Sunday, February 27, 2011


Sorry about my absence of late....I will be posting tomato seedling progress in a day or two. In the meantime if you just have to read something, take a look at my post on the Urban Homesteading brouhaha.

see you soon!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Seed Starting

Finally got around to buying some decent seedling trays this year and what a difference! These are really solid and should last many years (unlike the cheapies that we'd been using that sprung leaks on the first use...sigh). Wish we could afford to buy more, but at $12 a pop our limit was four this year.

We usually order most of our seeds from Fedco, they are non-GMO and probably the least expensive of all the companies we order from, but this year decided to try some varieties from Baker Creek. I also found an organic seed business based out of Fresno that carried several 'heat tolerant' tomato varieties, so we are adding them to our list of acceptable seed companies.

I mixed up a big batch of seed-starting medium using 3 parts peat moss, 3 parts vermiculite, and 1 part potting soil (amounts are not exact). We bought 72-cell trays for the tomatoes since we need so many and the peppers are in a single 48-cell tray (not pictured).

Planted 204 tomato plants total ~108 paste, 90 slicing, 6 cherry...and 12 tomatillos.

Under the lights and on a heating mat for faster germination.

With a timer for the lights and a temperature control for the mat we have quite the high tech system here. Actually, the timer is a convenience and the temp control came with the mat (and is kind of useless).

The peppers were actually planted Jan. 15th and sat on top of the fridge until they sprouted (I didn't want to use extra electricity until I absolutely had to) and then were moved down into the cellar. The tomatoes were planted on the first of February.

Peppers are VERY slow growing and that extra 2 weeks will be needed later in the season so we can harvest them at the same time as the first tomatoes.....salsa here we come!