Many of you who have been around a while remember I am into gardening, things are ramping up, so will the garden posts. So this year I am a bit later than I’d like, but I have been busy, so oh well. Last night I set my seeds in the pots, got my setup running and here it is. First off here is what you need. Starting mix is preferable, so pots, and seeds. Depending on how far you want to go you can get a heating mat, lights, thermostat control, etc.
Next I filled my pots with the potting soil (I should note that I pre-moistened the soil before I put them in the pots) and got them into them into my tray
Next I put in the seeds. I put 3-4 seeds per pot because each seed isn’t guaranteed to come up, it will also let me choose the strongest plant and focus on that one. I will later “thin” with a pair of fine scissors. I then take soil and gently cover the seeds; in this case 3 variety of heirloom tomatoes and a variety of cukes ideal for pickling. The packets often tell you how deep to bury the seeds, but a rule of them is 3 times the length of the seed, so a tomato seed is very shallow, a cuke is slightly deeper.
Next up is to move the tray to my setup. Here I have my grow lights above, a plastic cover to keep the moisture in, below -it is hard to see – there is a heating pad and a piece of foam. The cable sneeking in from the right is temperature probe that goes into the dirt to measure soil temp. I have another thermometer to verify the temp and moisture. Note: the temperature is too low as shown here, I just turned the whole thing on.
Here is the thermostat control, it will turn the heating pad on and off as needed, I set this to 80 F for proper germination to occur. This unit is where the probe goes to.
So as the gardening season comes to a halt (I don’t do stuff over winter) I ramp up my efforts on learning and planning. Many people take this time to plan for next year, flush out ideas, do research and start getting excited for the spring. In my time online I have found a pretty neat idea, that isn’t new, but the guys that have put these together have flushed out the idea pretty well and I thought I’d share.
Basically this is two 5 gallon buckets, one inside the other, with a tray and a bottom reservoir. I have seen this in practice at a local community garden: the Johnson & Wales University Community Garden. When I first heard about this garden, it was described to me as a garden, on a cement slab…. I was pretty curious, how could they be gardening on a slab? They use these buckets and it’s ingenious! The best part is that if push comes to shove and they had to move, a few hours with a pickup and they could do it pretty easily. See their garden below.
I really like this idea because it bring in the potential for using much more spaces, it is flexible and semi-mobile. The kicker came when I saw a video on how you can use simple atmospheric pressure to auto water the entire group of buckets, weather 1 or 10,000, all without power or any special equipment! The other thing they did that I hadn’t see was adding black plastic, this allowed them to reduce the water needed by 70% because it prevented evaporation.
Found this great video about growing 100% of your own food and how difficult it is. An interesting point that he talks about is how to achieve this, you cannot do it independently, you must work with a community to be successful. I will warn you that at certain points he starts talking in a very “new age” type of vernacular, running from point to point, but I gleaned some interesting things regardless.
I found this video and it got me thinking, what if we here in America had laws and the politicians thinking this way. The other really good point this video brings up is with all the concerns about being eco-friendly, sustainable and peak oil, it can get overwhelming. In a way it doesn’t matter whether or not peak oil is happening, whether there is such thing as global warming, we should be taking on the goals of sustainability for a plethora of reasons.
Recently I have moved the chicks, who are now all grown up, to their new home in the coop I built. The first day was an adjustment for them because it was soooo hot outside, but they are doing well and seem very happy.