In the meantime we’re getting ready for the growing season and counting our blessings as we keep in mind those who have been affected by the horrific earthquake/tsunami in Japan. Speaking of this, click HERE for info helpful to those wanting to help the 4-legged victims.
I’ve been starting seeds for my garden already, which has the triple benefit of getting a jump on the growing year, saving money on buying started plants, and keeping me from going stir crazy. I recently attended a gardening workshop led by the dynamic father/daughter team Ron and Jennifer Kujawski and got some great new ideas. They have a new exceedingly practical book that I am loving – click on the picture for more info.
Inspired by their words and lacking a sunroom or even good south-facing window I decided to invest in some additional lighting for my little seedlings. A quick search online and in the local garden store showed that unless I was willing to shell out $100 or more for lights and a stand I was going to have to get creative. Luckily I found some handy websites that helped me do just that.
Marion Owen has a great 1 page resource for seed starting in general at http://www.plantea.com/seedstart.htm#raise – she confirmed the idea that a plain old $15 shop light will be completely suitable and that seedlings like a whopping 14-16 hours of light per day.
Cornell University’s Extension added another helpful piece of the lighting puzzle with complete plans for a cheap, easy to build PVC light stand at the following page: http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/factsheets/growlite/index.html
One afternoon visit to the hardware store, about $30, half an hour of work (with a little help from the husband) and my lighting stand is complete!
These are my cold weather crops – Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, and Lettuce. I didn’t get them under the lights quite as early as I would have liked so they are a bit leggy, but I’m hoping I can correct this when I transplant the sprouts into individual pots. The clementine box is an ideas from the Kujawski book.
Happy almost spring – next task is pruning the apple trees!