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Friday, January 23, 2015

A few flats

There have been, like, six frost nights this winter so far, and the spring songs of the birds and smell of the wide-awake soil are driving me nuts. So I'm off to the potting shed to play with a flat of beets, one of Fordhook Giant chard, and a couple of mixes -- lettuce, kale, collards, whatever is in the salt shaker.

The shed greets me, an old friend. We have worked together for twenty-one years.

 If you're new to gardening and don't have a lot of flats and pots and such yet, you can start with those plastic things meals come in these days. Make your friends save theirs for you.

Cover seeds lightly. Water lightly, put in south window. You won't get the big pretty seedlings that come from the garden store (those require grow lights) but they generally pull through ok. Turn your flats to get sun from both sides, and in decent conditions (like today, over 50F out) you can move them outside. A little wind will strengthen them.

Good potting soil is a must. I buy a local product that's not too great in itself, and add some bark, some organic cotton meal, and the dirt thrown up by gophers around their holes.

Sometimes I make furrows in flats with trowels, sometimes I don't. Seems to work out either way.

This nozzle has a really good "mist" setting or I would have to go with a really expensive watering can. The cheap ones will dig out your seeds like a waterfall.

I'm not too particular about buying seeds every year. These didn't get used last year and will probably be fine. If not, I'll just try something else in the same flat.

That will do for now. I bow to the little rock Buddha and mosey back through the soft rain to the house, stopping to ring the gratitude bell along the way.

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