Wednesday, April 3

Growing.....and Murder

I am very happy with my new seed starting set up. It is so much better than the two saw horses and large piece of plywood that I have been using for a seed table for the last few years.
I moved my seed starting things into the other basement room with a door that closes and an actual ceiling, not just beams and spider webs. I have also located the new chicks in this room so I can sow seeds to the sounds of peeping chicks. Somehow that just feels right.
This is the new seed set up.
I saw a similar idea in a gardening magazine and I liked how it does not take much floor space, but maximizes the growing space. I had 4 grow lights which I installed with some light weight chain and some S hooks to the undersides on the shelving, giving light to the shelf below. The shelf was only $24 at Lowes during their super sale a few months ago, and the additional two grow lights I purchased cost $14 each. Bulbs we $3 for two.
A friend of mine, who I have gotten started in home food production, bought two grow lights and asked if I would be willing to start seeds for her. She has limited space and time, and I had an empty shelf. So she came over, we installed the lights, and she started her tomatoes and peppers.

The broccoli is coming along nicely.
I started the broccoli and cauliflower on March 7th and they did not take long to sprout and really take off. If I can get them transplanted successfully and keep the woodchucks away from them, I may actually get something eatable this season.
The tomatoes, started on March 1st, are all looking good. I always plant 3 or 4 seeds in each pot section to insure that I will get at least one seedling sprout in each. Then comes the hard part - the thinning. I absolutely hate the thinning process. I started those tiny little seeds, watered them, gave them light to grow, and they sprouted into little plants. Little bits of hope that somehow seem like miracles.
But then I must kill them.
I get the scissors and scrutinize the two, three or four fuzzy little stems growing out of one section. I try to act like I am just inspecting the troops, "nothing going on, just checking things out....." But all the while I am planning the doom of the smaller shoots. I say "I'm sorry" and snip. And all the while, I can hear the voice of that horribly creepy creature from the Lord of the Rings movies - Gollum - when he is arguing with himself over the ring - "Murderer........" (Spoken in a sinister voice that seems so fitting when I am cutting the life short of so many seedlings).

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