Thursday, March 24, 2011

Seed Starting 2011- In pictures

Nothing like a four year old in charge of dirt... The aprons were a gift at Christmas, bought by my sister in law from an Etsy shop.

Unfortunately, parts of my fancy 'self-watering' Lee Valley seed starters were food for the winter mice in the garage. I salvaged the tops and placed the capillary mat (that draws water up) in a glass 9x13 pan from the kitchen. This seems to be working. 

Madi is learning to write- and made most of the labels that were taped to the sides of the flats, directly under the designated cells.

Remember when I said I was 'going simple'? I couldn't help myself and ordered, then planted 8 cells, of Goji berries.

I'd love to hear how you organize. I place all my seeds in different bags: "Indoors 12 weeks" (plant before first frost free date. Here in Edmonton that's anywhere between May 7and 31!) "Indoors 8 weeks", "Indoors 4 weeks" and "Outdoors early"and "Outdoors late"

I keep this stuff close: scissors, pens and tape for labels. The green  bulbous spike is for seeding- $4 allows me to drop one seed in each hole at a time (instead of scattering heaps of seeds to later be 'thinned').

My garden book has coils so I can tape extra seed packs in, I also staple in most of my seed and plant orders so I can remember varieties and quantities from year to year.
The calendar allows me to count forward and back from May 7th. I'm an optimist when it comes to frost. I like Lois Hole's advice in her Vegetables book-- 8 out of 10 times you win when you plant a little early- harvesting at least 2 weeks earlier. The risk is that your first sowing of seedlings like carrots and peas die in a late frost but only, according to her math and experience, 2 out of 10 seasons. 

My scratchings.
 Date on top then a rough chart: Row 1: Name of seed. Row 2: Number of cells planted. Row 3: Date planted. Row 4: Date of germination (the first sign of green)

Tell me how you keep track and stay organized! I'd love to know.


Mrs.Spit said...

I do pretty much the same thing, but I also note germination date and rate - for the next year. It helped me stop buying one varietal, which had terrible germination rates and was expensive and not worth it.

Let me know if you need my lee valley seed cells. They aren't the self watering ones, but they should help. . .

Kevin Kossowan said...

I currently organize mine by type of plant. Legumes with legumes, brassicas with brassicas, etc. But that's not because I'm smart, it's only cause I had to start somewhere! I absolutely see how your system would prove useful.

I actually have majorly geeky spreadsheets of all the varieties of plant in my yard, including seeding dates, row spacing, etc. I'm a dork that way.

An Avenue Homesteader said...

Kevin, I bet the spreadsheets allow you to look back at past years more readily than my system of frantic page flapping as dirt flies. Outside of the geek factor, you have the benefit of a digital search function. I imagine seed orders become more efficient (I spend a lot of time trying to remember which varieties I loved and hated).