Tuesday, March 25, 2014

First Cool Seeds are Planted

The black plastic sure did the job.  My soil warmed to just under 50 degrees a couple of days ago (March 23), so it was planting time. Hardy cool-season vegetables need soil temperatures of at least 45 degrees. I used two different thermometers (one was a gift) to check the soil.  One looks sort of like the old fashioned thermometer that my mom stuck under my tongue for what seemed like an hour when I was ten years old.  The other looks like a regular meat or chicken thermometer they sell at Bed Bath and Beyond. 

I gathered our favorite cool-season seeds from inside the house, along with supplies from my tool shed- trowel, my trusty homemade inch by inch measuring stick and watering can. Once my 50 spf hat was securely in place I was completely ready.  The photos show most of my planting steps and procedures.

Supplies on hand in box

Homemade inch seed measuring stick

I divided up this small raised bed in halves and quarters to accommodate different seeds which will become evident as they sprout. The bed was well watered after planting.  I covered it late in the day with 4-mil clear plastic over ½” electrical conduit tunnels to create tunnels. Metal brackets inside the raised bed keep the conduit in place. If you aren’t using raised beds, you can pound in re-bar posts and slip the conduit over the re-bar. This system works great for beds up to about 4 feet across.

I knew the weather was going to turn cold the next day and wanted to keep the seeds nice and frozen-free so they’ll germinate nicely. Normally I put a floating row cover over the seeds to keep them moist on warm days, which I still may do later in the week.  Check back often for more photos and updates if you wish.  

4-mil clear plastic over conduit

Metal bracket positioned outside raised beds, can be placed inside beds too

Folded the plastic back so the seeds can get some sun to germinate


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