It took me three hours to wash all the plugs and containers from last year. Or should I say, another three hours? I had washed them at the end of last season, but storing them on the screened-in porch turned out to be not a good idea. So I washed and scrubbed in a bucket of water, dipped into a bucket of water+chlorine, rinsed in a bucket of water, dipped into a fresh bucket of water+chlorine (really don’t want pathogens in that tiny, contained micro-climate that will soon house most of my vegetable garden of 2010!), and rinsed in fresh water again. Let drip.
This is the collection of recycled containers – there are more than it seems from the pictures:
With the 50 or so peat pots left over from last year, I think I’ll be all set. I do love those green containers that mushrooms come in: they’re strong, the right depth, and because they’re rectangular, they waste less space in the rectangular setup. 8 of them snugly fit one flat.
I did have to buy two new heavy-duty reservoir trays, which at $10 a pop will have to last me many, many years. The ones from last year are so leaky. They were the flimsy plastic kind that comes with the plug sheets, and got banged around quite a bit, from rack to bench to hardening-off area to garden, and back. So I won’t be using them for bottom-watering my seedlings, only of holding the seedlings on the light rack. I was thinking of punching holes into the leakiest ones and planting large batches of lettuce in them.
I installed the heat mat plus thermostat on the bottom shelf (the heat will rise and warm up the rest of the rack), but I won’t be using it yet: all the seedlings so far like my basement’s temperature (a constant 56F).
Here’s a wishlist for my potting area:
- trash can
And what went in?
- Olympia spinach (an incredible 38 days to harvest!) 2 x 10
- Longstanding Bloomsdale spinach (last year’s seed) (42) x 11
- Tom Thumb Bibb lettuce (46) x 20
- Cracoviensis lettuce (last year’s) (47) x 20
- Winter lettuce mix (50) x 20
- Bright Lights chard (last year’s) (56) x 8
- Bright Lights chard (56) x 8
- Safir cutting celery (60) x 24
- Ventura celery x (80) 24
- Redventure celery (last year’s) (84) x 24
- Brilliant celeriac (89) x 10
- Clear Dawn onion (last year’s) (104) x 20
- Clear Dawn onion (this year’s) (104) x 30
If my last frost date is 3 May (according to NOAA, there’s 50% chance of a later date at 32F; you can find this info here), then I’m sowing 13 weeks (oops) 12 weeks before the last frost date (BLFD). A bit early, I know, but I’ve got season extenders. I’m growing in raised beds (always a bit warmer, earlier), and I’ll be warming the soil in those beds with black plastic, and they’ll be covered with a hoop house and/or cold frames and/or extra row cover.
The first seven batches (those in italics) are so hardy, they will already have moved out by the time most seedlings need starting (6-8 weeks BLFD). Some of them are actually so fast-growing, they might even be ready to eat by then!
Spinach, in 4 weeks? Dare I dream it?