Sunday, January 10, 2010

Seed starting.... ROIGHT.

.The dog and I have been making the best of the cold by taking luxurious sunbathing occasions together by the only large south facing window.

It's been hard really :)

Of course, my husband has to be the practical one and seduces me out of the warm sun by saying "It's 10am on the weekend, you just woke up! You don't want to fall asleep again already!"


So I am attempting to be good (but not being very good) by blogging about my lack of seed starting so far.  I'm trying to be a little more financially savvy about my gardening (garden start up costs can always been a shock, but as start up is past already for me I just need to focus on plants/seeds).

As I've been stupidly whining about finances as of late, I've been taking a hard look at what I really need and thinking about putting the Soil Blocker thing on hold until maybe next year's gardening. 

I will be attempting as well to limit my seed purchases to my local mom and pop b/c they're cheaper, will save me in shipping and handling and generally have a good idea as to what is good to grow in the area.  As I have seed saved a good number of varieties from last year (though I still need to check viability levels), I hope this will work out well.

A few things that I might purchase outside of the mom and pop are particular tomato seeds because this is a matter of true garden happiness!  I want me some delicious tomatoes and mom and pop doesn't always have luscious heirloom varieties, so I might need go out investigate those further elsewhere.

A couple of other things I really want to grow would be tomatillas and luffa, but the luffa might need to be put on hold LIKE MY OTHER STUPID SQUASH (*note the annoyance here?) I probably would just be attracting vine borers AGAIN.  Damn, when will I be able to grow my own bath supplies?  Can you imagine how cool if would be to have a bubble bath bush? (Would that be like soapberry?)

The tomatillas I will hope I have no problems though and I am excited about salsa verde and tomato-y like things with their own wrappers and can keep relatively well.  It's like they're tomato candy :)  Think the kids will like that on Halloween?

A couple of plants I generally don't seed start are peppers and eggplant because they take so darn long to get going and I don't generally use much of.  I can usually get $1 or $2 plants started already at the mom and pop (and as much as I'd get more plants to seeds if I bought a packet, I don't think I'd use them fast enough), so I'll just tend to few plants of each and be happy.

Another plan to keep me mostly sane this year (gardening is all experimental, I'm just trying to figure out if this will be what's best for me for now or in the future) is to direct plant more, rather than seed start as much as I have in the past.

I've found that my okra, peas, beans, cucumbers (which I really shouldn't plant this year...), mustards and others do MUCH better direct planted and as I am in limbo about a million things now it would be hella better to not have to tend to these all winter to get them going.  Seed starting is tough as I have very limited lighting and can't afford kick-ass grow lights (I hear you can use fluorescent or Christmas lights though) or or heat mats or etc. so I'm going to rid myself of the usual pain, sadness and drama of taking care of little seedlings during the cold wee winter months in the awful indoor conditions of my home and focus on maybe a nice little tray of a dozen tomato plants to prepare for the outdoors. (and maybe a few tomatilla plants)


No fuss gardening for spring is the plan (and hope).  A little tomato and tomatillo preparation soon and a week or two of crazy planting in the spring and hopefully I can sit back, weed a bit and not go nuts and work on my writing and get that GAN (Great American Novel) out and make some money to afford fun plants again :P



Meredith said...

Just wanted to tell you I totally sympathize with your crappy indoor growing conditions. That's me, too. This year, though, I was able to ask a friend who has grow lights if I could borrow a corner of her spring prep space in exchange for her picking some of what she likes out of my cool seed collection. :) It's all about the barter sometimes.

By the way, thanks for introducing me to that magazine, Edible Memphis. I wish we had something like that around here. Perusing back issues now...

Meredith said...

Oh, and what happened to your squash? (I'm a newcomer to your blog via blotanical.)

persephone said...

@Meredith: THanks for visiting! Bartering is such a great system! I have traded for some great houseplants in the past on craigslist, but sadly can't seem to find any nearby vege gardeners in my neck of woods who want to trade :(
The "edible" mags are city specific too as you probably have noticed, so if anything, I am sure that you might find one near you that would be more your area.

About the squash... Squash Vine Borers from Hell. 'Nuf said really.

Ginger said...

Hey, we did a small, cheap seed starting operation last year. Two flourescent bulbs, one of each color, in a 48" pull-chain fixture. Bottom heat provided by cord Christmas lights (go buy some on sale!!).
It worked great, and REALLY helped with the eggplant and pepper seeds.

Good luck with your seedstarting!
Come enter the contest at my blog!

persephone said...

@Ginger: Thanks for the cheap seed starting advice, I may think of this in the future as I have some Christmas lights from cheap times past, but I am really trying to be a good Persephone and save like mad (and be cheap cheap cheap) and work on being an unemployed writer to a best selling novelist, which I hope doesn't mean Twilight crap especially as I am not writing about vampires :)

Danke again!