Friday, February 13, 2009

Sowin' in Snow


Here it is the 2nd week in February, the snow is flying and the seed sowing season has begun. For the past couple of days I've been cleaning up the sunroom and getting it reset for it's spring role as a greenhouse. I'm totally spoiled by having it actually attached to the house, so I don't have to set one foot outside to check on all the vegetable starts, until the move out the the high tunnel to harden off. Eventually the sunroom will be crammed with green growing things literally from floor to ceiling (and enough grow lights to land a small plane), but for now we start one crop at a time. The alliums, or onion family seeds are always the first on the list so this morning, I dug out six varieties of seed from the seed box and made sure I had seedling labels for all of them.

Then the fun begins...dampen organic potting mix (20 qts at a time), fill each flat with said potting mix, mist potting mix in flat, place label in flat, sow seeds (4 per cell), mist seeded flat, cover seeds with more damp potting mix, and then soak the whole flat again, top with dome cover and place on heat mat until seedlings appear.

By the time I'm finished I will have 20 flats of various allium crops stacked up on the heat mats, headed toward germination.

So what exactly is in all those flats of onion-y goodness?
Onions: Copra, Ailsa Craig, Gold Coin Cipollini
Leeks: King Richard
Shallots: Bonilla & Prisma

All together, that's about 5700 individual plants that will all be transplanted intot he gardens later this spring, but we try nott o think too much about that now.
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