March has arrived and the seeding is started. There is a lot of work to get done before we can even start seeding. In a previous post we mentioned about the seed order. That is important. There are several other steps we need to make sure also get done.
Right and below: Some of the seed trays we have.
1) 1)Sterilize the seed trays. This needs to get done each year to make sure that if for some reason a disease is picked up at all in the year previous we do not have it going forward. It helps to make sure we are giving all the seeds a fair shot to be healthy. We got most done in the fall, but not all. So we are also working away on that.
2) 2) Planning how many to grow for, and what we want to grow. Is there something from the previous year that did not do well? I know none of our tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and corn did well last year, but that was partly due to the lack of heat units we had in July. Is there something that went really well? Is there something that someone requested that we haven’t done in previous years?
3) 3) Seed inventory. We need to go over what we still have from last years seeds. Some seeds (like leeks) are only good for one year. Others are good for several years, depending on how they are stored.
4) 4) Seed order. Going through and choosing what varieties and from what supplier we would like to get. Placing them, and waiting for them to come. We are still waiting for a few back orders. This includes receiving all the seeds and making sure we have received what we ordered. Sometimes items are substituted.
5) 5) Planning. While we wait for the seeds to arrive, we take our weekly agenda and write out what should get planted each week. It is color coded for starting in trays, direct seeding and transplanting. We also have different colors for direct seeding into the greenhouse or if the transplanting should be done in the greenhouse. It can be a lot of work. We do have a spreadsheet to help us with this but it is just a guideline. We are still working out the kinks after all these years.
6) 6) Start seeding. Right now we are seeding within the house, and then hopefully moving everything out and into the heated greenhouse soon. We are still waiting on firewood. We have moved out some of the leeks and onions for now. We will want to move more out as we seed more each week.We also have to plant some of the seedlings up into larger pots. Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are the major three we do. Some of them are nicely germinated, so maybe in another month or so.
As the spring gets closer we get more and more excited each day with wanting to get into the field. It’s just a matter of time now. If you ever stop by you will notice that the living room (and depending on the day the dining room) have been taken over. It’s about this time of year I say the house will be clean in November. We start seedlings throughout the summer for the months and then to prepare the greenhouses for winter production.
It can be a lot of work but we love it.