Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Budding, new life and time to turn to my gardening again

February 2007; climate zone 5


- Start Tomatoes and Peppers

- Start in doors in January Cabbage, Collards, Brussel Sprouts, Lettuce

It's time for me to start getting the seed starting paraphernalia ready for starting this coming season's plants. In my pacific maritime window zone 5 most of the plants like tomatoes an peppers need to be planted from seed in March so that after 8 to 10 weeks they can be set out in the garden around mid to late May.

But others, like leeks and onions, that require 100to 140 days to mature from seed can be started in January and set out in the garden before the last frost date. There are several other cool weather vegetable plants, such as cabbage, collards, brussel sprouts, lettuce, etc, that can also be set out before the last frost date if they are hardened off properly.

Seed starter soil combination - Peat Moss, Vermiculite, Perlite

"Garden soil is not a good choice, as it compacts too easily and can harbor organisms that cause diseases. A commercially prepared seed starting mix, usually a combination of peat moss, vermiculite and perlite, is recommended. Avoid mixes that have a high fertilizer content, as this causes more problems than good. Commonly used and recommended mixes are Jiffy Mix, ProMix, MetroMix and Fafard. Manyother brands, or even homemade mixes, can be used."

Try using coir bricks for startind seeds. Many gardeners have had good success using coir for seed starting, which is the coconut fiber found between the husk and theouter shell of the coconut. While using peat pellets and seed starter mixes works just fine, nothing wrong with trying something new to see if it works better. A coir brick expands to several quarts of fiber and holds up to 9 times it's own weight in water.


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