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Ozark Lady
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I learned a secret today, with the phone call, we were chatting about starting seedlings, and he takes a tray, lines it with newspaper, wets the newspaper, then takes another tray and puts the inserts in it, in order to keep the humidity high.

I was going to fire up the humidifiers, so that trick will help...

I bought lights, and tags yesterday, so I am ready to put lights on my little 24" shelves, but they only hold one tray at a time.

I think I need to back up and look at this, one tree at a time, and not see the whole forest!

I transplanted little tomatoes today, they are barely starting to get true leaves. I like to do it while the roots are small and not so tangled up.

Are tomatoes tougher than cole crops? I broke or severely bent 1/3 of the cole crops... and not one tomato.

The tomatoes were only on the dining room table facing a north window, no lights on them at all. The cole crops had lights, but still got leggy.

Okay, which is easier, to raise the seedlings to the light, or lower the lights to the seedlings? I thought maybe dog chains and cup hooks for the lowering mechanism on the lights. And various shelf heights are another idea... Just move the tray to a taller shelf... which would be easier?
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Are the newspapers in the drip tray with the cell trays on top? Or is he keeping wet newspaper-lined trays around?
Okay, which is easier, to raise the seedlings to the light, or lower the lights to the seedlings? I thought maybe dog chains and cup hooks for the lowering mechanism on the lights. And various shelf heights are another idea... Just move the tray to a taller shelf... which would be easier?
Both. Also adjustable shelves. :wink:

I use everything from aluminum covered boxes, extra trays, bucket lids, to dowel sticks, to raise the seedlings up... even Lego pieces for leveling. After raising and leveling the tops of the seedlings for a while, I have to redo the whole thing because then I start to have everything EVENLY higher than they need to be.

Usually it doesn't hit me until I run out of head space for some taller seedlings, and realize that if I put these guys on the bare surface, it would fit but then I'd need to lower the light a bit, but REALLY I *don't* need that extra box under everybody else anyway. :roll: ... get me?

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OL as Apple said, both.

Here (down near the bottom of the page)

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21904&start=60

I posted a picture of some tomato seedlings sitting with their tray on top of an upside down tray to get them closer to the light. Later I was able to move some of the taller plants to the top shelf and take the extra trays out and lower the lights. The shop light fixtures come with chains, which are hung from S hooks, so they can be easily moved up and down.

So the shuffle goes in and out and up and down !

It seems like for the newspaper thing to work, you'd have to have two different size trays...Once you line the tray with newspaper (unless maybe it's a very THIN layer) the next tray won't fit inside it any more?

SageHermit post away! Interested to see how you manage to start seedlings without any supplemental light!

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So the shuffle goes in and out and up and down !
THAT'S the other song! :() I posted in [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=116224#116224]this[/url] thread, that "DO THE SHUFFLE!" starts repeating in my head, often alternating with some childhood memory of playing musical chairs around this time of the year as I do the endless seedling jigsaw puzzle to even out the tops of their foliage. I don't know the rest of the song but, "Up down, and all around, la la la la, la, la la la la." is another accompaniment. :lol:

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Ozark Lady
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Since, my germinating needs just grew quickly, I am considering...
I have a heated lap pad... it is like half the size of a twin bed blanket.
What if... I cover it with heavy plastic on a counter top.
Then set trays on it and turn it on, it has high, medium and low settings.

I don't get the tray thing either, unless, maybe they are drip trays with holes in them?

I ordered 10 solid trays and 10 that will drip freely... so maybe we are thinking solid and he has ones with holes?

If they have drainage holes, the paper would hold them damp longer...

And all the trays do stack up, I got 20 trays and 30 sheets of inserts in one box, all nested into sets.

I drowned alot of seedlings with solid drip trays last year with the rains.
I had plants outside, and went to town, before I could get home and rescue them... they were swimming for their lives, and they did not survive, even though I dumped them immediately... So I figured, solid for inside and the drip ones for outside. I would rather soak them at will, than have them drown again.
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Ozark Lady
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Okay, I can calm down... whew!

He must have meant enough trays to start 300 plants. It was about 30 trays, not 300!

Cool, still alot to add to my home starting... but not a commercial, huge scary thing!

Whew!

I do still get cabinets, lights and greenhouse, but it is more do-able for a rookie now!

I already had 30 trays plus last years re-runs, so not a huge increase. I will still be busy, but not insane...
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You were scaring me, OL... :lol:

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Now you are in the range of what I do, I have 17 trays planted already (plus most of another trays worth that was planted and is now in the ground, freeing up the pots for re use) and plenty more to come. Still haven't even started the squash and warm weather stuff. I will be pretty close to 30 trays before I'm done.

