Friday, February 18, 2011

My new soil blocker

I was late planting seeds indoors.  My peat pellets gave up the ghost and would not rehydrate into puffy little mesh balls.  What was I thinking?  They are over 7 years old and have seen a lot of temperature changes.  Frugal me, I broke the peat pellets up and re-hydrated them outside of their little protective sheaves enough to create wonderful peat again.  It was snowy outside so I did this in the living room with my wife glaring at me and my daughter "helping" me.  It was worth it.  Now to make homes for my seed.  I choose to invest in a soil blocker that makes pot-less seed starts.  After hemming and hawing, I ordered and received my tiny new tool.  It makes twenty 3/4" sugar cubes with dimples for the seeds.

To the peat, I added 1 to 3 parts composted rabbit manure from my backyard warren, a handful of greensand, limestone dust, and. rock phosphorus.  I now have enough for a batch of seeds, a few more batches later and maybe for the 2" cubes that I will transplant these 3/4" cubes into with their specially made dimples.  I love the engineering mind that went into this system.

360 cubes fit on one tray.  I would love to have one of those mesh plant trays for good drainage, but I will wait until one finds its way to me.  Until then, a storage bin lid with a plastic bag over it will work as a humid environment for germination.  I do have a plant heating pad that I sit on a towel for insulation.

Here is the list of veggies and herbs that go in this first batch 6 to 8 weeks before last frost:

Leek Varna (Peaceful Valley)
Anise Hyssop (Seeds of Change) statified in the freezer for one month.
Brussel Sprouts (Ferry Morse)
Sage (Peaceful Valley)
Tomato Yellow Pear (Organic Burpee)
Tomato Cherry Chadwick (Peaceful Valley)
Tomato Cherokee Purple (Peaceful Valley)
Tomato Roma Pompeii (Renee's Garden)
Tomato Mexican Heirloom (bought a Whole Foods Tomato)
Pepper Jalapeno (Renee's Garden)
Pepper New Mexico Joe Parker (Renee's Garden)
Pepper Ancho San Luis (Renee's Garden)
Bell Pepper Crimson, Gold and Orange (Renee's Garden)
Bell Pepper Carnival Mix (Organic Burpee)

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