With the recent warm spell of the past week and a half, at my house, we are in full swing production of seedling transplants in order to plant as soon as the last frost date occurs. The weather has been so warm - we are seeing 99 degree and higher temperatures in the greenhouse - and I must say the seedlings are loving it. Just four days ago they set their true leaves - now they are nearly 3 inches tall.
These are early tomato varieties like Sun Gold and Isis Cherry - we plan to push the envelope on the frost date and try to plant a few weeks early and cover the new plants with Agribon in order to get a jump start on the season. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the cold won’t get to them, but I’m also starting plenty of additional plants should the temperature be too much for the first tomato “pioneers.”
We had a few smaller Potato and Asparagus leftovers from our PVFS bundles after planting the beds, so I potted these up until we had additional space or some other idea of where we should plant them. Although the Asparagus and Potatoes in our outside beds have also taken on leaf and stem, the plants in the Greenhouse are much more accelerated.
These Redwood Greenhouse Kits are really fantastic - the kit is simple to install, and with a slight bit of caulking, the interior humidity and temperature is great for Winter starts. The kit includes automatic vent openers that help regulate internal temperatures like some sort of wax propelled magic!
These lettuce Starts above (I think Lola Rosa) are nearly ready to be moved to the beds. Last weekend I planted some Tatsoi Mustard, Chard, Kale, Buttercrunch Lettuce, and Detroit and Bulls Blood Beets all started from seed a couple weeks ago.
My seed cabinet is a small enclosure that can fit about 5 Floating Seed Starting Systems (Standard) - 1020 Trays - I prefer to start seeds in Quickroot using the Speeding Transplant Tray - 128 Cell set on heating mats with thermostats. These “celled” trays are great, because shortly after germination the seedlings can easily be pushed from the bottom of the tray and be transplanted into Kord plastic posts. At that point, while under a good seed starting light, having been moved to soil that contains some nutrients and michorizza (which I highly suggest using - if you are not already) they quickly push their second set of “true” leaves and in turn can be moved to the greenhouse shortly after. Starting the seed in Quickroot inhibits damping off, and also creates a sturdy root core that can easily be moved without disturbing the small fragile seedlings.
When I don’t mind waiting a longer period to establish seedlings I use a Hot House. The size of the Hot House cells do not lend themselves to the simplicity of moving them to large pots until the roots are very well established. The seedlings also stay moist with the dome lid. These Hot House kits are a great start for anyone who’s interested in beginning to plant and germinate their own transplants because it comes with everything you need in one simple package.