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Good luck OL I'm getting up there with RBG as well. I have so much going right now. there is stuff stacked on top of other stuff so they can all get light. Than there are the other bigger pots and plants scattered about the house. I think my wife is waiting for spring more than me so we can get all my plants out of the house. :lol:

Did you say you have a greenhouse OL? If not that would be a wonderful thing growing that much.

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No greenhouse, but, my hubby says that a hoop house is going up this weekend, and cold frames are going in before fall to extend the season.

I got him onboard! yeah!
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Money talks, eh, OL?

Nice work...

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Yes, and it helps that the loggers are here this week... getting the trees that are really big, out of my future garden. And the loggers agree the soil is great there, and it is nice and flat... Yeah.. no erosion issues, well, less than on my hillside.

I am going to get paid to get rid of a problem, that was too big for us to tackle, much better than paying someone to remove them.

They have already taken out two complete loads of logs, just from my future garden! What a mess it is at this moment.

But, to remove the trees it would be a mess, no matter who did it.
At least, I only have the small ones, tops, roots etc to deal with!
And will be getting a check, Thursday.

Yes, money talks and turns things around!

Oh and the loggers said they can wench the tree that is over my barn, and miss the barn! Yeah, the barn will survive!

Now for the Black Walnut that is in my present garden! :evil: It has to Go!


So, clear my garden, get firewood for next year, and make some money... why not get a hoop house?

On a roll! Now if Gixx would haul me some of that compost... :lol:
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Your getting paid, come on up and get some. They deliver, it's really great stuff. Of course I could deliver but my truck get bad gas mileage.:cry:


How many trees are you getting rid of? And who's gonna sequester all that carbon now? :cry:

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Gixx is worried about carbon sequestration? How about [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22161&highlight=till]your decision to continue tilling[/url]?

[url=https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11951725]Tilling is a huge carbon release[/url]. So if we can get OL to go organic no till, she will be sequestering a huge amount of carbon. We ALL can...

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I am already organic, and don't own a tiller or use one.

I had to look up the carbon thing, and still not sure what we are discussing.

Let's get into perspective here:
I have 20 acres, 18 of it is so wooded, that the trees are not really able to grow that well. The areas that we have already cleared to make pasture, and grow grass, have doubled the tree girths, and new baby trees are always growing.

There is so many trees down, that if a fire ever hit, it would go up like a tinder box! We simply have to:
A. Get the dead and dying timbers out of there.
B. Clear up the undergrowth, that too would feed fires.
C. Clear enough to give the trees enough room to grow.
(It is like when you overcrowd your garden... nothing does well)
D. We plan to totally clear an area of about 100'x200', and use this area as a garden... a year-round garden. Now the area that will have the huge, only the huge trees removed is 200x1200' long, and it will still have trees that are smaller in girth than 12" diameters. With the big ones gone, not shading the smaller ones, they will grow like crazy! If you thin a pot of seedlings, are you decreasing their oxygen making? No, because the survivor will quickly make up the difference... Same thing, just bigger plants.
E. When this is done, and we get the brush all cut up and removed, it will be kind of like a city park, not a bare thing... only the garden will be opened up to get sunshine. We have had neighbors who dozed everything, and scarred the land badly, and erosion was horrible... This is not what we are doing. We are opening it up to light, and room to grow!
And making money at the same time.

Gixx if you put your arms out straight and walk, you cannot walk through these trees... you would hit other trees! The trees will now be spaced so that some sunlight will be able to get through the canopy to the next generation of trees, and not keep smothering them out.

It is harvest, to let the small, and standing ones grow.
I am happy we aren't having to pay someone to do it...
And we are not having to rent a dozer and just pile them up!
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The Helpful Gardener wrote:Gixx is worried about carbon sequestration? How about [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22161&highlight=till]your decision to continue tilling[/url]?

[url=https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11951725]Tilling is a huge carbon release[/url]. So if we can get OL to go organic no till, she will be sequestering a huge amount of carbon. We ALL can...

HG
From that thread
redid my bed yesterday some of you will be happy to know I didn't till it.
I did rake it up a bit to break up the horse cookies and mix in that layer with the grass and leave layer. Than I added a bunch of compost than mixed it together a bit than added another layer of compost on top of that. Now for some tea making I save a pile of compost just for that.
However I did till up a new bed but that will be it. So give and take it seems. :P

So i guess next you will tell I am wrong for raking it right?

