A blog about community, rural life, gardening, and the post-petroleum future.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
It's time to think about starting seedlings indoors for transplanting into the garden later. This year, I'm using biodegradable pots from Johnny's Select Seeds. My grandmother loved peat pots, and these are like the ones she used in the sixties. Mine are the round dot pots, but next time I think I'll get square ones, because they will stay upright better. The round ones tip over a bit in the flats.
I sowed cabbages, leeks, parsley, cutting celery, and foxgloves in these pots and placed the pots in a cold frame in the garden. I will put a piece of Agribon spun-bonded rowcover over the cold frame so that air and rain can get in and out while I'm in Houston. If I were going to be here, I would cover the cold frame with the storm door that fits it and vent and water it manually every day.
I also started tomatoes and peppers from seeds that I saved last summer. These pots will go in my neighbor's attached greenhouse. She is generous enough to give me some space in her greenhouse and water the seedlings for me while I'm gone.
I also went to a local nursery that does custom seed-starting for its customers. I talked to the man in charge and showed him my seeds. He said, "Well, we do this, but we don't look forward to it or enjoy it very much. Sometimes it makes us really mad, or it makes the customers really mad. Once I started a whole batch of hot peppers for some people, about thirty dollars worth. The packs are $1.75 normally, but if you buy ten or more, they're $1.50. So I'd started about ten packs for them, and they tried to argue me down to a dollar a pack! I just wouldn't do that. It's a matter of principle. They went off to the parking lot to discuss it, and then came back and told me that they weren't going to buy any of the plants! I said, fine. I also banned them from the custom seed-starting service. But the next year they sent their wives, thinking I wouldn't figure out it was the same bunch of people. But they didn't fool me: I knew it was them."
I promised him I wouldn't get mad if the seed-starting didn't work out and that I would buy all my plants.