Good day to plant seeds inside-Cold!

Good day to be inside today. Caleb, my apprentice, came out and we planted many things inside as the wind was blowing outside and  it snowed until midday. Very cold! So he planted his tomatoes up to the next size pots, and we planted seeds of 13 collards and 14 dino kale. Then we planted 27 flowers in 2 inch pots and 2 mystery gourds as we don’t know what type it is. I’ve never planted flower seeds INSIDE before. I usually plant them directly in the ground OUTSIDE, so this is new for me. Now I need another big plant heat mat for them. For now they are on the floor by a south facing window. I may see if they germinate there as I don’t know how warm they need to be-not like tomato plants that want it warm…

My lettuce bowl-chickens love it!

I put the lettuce bowl outside under heavy rowcover cloth (.09) as it wasn’t getting enough light inside. Yesterday I thinned it so the baby lettuce have room to grow and gave the seedlings to my chickens.

The girls eating the lettuce seedlings

They are nuts for lettuce anyways but fresh baby seedlings? yum! Here are some pictures of the chickens eating it and some closeups some of them as well. Speaking of chickens,besides providing wonderful eggs they help make compost with their manure.

Chickens eating lettuce seedlings

They are pets which each having a name so I don’t eat them, just their eggs. I feed them lots of scraps from the kitchen which  is what makes their egg yolks so orange. The rest of the kitchen scraps goes into the compost pile. Their manured compost is great for the veggie garden but don’t put it on fruit trees-it has too much nitrogen.

closeup of 'Chimay'-a Belgium Campine chicken-hence the name!

closeup of 'Kielbasa'-a Polish chicken

'Grayhawk' drinking water-an Andalusian chicken

'Ari'- an Auracana chicken-lays green eggs!

Best reason for starting your own seeds

As you can see below most of my first sowing of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are up and growing. Still, they are only 2-3″ tall so far. Some of them have their first true leaves coming out.

The best reason for starting my own seeds is that I get to pick out which varieties I want to try and the nurseries don’t usually have all of the ones I want. I try to grow mostly gourmet heirloom varieties that I will sell in our local farmer’s market if I get accepted. Last year I got into our Farmer’s Market very late in the season as I had a plethora of  tomatoes. I call myself  ‘The Tomato Lady’-Heirloom Tomatoes & Exotic Veggies For the Discriminating Cook which was a big success. I just applied to the Farmer’s Market for the summer again but this time from the beginning of the season. Growers are picked by a jury as it has gotten soo popular. I hope I get in. Besides my tomatoes, I am growing other wonderful veggies. And of course, giant pumpkin season is just around the corner too. I won’t start those seeds inside until sometime mid April.

Baby tomatoes are just up!

Here are the tomatoes seedlings just up!

I had trouble with the tomatoes being too cold last year at night so I put some insulation around the lightbox this year and last night with the natural flourescent lights the temperature stayed at 72 degrees. Here is a pic of the light box with insulation. The pic shows the seedlings with the plastic cover off but I will leave it on until most of them germinate..

Picture of seedlings and insulation around the light box.