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I"m sorry OL I didn't mean to be rude. I figured there was a good reason. I was out of context and I apologize to you OL. :cry: :oops:

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I didn't take it that you were rude. I don't understand the carbon reference, over my head there. I do understand that plants help our environment, and my trees are a needed resource.

But, I just thought that I hadn't explained myself. There is a huge difference in thinning a forest and in scalping one. You didn't know, what I was referring to. I hope that I didn't sound angry, because I wasn't.

I searched for photos of the rain forest, that I have. It is so overcrowded, over grown.. messy. It really, truly needs this.
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Leaving those roots in the ground and simply building beds over them leaves the most carbon intense part of the tree, the roots in the soil. If we go no till in these new beds, the carbon in the soil stays in the soil. If you look at the article I attached, you quickly see that tilling is the big carbon release in soil, not lack of trees. And trees, while being higher in carbon than people or veg, are not all the same. Deciduous leaves are nearly the same C:N as people in some cases (softwoods), twigs are a little more carbon, branchwood some more, logs higher yet, and roots being the most carboniferous.

Leaving roots to rot in the ground adds humus, which is carbon in the soil. Till and you lose it as it gasses off CO2 from increased biological exhalations, and ammonia from decomposing fungii (that you killed with the tilling) is dumping off nitrogen. SO if we are most interested in keeping carbon (and nitrogen) and I think we are, cutting a few trees isn't as big a deal as tilling...

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I would say, till the soil, if that method fits best with one's comfort level. Get the soil loose and ready as a bed. Then shift to a no till or minimal till plan. IMO there are lots of tools available to the gardener and there is nothing inherently evil with any of them. The tools should be used in a balanced sort of way, with the harsher ones being used more sparingly and the more friendly tools taking the dominant role.

There is no compelling reason, in my mind, to make a new gardener feel guilty for tilling a fresh patch of ground. Explaining the benefits of no till is a service. Presenting the information in such a way that implies totally superiority IMO is counter productive. A gardener needs to educate himself/herself and then incorporate what is learned into his/her individual style. Hopefully that style evolves over time, and the sense of making more earth friendly choices, becomes the most obvious direction.

Each gardener's site and plant selections, as well as the gardener himself/herself, create a unique situation. A blend of various techniques, some more earth friendly, some less so, will best match the needs of the individual and the needs of the land. Any somewhat balanced approach to vegetable gardening will most certainly be far superior to the alternative, buying all produce from normal retail sources. After all, those crops were generally grown using all of the worst methods for production, with almost no sustainable component. Anyway, I think that it is very important to educate and encourage, without seeming to criticize the methods of fellow gardeners.
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Thank you for that reasoned post Alex. I agree...

I also think that there is little reason to guilt those who would cut down some trees in a responsible fashion to create a garden area, especially if no other recourse is available to them. I brought up the tilling issue not to particularly lambast Gixx or decry tilling entirely (although my new bed this year will completely no-till), but to demonstrate how we can bring ideas and memes to gardening or conservation that we are sure are good ideas, even necessary, but in reality they are neither. And in the contrary view, some things that seem onerous or ill advised can be beneficial.

So if Gixx tills once and starts putting things back to right from there, it is not a big deal and may be beneficial, but I can make an argument about how harmful it is, and I am correct to a point. Much the same argument can be made for OL's tree cutting, but it depends on how she handles things afterward just as much or more than any initial damage done.

Gixx's concern is not completely misplaced, but I wanted to make the point about our assumptions not always being as clear cut as they seem. I can see my devil's advocate position has touched a number of nerves; if it engenders further thought about your garden practices then I consider it successful. Before you judge others gardening practices, look first to the log in your own eye....

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indoor nursery ^^

[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/kkkkk007.jpg[/img] Thom-san

:o [img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba031.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba032.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba035.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba036.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba034.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba033.jpg[/img]

Side Note: Last night I went through my spices in search of any I had for making tea. Instead I sorted all the spices into what could possibly grow in my nursery.
Red Pepper,White/Black Peppercorn,Black Sesame Seed, Coriander Seed, Poppy Seed,Flack Seed, Fennel Seed, Fenugreek, Green Cardamon,Yellow Mustard Seed, Whole Cloves, Capers.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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What a neat idea!

