Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Seed Sowing

After last year's disastrous tomato growing experience (got NO ripe tomatoes, and those that were brought inside to ripen all had blight), I decided to start my tomatoes early, so I can set them out early under walls-o-water with red plastic mulch. I also have chosen lost of cold-hardy types that will hopefully set and ripen good-tasting fruit without a lot of heat. I might even try setting up a grow tunnel over one of the raised beds in the veggie garden, so I can capture as much warmth as possible. I didn't think of all these ideas myself, I read about them at the blog The Modern Victory Garden. If you're in the Pacific Northwest and trying to grow vegetables, it's got lots of great info.

It may be overkill, but a fresh tomato from the garden is worth it.

I'm starting a lot of my tomato seeds in a Sterilite container fitted with a rope light across the bottom (much cheaper than heat mats, and not hard to build). I first read about this cool use of rope lights here. I also have been following Our Engineered Garden, where EG has made and posted about all sorts of wonderful home-made devices for seed starting. He also makes his own self-watering containers. I decided to add a grow light over the top of mine this year, because putting the starts in a South-facing window really isn't enough.

Ta da!

The tomato seeds have only been in there for three days, and they are already sprouting!
I've also direct-sowed more flower seeds out in the beds under cloches made from plastic milk jugs. It looks ugly (and hopefully my neighbors won't complain). I've sown Liatris, Echinacea 'Bravado', Geum trifolum (Prairie Smoke) and Erigeron speciosus (Fleabane).

Boring list of tomato seeds that I've sown so far:
Sweet Million
Kellogg's Breakfast
Sugar Sweetie
Red Siberian
German Gold
Nicholayev Yellow Cherry
Black Cherry
Black Krim
Early Girl
Gogoshari Striped
Nebraska Wedding
Ukrainian Heart
Anna Russian
Sub Arctic Plenty
Oregon Spring

We have another sunny day here today, but cold. It's 36 degrees right now. I'm hoping it hits the upper 40s, or maybe even 50. If it does, I'll probably go out and sow some more flower seeds under makeshift cloches.

Or I could just hang out in the South-facing window, with my house-bound kitties.

"Mo-om, I'm trying to sleep here!"

"Who made the kissy noise? Is it time to eat?"