This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

lights are ON!


I have sprouts!!! My lights are on!

My first sprouts of the 2010 season are Ruby Ring onions. Of eight onion varieties I planted, these are the first ones up. No sign of any of the others yet. Welcome little Ruby's!

ruby ring sprouts onion sprouts


Blogger Susie said...

Cool!!! Love it!!

February 16, 2010 10:55 PM

Blogger Garden Dreamer said...

Beautiful. Lovely sight to behold.

February 17, 2010 7:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how exciting!~Felicia~

February 17, 2010 8:03 AM

Blogger The Vegetable Hatt said...

That's great! I cant wait for mine to peek their heads up.

February 17, 2010 8:18 AM

Blogger Cynthia said...

Do you find when you growing things from seeds, that you get gnats around that area. I am noticing it. This is the first year of really growing a lot of things from seeds and I am debating weather to move my seed area to the garage. I have it in the bay window area of my breakfast room, sinc they will get sunlinght during the day. Please share any information you have on this. Thanks.

February 17, 2010 10:52 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I've never seen gnats around the seed trays.

I would try hanging a sticky fly strip - you know, that yellow fly paper. I've used it for all sorts of flying things (fruit flies, flour moths, house flies).

And make sure you are using fresh soil soil. Pots should be new or cleaned with dilute bleach before use.

February 17, 2010 11:32 AM

Blogger Siren_song said...

What lights do you use? This is my first year trying vegetables and I don't get a lot of sunlight in my house. I'm all about frugal gardening and was hoping to DIY the grow lights. But I don't really know where to start. Can I use compact fluorescent lights? Is it a specific type of bulb? Are they available at home improvement stores? Sorry to bombard you with questions. Any help you can give me would be appreciative.

February 17, 2010 1:03 PM

Blogger Cynthia said...

Thanks Kathy for the information. I bout all new soil. First started with seed starter mix (which was soiless) and then we they seedlings grew to size where they needed to be moved to a bigger pot, I use some new bagged soil, that is when I saw the gnats. Also, not sure if they are coming in from the back door which is where my setup is close too. I was trying to keep everything sterile, but who knows. Also, I started seeing little mushrooms, so my soil may be too wet as well. I think off to the garage they will go. I plan to set up a work area so that I no longer have to do it in the house.

February 17, 2010 3:19 PM

Blogger Dan said...

Congrats on the new sprouts!

February 17, 2010 4:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you keep the soil watered? I'm starting from seeds for the first time and am curious how you keep the soil moist without washing out your seeds. The starter soil almost seems to be water repellent and it takes forever to absorb into the soil. I've been misting with a spray bottle but wanted to know what a "pro" does.

February 17, 2010 5:24 PM

Anonymous Eliza said...

I have problems with fluorescents getting too hot, do you use a special kind of bulb?

February 17, 2010 6:21 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Lights: go to the hardware store and get a cheap shop light fixture. $10 each. Then get fluorescent tubes to fit. I use one regular full spectrum bulb ($8) and one GroLight (~$12?) per fixture. This has worked well for me. Experiment with others if you prefer. Lights should last about 6 mo - 2 seasons I think I don't think you can do it much cheaper.

Soil: I think those mushrooms (fungus) are not a good sign. Either fungi were in the bag when you bought it (maybe there were holes in it and soil got wet and picked up fungus spores if it sat in the store a long time). Maybe you are over watering. But even if you are, I'm wondering where the gnats and fungus came from? I think it would be best to move them somewhere that they get more airflow. Outside. Let the soil dry out a little before watering.

Watering: I don't like a spray bottle because you don't want water all over the plants and surfaces. And you do want to thoroughly soak the soil. Just use a watering can with a fine spout while the seedlings are tiny. (I use this one til the seedlings get big.) Water til the soil is moist. Then only water the pots that have dried out next time you water. With the little plant cells and baby seedlings, I check for dry soil usually twice a day. If soil is dark (wet), don't water it. If its light (dry), water.

February 17, 2010 11:34 PM

Anonymous Jennifer said...

very exciting! Congratulations!

February 18, 2010 7:34 AM

Blogger Silli said...

Thanks Kathy, I came to your site looking for specs on building a grow light for seed starting and you have helped me out!

February 19, 2010 4:13 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Eliza, I don;t know - mine don;t get hot.

February 20, 2010 8:46 PM


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