Growing Garden Seedlings Indoors
Mid April in New York State is a real mixed bag; 75° one day, 40° the next. Ah spring. We are still a few weeks away from planting in the ground up here, but as in most areas prep work has begun.
We went to dinner with my brother this past week, and apparently he started a lot of seedlings. Burpee is currently his BFF. He has so many seedlings started and doing well (400!) that he offered me “whatever you want!”.
He ordered from a variety of places including Burpee, Michigan Bulb and Springhill. He also bought Jiffy Peat Pellets
to start his seedlings. He said these have done very well. They are little tea cup like things that you add water to, and they “grow” right away. You take a knife to open the top, make a hole and insert the seed.
He also has potting soil seedlings, and they are several weeks behind the peat pots. He did say if this had been a normal winter/spring, the soil seedlings would have been way too far behind to plant on time. Because of the crazy weather this year though, those might be useful after all.
He built the stand out of cheap furring strips. He also said he doesn’t feel he had enough lighting, and next year he will add another grow light. He keeps the plastic on the front of his seedling tower to keep the temperature inside between 75°-80°. It isn’t warm down his basement. He hasn’t watered much, he watches the moisture on these seedlings. Since they are under the lamps for 12 hours per day (on timers), there is the possibility they could dry out.
I told my brother I had purchased three earth boxes and was looking for tomatoes, peppers and beans, or possibly cucumbers. He has yellow, green and purple beans for me to choose from, as well as various tomatoes.
He’s decided to make some raised garden beds in his backyard where now there are none (Hubby offered him a bunch of acreage up north a bit to raise crops LOL) and plant cucumbers, squash, carrots and a few other vegetables in addition to his beans, tomatoes and peppers. At 400 plants, that is a LOT of harvest!
I am also under orders to buy him two thornless blackberry bushes when I buy myself another one, and he wanted a “golden” thornless raspberry bush if I can find one. I think he’s going to end up with a thornless red raspberry bush, just like us though. The thornless blackberry bushes he can order on line are inexpensive, but teeny tiny in size. Since the blackberries and raspberries take a few years to produce, may as well not add even more time by buying a smaller plant. I’ll pay-up at the local nursery.
I did ask my brother how much he expects to spend on his new garden (he’s making raised garden beds too), and at this point he is into this for about $250 for 400 plants. That includes the lamps, soil, seeds (he has a ton leftover), the materials to make the stands, etc., etc. Of course next year his costs will be under $50. The first year is always the most expensive.
I will definitely give updates on his garden, as well as our garden this year! It is fun to see someone start from nothing, and make gardens where only manicured grass was before.
How is your garden coming along? Have you planted yet? Still in the planning stage? How Does Your Garden Grow?
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