Wow! I didn’t realize how long it has been since I had produced a podcast or blog post.
But in my defense, Fall/Winter of 2013, & early 2014 were difficult times.
First my younger brother-in-law passed away unexpectedly and really hit the family hard. Following this, we had some terrible wildfires that even took out some of my raised beds. Then, as we moved into Autumn, around Thanksgiving I came down with that terrible cold/flu that was going around. One day I would think I was getting better, and the next thing I knew I was down again. This continued past Christmas 2013 through Early January 2014.
I do want to put that year behind me.
But I really don’t want this to become a pity party, just an explanation. Part of the wake up call was that life is short and we need to visit places we haven’t seen, see relatives we havent seen in a long time, etc. As a result of this and the intense drought here, we intend to be on the road quite a bit this summer and not have a garden at home.
I am also in “retirement” so covering all the expenses of a podcast at times has been becoming somewhat overwhelming.
Much of the country is still in the throes of one of the toughest winters on record. My daughter in Minnesota has kept me informed of how rough it was there this winter, so I can pretty well picture the rest of you too.
But rest assured, it will soon be melting and we will all be thinking of what to plant, how to plant it, and when to get started.
So this makes it a perfect time to decide if you want to start your own seeds for planting later on. By doing so, you can choose plants you may not find in your local garden center. To me, that is a big advantage.
If you haven’t started your own plants before, you should build your own seed starting rack. If your needs are small you can still do so in your windowsill. Window sills are especially good for herbs which you can doo all winter in fact.
Racks can be as simple as wood legs with shelves, or you can buy metal shelving at Discounters like Costco, Sams Club, etc.
On the underside of each shelf, hang a inexpensive fluorescent shop light. I used some small length of chain I picked up at Home Depot.
Some people get picky about getting day time temperature lamps for them, but in my experience, I haven’t found it makes much difference for this purchase.
Run the shop lights into a timer so you can have the lights automatically turn themselves on and off. Leave them on for about 12-18 hours per day.
If you want to get an early start with tomatoes and hot peppers, you can get seed mats to keep it all warm and toasty. It’s simply a rubber matted heating pad you place under the seed starts, Optionally, you can even get them with a thermostat.
The next question you may have is when to start your seeds. Clyde Majerus makes an outstanding ( and inexpensive) cardboard slide rule that helps you calculate when to plant, what to plant, and when to expect a harvest. I can’t recommend it more.
But rather than be tell you more about it, take a look at it on his website where he even has a video. Clyde’s Website.
Chart is actually white, his photo color is off.