I went through my dried peas and beans and got some out to try to grow.. just out of curiosity, but I didn't even think of all the whole spices!
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When I go to the store I see the spice isle differantly now. Its cheap seeds. bird seeds too you can get tons of sunflowers for super cheap or any plants birds eat the seeds from you can grow yourself
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Do the sunflower trick myself sage 8)

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update 3-16

A month later, all the snow and icicles are gone and here's how the seed starting operation is looking now:

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/seedlings3-16.jpg[/img]

If you compare the top right shelf to previous pictures, you will see that a couple of 2' lights have been replaced by 2 more 4' shop lights. When I first built this it was one 6' shelf. Then I added the second shelf. Then I decided it could be 8' long, added one more base cabinet and a longer counter top. This year I turned the second shelf from 6' to 8'. Now it is DONE! NO MORE!

So this is 8 trays on the bottom and 7 on top, so it is nearly full and yet lots more plants to come.... :? The two trays on the blue heat pads are still full of teeny babies that haven't been potted up yet.

And I have 3 trays of stuff sitting on my deck hardening off and two more trays (cabbages and broccoli) planted in the ground and the excess sold off... The next month gets pretty crazy, but once a lot more things can go in the ground it calms down again.

Here's a couple close ups:

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/coleus3-16.jpg[/img]

coleus (woman does not live by veggies alone! :))

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/green_pepper3-16.jpg[/img]

green pepper
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That's a gnarly great coleus leaf; a Kong cultivar perhaps?

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Beautiful plants.
I, myself, am wondering, where is the line... when do you know that enough is simply enough?
I bet you add more area, next year!
I am so jealous of your peppers, but hey, at least mine are germinating. In the same cup, I have some that are fairly tall, some just lifting the seeds up, and a few with just the root starting!
Oh my, I just spotted a pepper that is starting a leaf, that was not there earlier.
Uh, did I mention my shelf is right beside the computer so I look at them as I type?
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HG Don't know, re the coleus. It's a seed mix Jung seeds puts out called Exhibition mix. The seedlings come out with all different variegations including some that are just a pure deep wine color with no spots.
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Looking very good Rainbow. I though i had an overload but have gone plum crazy. I love it. :lol:

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These little guys are going uppotting today, and separating. They just really shifted into high gear!

[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/000_0039.jpg[/img]

And this shows how very tiny tobacco seedlings are:

[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/000_0031.jpg[/img]
Even the tobacco has to be uppotted very soon, as tiny as they are, it is difficult to get those little guys.
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lessons learned --there is such a thing as too much cinnamon

Lessons learned so far this year:

Yes, there is such a thing as too much cinnamon. Took me a little while to figure it out. My basil started getting some whitish patches on its leaves. Only after it kept developing and the leaves were curling a bit, did I realize, it looks burned... in fact it looks like last year when the leaves got a burned by having cinnamon sprinkled directly on them. Apparently, they can get "burned" from the inside as well. This year the cinnamon is only in the water and the water is only in the tray, not on the leaves.

Basil is apparently sensitive to the cinnamon, because it is only the basil and the green basil more than the red. But I backed off on the cinnamon (didn't take the old stuff out of the pitcher, just quit adding any new) and the basil is doing better. No fungus gnats have appeared to date, so apparently I was just over doing it a bit.

Other lessons: Tomatoes do NOT do well with just window light! My set up was getting crowded, so I moved the tomatoes in front of a window with a 5 lamp gooseneck lamp on them. Even with the lamp, they immediately went leggy, shot up inches over night. Not a good thing. I wasn't on top of it, took some days to figure out what to up pot them into. I ended up using 16 oz drink cups. Burying them deeper in the cups helped, but one of them got broken in the process and they are still a little top heavy and tending to lean over. I think I can bring them out for some sun today and that will help. When they go in the ground, they can get buried deeper again and should be ok. But I should have left the tomatoes where they were and put the impatiens, and other stuff in front of the window!

Spring comes fast... I'm already feeling behind the 8 ball in getting things out and hardening off. I never got my mini-greenhouse made. (Went to look for my shelving unit, and discovered that when we had some work done last fall, our handyman friend had helpfully hung it inside the garden shed, very securely screwed to the vertical posts!). Now I'm debating whether I even still need it. But all the stuff indoors has missed out on a lot of nice sunny days.... Be prepared!
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I hear ya! :wink:
Spring comes fast... I'm already feeling behind the 8 ball in getting things out and hardening off.

I'm feeling that too. But you know what? Thanks to you and others on the forum, I started earlier than last year, and have been *planning* to DO things two weeks earlier, with the result that 1 week slippage is basically putting me in the realistically (weatherwise) better time slot. 8)
But I should have left the tomatoes where they were and put the impatiens, and other stuff in front of the window!
Now *this* is interesting. Right! Impatiens are shade loving plants. :idea: A point to remember when growing our seedlings as well when arranging them under the lights and finding spare locations when realestate under the lights become scarece.

