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GYG-102 Seed Starting Racks and Gardening Podcasts


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.

‘Nuff’ said!

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.

Photo of Slide ChartThe 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.



{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Raul March 24, 2014, 2:54 pm

    Monsanto and potential federal over reach? Say it isn’t so…

    The states and people that dwell therein need to tell the feds exactly where they can stick their fascist legislation. We do not live in one blob called the American nation. The people of this Union live in their own separate and sovereign entities called states which have their own distinct culture, set of values, economies, and most importantly, their own form of [r]epublican forms of government. If the feds keep intruding upon each state’s sovereignty and of the individual liberties of the people within them then why bother with state and local governments? Tell the feds to stick it where the sun doth not shine. Better yet, we should just leave the Union which serves no useful purpose other than to continually tyrannize the good people of these United (for the moment) States and to spread its empire abroad. Secession is trending, after all. We see this evidence as far east as the Ukraine, Scotland, Catalonia and even the city of Venice. More locally, we see this trend rising in Colorado, Northern California, New York and yes, even in my beloved Texas. It is time to re-think the American Union in order to save true liberty. Don’t like the one size fits all approach of our increasingly centralizing authority called the federal government? Secede and all unlawful intrusions and usurpations of authority instantly become a thing of the past…Imagine that. No more USDA. Immediately upon exiting the Union.

    • Steve March 24, 2014, 8:52 pm

      Raul – You’re preaching to the choir man…. ( I really miss Texas, BTW). I am really upset about the way Monsanto and their allies spend millions to defeat any state that simple wants to let it’s constituents know whats in their food. The did it here in California, and more recently in Washington State. Sionce it’s costing them a lot of money fighting it in so many states, I think thats what’s motivating them to try and get the feds to block States Rights. Hmmm, if I remember my history right, that was a big part of the national “disagreement” back in the 1860’s.

      I completely agree with all that you say Raul, and it’s really hard to bite my tongue during the podcasts. I don’t want them to get political so I try and play the middle of the road – on the podcast.

      At home, I have my Gadsen Flog ( Don’t tread on Me) and I have become much more active politically than I ever have before – moastly due to whats been happening over the last several years.

      Keep it Growing!


  • roy March 17, 2014, 9:11 pm

    Hello Steve,
    I’m an eager listener of any gardening podcast I can find. I enjoy yours as you are in California although your a “Northern” where as I live in low-cal. Anyway just letting you know, if you do continue the podcast even though your not actively gardening. I will continue enjoying your work. If you desire to focusing on carrying on, spending time with family and loved one, it is honorable second to none. Thanks for the work already done

  • Mark March 16, 2014, 8:06 am

    I finally had a chance to listen to this episode while I was starting my pepper seeds. Sorry to hear how bad things have been for you and your family. It sounds like you’ve got your priorities straight so don’t worry about us. We love to hear from you, but don’t want you stressing over keeping up your podcasts. Take care and enjoy your travels and if you get near southern Wisconsin give a holler!

  • Dava Serbantes March 15, 2014, 4:22 am

    Six months I have diligently waited to hear another podcast! Have you no idea how much I have missed you!?!

    Oh, ahem, of course not! I am a lurker, a silent listener, one who cherishes your podcasts but never has interacted with you to let you know that. So now you have threatened my complacency into action! Please don’t go! Surely there are far more of us lurking, silent listeners out there!

    Now as to some of your comments , since I am here, and am in motion to actually communicate (who knows when that’ll ever happen again, lol), I would like to comment.

    1. I am so sorry to learn of your difficulties. It does take time to work through them. No worries, we’ll wait.

    2. Travel all yo want, but do podcast! We can all live vicariously through your journeys. Just think of it. . .you could describe the farmer’s markets as suggested above. You could interview the farmers selling, ask about their farms, about their choices of seeds, about their style of farming, ask to visit their farms. And so on and so on. How exciting would that be!

    3. Financial difficulties: Well, we’ve all been there at one time or another. I can totally relate. So, suggestion, open a PayPal account, place a tip jar on your blog page and mention it ionce each podcast. Let us donate what we want, as we will. Or, if you hate that, if you have any of your own saved seeds laying around? Pkg. them up, call it “Seeds of Surprise” to help support the Growing Your Grub Podcast. Sell ’em for ten bucks a pack. I’d buy. :-)

    4. And lastly, for the record, I am a 60 year old woman who has been driving a semi-truck all over the country with her hubby for the last six years, listening to podcasts galore, including yours, DREAMING of the day I could quit, be at home, (on our 5+acres) starting my first real garden. (And chicken business) Well my friend, that day has come! I have resigned, leaving hubby to the asphalt road while I stay home and dig in the dirt. So you see why you can’t quit on me now?

    Oh, and P.S. I live in Northern (well, OK Central) California, too! I am hoping, by this time next year, to have opened for business, Chicks of the Wild West, in Tracy, CA, selling eggs and meat of integrity. Who knows, if you stay the course and help me learn to garden, maybe I can eventually have a CSA?

    Love your podcast,


  • Janet March 14, 2014, 10:59 am

    Hi Steve. It was so good to hear your podcast – after such a long wait for us all. I learn so much from your informative podcasts, have read all your recommended books and enjoy all your tips, news and views. Please keep making the podcasts. Enjoy your travels and I’m looking forward to hearing your comments as you go. Regards from UK. Janet – a novice gardener.

  • Terry March 14, 2014, 8:44 am

    Please keep the podcasts coming if you can since there’s many of us who appreciate them. Doesn’t matter if you’re actually gardening at the time or not, as long as you’re sharing your thoughts and experiences. Thanks for taking the time.


  • Mark March 12, 2014, 9:24 pm

    Hi Steve, keep going, always enjoy your work. Best wishes from Australia.

  • Steven Graves March 12, 2014, 9:01 am

    Great to hear a new podcast. I was getting ready to drop you an email to see how you are doing. I realize things have been difficult lately. I believe you are doing the correct thing by spending time with family and travelling to places you want to see. None of us are getting any younger, LOL.. I would love to hear at least an occasional podcast even if it was from the road. Farmers Markets are different everywhere and just hearing what others do would be of interest. You need to do what is best for you and yours. It is getting tougher to find individuals putting out podcasts.
    I for one have really enjoyed listening to all your ideas, adventures, successes and failures. It has motivated me to keep gardening and learn more all the time. The Master Gardeners classes have been interesting and I would probably never taking that without listening to you and some others over the last few years.
    Whatever you decide please let us know. Personally I really hope you will continue on at least an occasional level with the podcasts. I always enjoy your perspective on things. It is interesting to hear what goes on in other areas of the country.
    Be safe and take of yourself,

    Your friend,

    Steve from Kentucky

  • WYLIE IN CANADA March 11, 2014, 12:08 pm

    Hidy Ho Steve, it was great to see another episode appear on your podcast! We’ve missed you up here in the frozen north! For what it’s worth: whether you’re on the road with the Missus, or busting your hump in the Garden of Gardens, your experience and good nature is what I hear shining through. So long as it doesn’t make you crazy, I’d love it if you keep the GYG podcast alive, because I love your stories and your opinions. There, that’s Wylie’s vote. Take care everyone.


  • Andres March 11, 2014, 8:26 am

    Thank you for all of your podcasts. I understand if economically it doesn’t make sense to continue, but I always enjoy listening to them, and even if you only post very infrequently, I’ll still look forward to hearing them when (or if) you do post them. God bless you with all of your endeavors.

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