What’s up everybody this is the beginning of this year’s seed start I start seeds on March 1st I’ve got my little cheat sheet garden dates to remember and I check my inventory of seeds from previous years I keep them in a glass jar in the refrigerator to keep them fresh and I look at last year’s template and I use that to figure out how many seeds I need to start with this year.
Here I am at Walmart they get their seeds up here are some for a dollar fifty here’s some for $and here on the back side our seeds for 20 cents ok it’s March first and I do the first phase of the seeds which is peppers and beets I clean the counter real good wash my hands take a paper towel and a spray bottle with regular water I dampen the paper towel then I fold the paper towel overspray it a little bit again that gets the seats to stick so they stay in place then I take a ziplock bag.
I spray a little bit more water in there and seal it up leaving a little bit of air in there so I plug in my electric heating mat get this for about 20 bucks on Amazon place some towels down because the heat pad actually gets a little too hot this distributes the heat a place about half of the seeds down then I take this little digital thermometer this is the probe and I place the probe right in the middle place the other half of the seed ziplocs then I cover it with another towel as an insulator blanket and I keep an eye on the temperature maintain it between 75 and 85 degrees here’s pepper seeds after six days germination here’s some beet seeds after six days.
I take one of my containers from last year and this is the soil I used to fill up my seedling cups I got these Sterilite plastic tubs from Target and I got these containers they’re called rose pots I’ve got these from Amazon and they fit perfectly in the tubs and these larger containers I got from Home Depot here I’m printing out labels these are pepper seeds sometimes the seedling root gets caught up in the paper towel so I’ll wet it down a little bit then I’ll use a screwdriver to break up the paper towel it frees the seedling here’s the beet seeds these bulbs in here are 42 watt fluorescents I’ve also got a 4-foot fluorescent shop light and I’ve got a second one up here on the top and I used the lids from the plastic tubs to block the light as I fluff up the soil.
I pick out any grubs that I find these things will chew up the roots of your plants and I’ve actually read that these are Japanese beetle offspring okay it’s March 8 and I’m starting the second phase which is the cherry tomatoes, basil, collards, kale, and lettuce these are Roma tomatoes and I place the seeds on the heat mat cover it with the towel here are kale seeds after just 2 days of germination there are already a couple inches long here son sugar and large red cherry tomato seeds after four days of germination here’s red cell lettuce after five days of germination if one of my seedlings doesn’t look the healthiest I’ll take another seedling out of the ziplock dig a little hole next to it and plant it and depending on which one is healthiest I’ll keep the best one.
Right now it is 40 degrees outside in the greenhouse it’s about 72 degrees and maybe three or four days a week I’ll bring the plants out here into the greenhouse to get accustomed to the sunlight when the plants have been in the dirt for two weeks I fertilize with this fish emulsion fertilizer five one one one tablespoon per gallon and as the Sun sets I bring the plants back inside and I manually turn off the lights at night and I turn them on in the morning when I wake up.
Its March 28th I’m about a week behind schedule because the weather’s been cold but it’s finally warm enough to plant the peas and the corn this year I’m not really adding anything to the soil I’m just aerating it mixing it up in the wheelbarrow I figure the soil has enough like earthworm castings and azomite from the past years that it should be good to go for this year these are the peas dwarf grey sugar I’m using these mainly because they cost 20 cents and with the peas I take a spoon dig little one-inch holes I plant eight in each container each of my containers has holes drilled at the bottom for drainage and these containers are called bus boxes and I get them at Sam’s Club in the restaurant section I’m planting two different kinds of corn this one is like a shorter variety this is a taller variety I make little one-inch holes with this spoon and then I put one seed in each hole and then push the dirt on top.
Okay the plants are now about three weeks in the dirt and it’s gonna be in the mid-70s today so I’m gonna bring these outsides and feed them and now I’ll start to fertilize once per week with the fish emulsion I buy this by the gallon from homedepot.com and it’s one tablespoon per gallon of water and this 1 gallon jug will feed all the seedlings here are the plants at 4 weeks in the dirt with these compact fluorescent bulbs you want to keep them maybe like 6 inches above the plants put your hand here to feel the heat make sure it’s not too hot and with the 4-foot fluorescent shop lights you want to keep the plants about an inch or two below the bulbs but they can grow up and touch the bulbs and be ok because the bulbs don’t get very hot.
