn't all come in the same day. We eat the broccoli over several weeks if not over a month period. I do not use a dwarf variety, but we use a "wide row" method. Basically the idea is to plant the plants close together so they grow together and shade the soil to keep down weed growth. (This does help to control weeds). Since we use raised beds, we can control our soil much easier. We use compost and fresh soil each year. Our soil is richer than your average garden so it will grow better than most.

We do our best to get our broccoli out early and picked before the hot weather sets in. We also do this with lettuce. The hot weather makes the lettuce bitter. I have actually planted lettuce under the shade of my broccoli and cabbage plants.

Nothing is grosser than eating a worm...well, except serving them to company!!! If you harvest early, you don't have to deal with the worms as much. I do soak my broccoli in salt water. After doing that, I like to store it in the refrigerator until it is good and cold. I will then often times put it back in salt water. The salt water drives the little critters to the top of the broccoli so you should be able to pick them out. After that, I cook it. That helps get any worms out too. If we are going to eat it raw, I try my best to let is soak in the salt water for quite awhile and then store it in the frig. before serving. I do pick through my broccoli and lettuce very carefully, and pray that I don't miss any uninvited guests!!!

Don't tell my kids that their veggies might have worms in them, they already eat enough meat as it is!!!!
love ya,
julie

Paige said...

Ah ha! I know what my problem was! I wasn't patient enough! Bane of my life, I know....I don't think I soaked it more than 30 mins, and I certainly didn't do it twice or put it in the fridge....

And your secret's safe with me...

closer2667 said...

i'm sure that is one of your contraption you made for your seeds. would you mind sharing how you made it up? it looks like the paint saver screen? tray and how to do you put together? i'm ready to start some of my seeds but i was going to do in little dixie cups, hahahahaha.

TnFullQuiver said...

Kay,
Actually the trays we use are tobacco starters. They came with the farm when we bought it, and i don't know where to buy any more. The trays are light weight and have holes in the bottom of a cone shaped hole. The design is good because it helps the tap root grow strong. I float it in water. The picture I showed was using a tub that Michael mixed grout to tile our floor. I also have my bathtub filled with water and trays floating in there. They germinate very quickly in the warm bathroom, and I can add water easily as needed. I think you could purchase seed starting trays with the same idea at a farm store. I have also used the little peat cups in the past, but they get expnsive. I have seen people use egg shells to start seeds. They poke a small hole in the bottom so they can soak up water from the bottom. I think that would be a great way to start them, but you would have to eat a lot of eggs!!!

My dad had a garden magazine that he ordered a whole seed starter system. I think he spent about $80 for two, and they were mini greenhouses. They had warming mats to help germinate the seeds and then there was a dome that fit over the top. To the best of my memory, they held about 30 plants at a time. He used them to grow his own jalapenos and wave peutinias. Hope this information helps!!
grace and peace,
julie

Paige said...

I always used the larger 8 Oz. Yogurt cups. They were larger and I never had to disturb the plants until they were ready to go in the garden. My 4" pot substitute!!

dawnzdreams said...

Paige,

I really went and did it...I decided to grow an heiloom garden from seed. The packs said to start indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost. I was worried I was running late. Now I have a ton of tomato's, broccoli and cabbages that are getting about 4-5 inches tall and spindly looking. I am getting affraid for my newly born little plants. I did not have a green house, and did the best I could stacking shelves and such close to a window. I do not have a lighting system...just the window LOL They spring up by the mile over night, which is why I think growers use the lights to actually maybe inhibit thier growth a bit??? I don't know what to do to save and help my new found joy, and have found no help from web sites as what to do.....maybe there is no trouble at all LOL Please help....what do I need to do for my plants?
Always,
Dawn