Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Seedlings, Snaps & Massage, Oh My!

I started two trays of seedlings on Saturday, and Eureka! some of them are already germinating. I LOVE that. It's that magic thing again. Plus I think seeing evidence of real seedling after three days is evidence that the MacGyver greenhouse works. Well. . . I'll give it unconditional support for germination, but truthfully it could have a bit more light for growing on. It's an old sunroom in my parents' basement, but the glass roof always leaked so they finally put a solid roof on it, and now it's got two glass sides, a fourth side that's a solid wall, and the third side that opens into the basement. (Huh - funky numbering on my part.) It pretty much faces south, so it does get a good bit of sun, but only for things that are right-up-next to the window. This year I've gotten a bunch of utility shelves so I can stack trays up against the window. I could get some lights, but frankly that opens a whole new can of worms because I think I'd have to have some rewiring done to support them, so for now I'm sticking with the system. Anyway - back to the good germination - I use mini-blocks sitting on a capillary mat (which is really just an old moving blanket that I cut up), and cover it with black plastic for things that like to germinate in the dark, or clear plastic for things that like light. And this system works not only for tiny little flower seeds, but also bigger stuff like chard and tomatoes. Oh yeah - the most important thing - I also run a portable heater set at 70 degrees, and block the sunroom off from the rest of the basement with a couple of old blankets (yes, this is a high class operation. I'm waiting for Modern Gardener to come do a photo spread.) So then the trays of miniblocks go on the top shelf, up where it stays warmest, and voila! Seedlings.

I got my seed order today - and it included my Snapdragon seeds, which I really should have ordered earlier, but oh well at least I have them now. So I started a tray of snaps today - they can allegedly make it through a fairly light-ish frost if you use row cover (not that I got them started early enough last year to find out), so I'm hoping they get going rather quick-like. I also started 53 Lisianthus seeds. This is something of a farcical endeavor, since I haven't yet actually gotten any Lisianthus (which is notoriously finicky) to the field, but last year I did have some seedlings that might have actually made it if I hadn't gotten distracted and left them in their cell packs too long. So I'll be watching the Lisianthus with baited breath.

In non-farm news, I got my massage this morning and it was fabby. My legs felt great, and the massage guy said they actually felt pretty good (yay yoga!). So then I got home and realized that despite all of my attempts to convince myself otherwise, I'm catching a cold. Bummer. But I decided since it was just in my head and not in my chest I'd try to run, and slogged around 4 miles. Somewhat oddly that was actually about the best I've felt today, because at least my nose was working. Now I've turned into a confirmed mouth breather, and I think I'm about to call it a night.

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