27 March 2016

Starting Seeds & Gardening Journal. Ready to Grow!

2016-03-19

I started some seeds about a week and a half ago.  We still have a little over a month before the possibility of frost is usually gone, so I was about six weeks out.  Going now is Rosa Bianca eggplant, cherry tomatoes, chocolate bell peppers, Poblano peppers, Fresno chili peppers, Thai basil, and Tom Thumb lettuce.

I'm new to the whole seed starting thing.  I chose it for a couple of reasons:  (1) it's a skill I want to have, and (2) it seems to be the most economical way to get a garden started.  The Prairie Homestead has instructions for making seed starting "pots" out of newspaper (diy!), as shown in the image above.  I really like the idea of this! First, they seem big enough that I shouldn't have to transplant the seedlings before it's time for them to go outside.  Second, I should be able to plant the entire "pot" without stressing over trying to get the seedling out.  All I should have to do is gently open the bottom to make it easier for the plant to root in its new home.  And third, it's cheap!

My only concern is how the newspaper will hold up to watering.  What I did was put a thin layer of dry potting soil (locally sourced!) in the bottom of each "pot." The I added my moist seed starting soil.  Then another thin layer of dry on top.  The top I spritz with water pretty often.  A week and a half into the process, and the bulk of the newspaper pots are still a little damp.  That's good, right? Am I sounding clueless, yet?

100_7017One of the cherry tomatoes, the Tom Thumb lettuce, and the Thai basil are the only ones to have sprouted thus far.  I'm a little anxious.  We had a few days of around freezing temperatures, and the only space for these seeds is by a window that can feel drafty.  So I hope they are just a little slow, waiting on a bit more heat.  I know some peppers take longer to germinate, as well.  Fingers crossed everything is ok. 

There are more seeds I want to get started.  I probably should've made myself do them all in one day, but you know how it is when there is a list a mile long to get done! So said additional seeds are still sitting on the aforementioned mile-long list.  (Spoken with a cheeky grin.)

Another project I started was a gardening journal.  I'm so not interested in having more physical stuff around, so I'm doing it by using Evernote.  If you've never tried it before, you really should.  This little note taking app has changed my life.  It helps me run my household and homestead.  It helps me blog.  It helps me research (which I do – a lot).  Basically, it helps run my life!

Here's a screen shot:

gardenjournal

You can customize your view, of course.  What you see above, on the left, is my main menu.  The middle column shows the notes within my Gardening Journal 2016 notebook, in alphabetical order, with snippets.  The far right panel, the largest, shows the entire highlighted note.  What I opened was the Rosa Bianca Eggplant note.  I jotted down where I purchased the seeds, the "official name," seed type (certified organic, for example), and packet notes.  I also added some additional information I gathered from other places.  Then I added what I have done so far, when I started the seeds, what medium I used, etc,…

I'm committed to doing this for the whole season.  Then I'll assess whether or not it's how I want to continue journaling about my garden.

Have you started any seeds, yet? Do you keep a gardening journal? What's your method?

Shared at Happiness Is Homemade, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, and The Homemaking Party.

From my mountaintop garden to yours!

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