The First Seed Starting of 2020 – March 4, 2020 @goldenoakfarm

Sunrise crop March 2020.jpg
The sunrise as I left for the gym Wednesday morning

Wednesday was going to be a busy day, starting with my first day back at the gym. I saw the glow of morning through the plastic on the window in the addition, and realized I would probably miss the Spring Equinox coming through the house for the first time in over 35 years. But that’s ok, because I got an extra last autumn when the Fall Equinox came through the window for the first time in 25 years.

1st seed starting - sorting and innoculating crop March 2020.jpg

Tuesday night I had located all my information on this starting. Wednesday morning I got out my box of seeds from the fridge and set about inoculating the new seed with mycorrhizal and bacterial organisms. These help establish a colony in each pot. Then I sorted the seeds by type (vegetable, herb, flower) and then again into their bags for each starting date (1st and 15th of each month, February through May).

I hadn’t finished when my intern arrived but we went upstairs to finish the light support set-up started last Thursday. We had to use one of my old T12 4-bulb units as one of the T5 units had failed. So it took us a lot longer to finish this job than planned. But in the end, after too many trips up and down 2 flights of stairs, the mats were in place, the bases leveled, and the lights at the right height.

1st seed starting - first 4 trays done crop March 2020.jpg
The first 3 onion trays ready to go upstairs under lights

We sat down for a cup of tea and wrote out markers for the trays. I was starting:

• Onions
Cortland Storage (336)
Dakota Tears (21)

• Kale
Lacinato (12)
Vates (12)

• Mesclun (7)

• Heliotrope (6)

• White rose (6)

Totals: 400 seedlings, 36 3” peat pots, 126 4” peat pots and 11 trays and covers

Before I make more changes to what I’m starting, this is the rest of the plant list:

• Walla Walla Sweet onions (550)
• Phacelia (9)
• Costmary/Bible plant (6)
• Lady’s Mantle (6)
• Parsley (9)
• Canterbury Bells (9)
• Yarrow (12)
• Broccoli (6)
• Mesclun, 2nd start (6)
• Artichokes (6)
• Mignonette
• Love in a Mist
• Basil (9)
• Calendula (15)
• Chamomile (18)
• Thyme (24)
• Feverfew (6)
• Pennyroyal (3)
• Plantain (9)
• Baptista (6)
• Snapdragons (9)
• Balsam (6)
• Ashwagandha (9)
• Hyssop, Root Beer (3)
• Yellow Toothache plant (6)
• Melons (3)
• Mesclun, 3rd start (6)
• Peppers (3)
• Tomatoes:

Eating (3)
Sauce (6)
Cherry (3)

• Marigolds (18)
• Borage (9)
• Canary creeper
• Alyssum
• Lobelia
• Pickling cukes (6)
• Summer squash (3)
• Zucchini (3)
• Kabocha squash (3)

Totals: 1208 seedlings, 336 4” pots, 268 3” pots, 40 trays, and 10+ 40 lb bags of seed starting medium

I always start several extra of each plant, just in case. These I will sell or give away once I’ve planted and the plants are established. There are far fewer seedlings this year because I simply don’t have space due to construction.

1st seed starting - Arrissa planting1 crop March 2020.jpg
My intern planting onions

We got the onions finished just after noon and had lunch. We had the 2 trays of kale, heliotrope, and roses to do once we finished eating.

1st seed starting - onions started crop March 2020.jpg

These are all the storage onions. They are on the new temperature controlled mats and have the 2 working T5 lights.

1st seed starting - kale started crop March 2020.jpg

The Dakota Tears onions, mesclun and 2 kale trays were here. Their mats were not temperature controlled and are shut off at night. They got the old T12 light unit. In the back ground are the pots of ginger on their temp controlled mat and with a T5 light.

1st seed starting - QC inspector crop March 2020.jpg

My QC inspector checking mat temperatures….

It was a long hard day as I went to PT in the afternoon and came home sore. A stint on the couch with the heat mat helped some before bed.

Thursday I hope to finish the estimating and my helper friend will be out in the Big garden, doing more clearing.

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$trdo

That's beyond epic :) You're too organized! I guess that's a great help in life, but even I (I consider myself a relatively tidy person) am a bit bothered by that :D

A few quick questions. Why start in trays stuff like parsley, basil, yarrow, plantain, etc? Can't you just sprinkle the seeds around in a bed and that's it? And yarrow, plantain - they don't grow over there as weeds so you have to grow them from seed?

Many of the flowers like Marigolds, Calendula, etc - don't they self-seed in your garden?

And finally, 3 peppers and 12 tomatoes? That's probably a mistake, right? You forgot a zero in the tomatoes and 2 zeroes in the peppers? :D

I have chronic Lyme disease and it's trashed my memory. This is how I remember things. it's a coping mechanism.

We are very sandy loam here. My husband sort of jokes that we have a 22 minute window between mud and dust. As a result, there's not enough consistent moisture for things to germinate.

And while some of these things do grow wild here, you'd be surprised at how little germinates from things I let go to seed.

I am not supposed to eat nightshades, so I don't grow a lot of them. :))

But mostly, it's because the gardens are only going to be at 1/3 size this year. Next year I should be back to full production.

I see, it makes sense and I'm glad you've found a system to make all work!

Re: your soil, it reminded me of my long gone grandfather. On a given morning when rain was pouring, he would dress up and go take the bus to his garden, 30 I'm away.

Why would you go out in the rain, I asked so many times? It may rain now, but I still have to water in the evening, he would reply with a smile!

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