I *have* noted that a lot of fruit tree seedlings seem to do OK just in the window sill (SSE exposure) and had speculated that they typically grow in the shade of the mother tree....

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Good to know on the cinnamon, I'm sorry that the info came at the expense of you. I haven't been using the cinnamon but I have been putting chamomile tea in my watering containers. The gnat I had are slowly dwindling not too many any more.

I wouldn't worry too much about being behind we are probably way ahead of most people. :lol: There is a lot to do that is for sure, I have been trying to finish getting my beds ready and a rabbit fence up for some time that is done now. Still A lot to do build trellis, hang bird houses, get tomato cages cut etc. I have been planting about that time to start bringing my maters out for some sun as well.

It will all fall into place though never fear, heck it's not even April yet.

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Not a major expense, the basil are just blemished, not killed. It was good learning though. Just figuring all this stuff out as we go along. This is the first year I did the cinnamon/chamomile water, had no idea how much was enough/ too much.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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rainbowgardener
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Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

it's winding down

I'm on the downhill side of the indoor seed starting! Yesterday I planted zucchini and delicata squash seeds. Nothing else will get planted indoors now! Today I washed, dried and put away 20 of the blocks of 9 little seed starting cells. Even when the squash sprout, they are so fast growing they can go directly into pots (as opposed to being spread out 1/ cell first). So everything is getting potted up now and as the cells get emptied, I'm done with them.

Moving more stuff out... I've got 5 trays of plants on the deck, 3 more waiting to go out when it warms up a little more today, 3 trays in front of living room window, stuff planted already, stuff I've sold off already, and still there's about 300 plants under the lights!

Every year I say this year I'm going plant fewer seeds and some how it never quite works out that way.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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applestar
Mod
Posts: 27657
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Wish I could say the same -- it's officially 35ºF outside right now... :( Maybe a little warmer in the sun... maybe.

I have tomatoes to uppot and no room under the lights. I've rigged a clamp on light and a small space on the bench next to the Contender and the peps. But the sw pepper seedlings are starting with their true leaves! :shock: Cotton and tropical milkweed seedlings are jostling for space in my small indoor Grow Light Area. :roll:

It's going to be close. I've set up the 3 WOW wannabes (2 I realized, are UNDER the Contender and the peps, protecting the window bench, and 1 is lost somewhere :roll:) and "will 6 tomato cage and water-filled 2L bottles covered with plastic work?" spots to warm up the soil. I'll go get more WOWs for the actual planting and, hopefully, some of the toms can be moved out. But I have to remember last year's April Fool barely survived.... (but he wasn't protected in WOW)

I spotted an old shoplight fixture stored away in the back of the garden shed. I may have to dig my way back there to unearth it and hang it up somewhere.... :roll:

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Ozark Lady
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Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

I am about a month ahead of schedule. I wanted to try starting some things alot early, and have larger plants at planting time.

But, I still find that I am stressing, to get them ALL started. And I just plain don't have the room for ALL of them. And I am not even attempting things like squash, melons, cukes, or others that can direct sown.

Every direction that I look, something needs uppotting. And, gee even with uppotting, before I get the first transplant done on everything, some are wanting a second pot! Tiny little plants, with roots hanging out the bottoms!

And that being said, I am going outside to find a good location for a homemade greenhouse. The unheated mobile just isn't doing what I hoped. First, I am having difficulty finding T-12 light fixtures. Seems that locally they are all switching to T-8 which is smaller and the bulbs are high dollar in comparison. For the price of these, I can easily make a sheltered location outside and use direct sunlight.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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gixxerific
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Downhill is good RBG I'm in the same boat. BUT..... I keep putting more tranplants out yet I still don't have room, everything that is still there keeps growing in pot size so it is a vicouis circle. So what do I do start more seeds, ahh the circle continues but is getting larger. :lol:

A few more weeks and it will be all good. I may even pull an Apple and get some tom's out there early, just to save room. I pulled a cluster of flowers, one bloomed, off of a tom yesterday. this morning I noticed about half of my tomatoes have flower clusters. Let's go warm weather.

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mtmickey
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Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:18 am
Location: Ronan, MT

Amazing

Wow, this thread has answered so many questions for me and given me some fabulous ideas. I started flower seeds last week and today started veggies. I realize I am way behind all of you, but a month ahead of myself compared to last year. I really wish I had a greenhouse, but think I can do some similar setups to what I see here. Thanks for the pics and info. :lol:

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