Okay, BIG news! I have published my first gardening book, "Growing Food: A Guide for Beginners"! WOO HOO! I have uploaded it to Kindle and it should be available there in a couple of days. The print version will be ready to go in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for the exact date...And, I have started a companion blog, Growing Food Guide because I have so much time on my hands. HA. Seriously, I started it with a specific focus on my book, instead of building a traditional website, which is what most authors do. Don't fret, you can still tune in to G2F for gardening witt and witticism.
For those of you who are starting seeds this year, you may be ready to "pot up" or transplant your seedlings to larger containers.Now, let me start by saying that up until this point, I have avoided potting up like the plague...opting instead to set out smaller plants or just starting everything in bigger containers in the beginning.
But since Liz and I are sharing the garden this year, I wanted to be sure that we had plenty of produce. This meant starting more seeds...and since I have a small greenhouse, I had to start them in smaller containers, pot up, then move out. Yes, it is like a well choreographed dance...hopefully resulting in plenty of organically grown vegetables over an extended harvest period.
I tried a new soil-less potting medium made by Jiffy. It is essentially made of compressed peat. I used their 70 count starting pack to get the little seeds going. Then transferred to a larger plantable pot for the remainder of the greenhouse period.
This is what the compressed peat looks like. The directions say to add them to the biodegradable peat pots, then add a half a cup of warm water. Wait until absorbed, then add another half of a cup.
Well, of course I didn't measure...which meant some were a bit soggy. Still, it worked pretty well.
Here's what the containers looked like when the medium had expanded. My only complaint was that there didn't seem to be enough of the mix to fill it closer to the top of the container. If I were transplanting larger seedlings, they might have displaced more of the peat. These guys didn't have a huge rootball, so I ended up with at least a half inch gap from the top of the container.
I do have some extra disks, so the next time I try this, I will definitely use more to get started. If you want to try using this product, I would suggest a couple of things. First, set up the disks so they have plenty of room to expand. Second, buy extra disks, just in case you need them. Third, this is messy...but really, all seed starting is messy. I only say that to suggest you don't do this project in your kitchen. Take the warm water in a pitcher and go outside if you don't have a greenhouse.
You can se they look just fine, but are a bit low on soil. I sincerely doubt the Blue Hubbard Squash will care one bit.
Also set out purple sprouting and tradtional green broccoli seedlings. I direct sewed more purple broccoli, Pak Choi and Early New Jersey Cabbage.
Whew! Between the book and the garden, I am beat...