Seed Starting and Basement Gardening

Reader Contribution by Nebraska Dave
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February brought some much needed snow. Most folks here were not pleased to have the 8 inches of snow and then 4 more three days later. I always welcome snow. It is the most nitrogen rich moisture on the planet. The week before the snow, the temperatures were up in the high 40s and middle 50s for several days. It wasn’t exactly a spring thaw (those that grew up on the farm know what I mean) but the top layer of soil was thawed out.

The snow began melting with above freezing temperatures almost immediately after the the snow quit. It was the best of conditions as the moisture soaked into the ground instead of having a massive run off. Totally the best way for a melt to happen. I think we are probably still behind in total moisture for this year but the effective way this snow melted could make it better for spring.

As I write this today, there are only 88 days until the frost-free spring planting begins. I’m not believing it this year and will have many backup plans in place. One is a new growing idea that I talked about in the last post.

This is half of the eight buckets that are now ready for planting. Unfortunately my thoughts of growing greens for winter salads didn’t materialize due to life happening with friends and family.

This year, it seems, that health issues have hit many of the friends I know, neighbors who live in my area, and family. My task so far this year has been to make sure they get to their doctor appointments, run errands, and take them grocery shopping. I’m glad to be able to help others with things they need done.

So lids have been put on the buckets to keep them from drying out while they wait for their plants. These buckets are destined to have four tomato plants and four green pepper plants. I’ll actually plant more at Terra Nova Gardens but these will be the table fresh produce plants that can be brought inside at a moment’s notice.

The potting mix went into the fiber square pots and set in plastic trays. My method of watering is to let the fiber pots wick the water up through the growing medium through the bottom. The pots are about 4 inches deep just come up to the top of the tray they set in. About an inch of water is maintained on the bottom of the tray which will allow the water to wick up through the potting mix. It keeps every thing well watered with just the right amount without disturbing the plants.

These are the onions that have just been transplanted. They were planted about one week ago and are doing tremendously well for year-old seed.The articles that I’ve read say to use the freshest seed possible because onion seed germination goes down drastically after the first year. I haven’t found that to be the case but then I buy good seed for onions. This week the cabbages will be started. I call them my little shamrocks. By St. Patrick’s day they will look like little green shamrocks.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. As for me, it’s just another day now that I’m single. There’s a certain freedom in not having to find just the right gift that has to out do last year. I never was very good at that. But for those who have that special someone out there, I hope it was the best gift day ever.

Until the next time. May every single seed you plant grow to an abundance of harvest. May the pests get indigestion from your plants and any form of disease or fungus spore die when it crosses your property line. Leave a comment about any gardening you are doing this time of the year.

Nebraska Dave
Urban Farmer
Omaha, Nebraska

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