Today is April 9th and I’m gonna transplant the lettuce the kale and the collards and the beets I like to water the plants right before I transplant because it helps them slide out of the containers easier I’m also moving the peas up onto the deck okay.i fluff up the soil one more time there’s any big chunks I like break them up with my hands and same with the raised beds I’m not adding anything to the soil I’m just fluffing it up this year on the edges of the beds I cut little notches every 12 inches for a square foot I take a putty knife and connect the lines and now I have a square foot planting grid and I just noticed I made a mistake and didn’t start enough plants so I’m gonna have to space them out a little bit more usually I plant one per square foot so there would be 14 this time I’m doing five in each row there’s 10 so there’s 4 less but this might actually work out ok because they’re kind of crowded when they’re one per square foot so this might be good to have them a little bit more spaced out.
I’m gonna plant another fig tree Celeste fig cost $11 from Lowe’s figs are my favorite fruit followed by the grape vines and then the apple trees and Celeste fig is probably my best producer here are the plants at five weeks in the dirt the lights are hung with the chain and as the plants grow taller I lift it up and this raises the light so the plants have more space last year I grew catnip up on the deck and some seeds fell down they’re grown between the stones and I’ve got a little spot picked out maybe the neighborhood cats will enjoy it if the deer don’t eat it first for the first week or so and make sure it’s well watered and I also take a bucket and place it next to the plant to give it a little bit of shade so the Sun doesn’t get too intense because this plan was only getting about two hours of direct Sun under the deck and out here it’s like 10 hours which is too intense.
Okay it’s April 15th and I check the weather forecast normally I’d transplant everything today but there’s a strong thunderstorm coming through that’s gonna have 40 to 50 mile-per-hour wind gusts and then also Monday night it’s gonna get down to 38 degrees so it looks like I’m gonna wait until Tuesday to transplant everything okay it’s April 17th and today I’m transplanting everything outside and the seedlings have been in the dirt for five weeks and five days here’s the tomato plants the tomato plants I take some scissors cut these lower leaves off because you want to avoid having leaves close to the dirt because that’s what transfers blight so I said tomato plant so I started for basil plants and I’m actually gonna plant them down here by my compost pile because down here I don’t really have to maintain them and all I really like is just to pick a fresh basil leaf every so often to add to a salad or some soups okay got all the tomatoes and peppers and corn all transplanted.
Now I’m waiting for the weather to warm up a little bit more and I’ll direct plant the pole beans and the cucumber’s and these are the extra plants that are left over I always start some extra ones I use two zip ties to attach the cages to these metal posts for wind strengthening I like to use these mini binder clips to lock these smaller cages together it makes the whole caging structure a lot sturdier and they’ll last about three years before they start to deteriorate last night it got down to 34 degrees and I think I’m gonna have a problem there’s some frost on the plants I’ll come back and do an update to see if the plant survived the plants up here on the deck look like they have the most frost you can see like the crystal structure.
It’s about five hours later in the day the lettuce is bounced back 100% the tomatoes and peppers had me worried at first they were wilted and there’s some leaf damage but now that the sun’s out they’ve recuperated sprung back up so I think I really lucked out that none of the plants died probably one degree colder and everything would have been wiped out and if a bunch of plants didn’t make it I would have filled in with some of these extra plants and worst case scenario I would have bought a bunch of them from Home Depot probably would have cost a hundred bucks.
Last night it got down to 33 degrees this time I put some buckets on tomato plants okay everything seems to have survived 33 degrees four days ago I started some radish seeds this variety is called French breakfast it looks kind of like a carrot and I plant them on the outside edge of these containers well I guess I’ll end the video here in the next video I’ll have the pole beans starting cucumbers and the first harvest and I’ll show my layout explain which varieties are planted thanks for watching