Thursday, March 04, 2010

starting seeds

we started our seeds a few days too late and missed the correct moon phase. we went out of town to help our friends in their efforts to move into their new home. over the weekend i built a partition in their new garage to accommodate sean's new office. that meant hanging a couple of doors and installing plenty of electrical outlets for all those computer gadgets.

it was great fun but lasted a little longer than anticipated--tabitha didn't get to visit any fabric outlets. the little window spot is for an air conditioner.

the ceiling was nine feet tall, it was easier to put the little extra piece of drywall in the middle where it already installed higher than normal outlets.

when i got home i built a few seedling trays out of some cedar one by two's. the flat surface where the soil blocks rest is made from 1/4' hardware cloth. we spent the afternoon mixing the seed starting concoction. finally we attempted to make tiny soil blocks. our first few tries were misshapen dirt clods. after many attempts and several mulligans we decided that my block attempts were slightly better than tabitha's.

i made six hundred little three quarter inch by three quarter inch blocks of compacted wet soil. they are all lined up on the new trays. plastic trays would have cost less than a quarter the money to buy but these should last for many plastic tray life times.

the map of our seed planted is as follows:

so far we like the soil block maker system. i did have a hand cramp during the very last group of twenty. once these seeds are up we will make up larger two by two blocks that have a receiving knockout for the little ones that we made today. we choose this two step method since it should be much easier to keep two trays warm enough to germinate. the alternative of trying to keep our green house at germination temperatures would be cost prohibitive. we can simply keep these two trays in the house for a few weeks. after germination they won't be as fragile. a minimum of fifty degrees in the green house won't be unmanageable two weeks from now.

i'll keep blogging about the soil block maker as we use the system. spring is just around the corner... i have proof, we just started seeds..
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