Growing seedlings with the plant shelf and grow lights!

We had a really amazing crop this year!

Some of Z's second flotilla "the babies"
A bit of everything here. Swiss chard, beets, eggplant, and a TON of tomatoes in like 5 varieties toward the back.
A whole flat of swiss chard and beets!
Tomatoes growing crazy on the left, eggplant, peppers far back right.
The entire top shelf is squash!! Zucchini, Yellow squash, Butternut squash, Cucumbers. YUM!!
The entire top shelf is squash!! Zucchini, Yellow squash, Butternut squash, Cucumbers. YUM!!
I've been pulling most of the flowers off to save the plants energy but heres one I didn't get
These are Japanese long eggplant, and they're going crazy! They have sharp little spines on the leaves!! You can see one of them
Three huge shelves, bursting with veggies!!
Squash blossom!
Something zucchini or butternut
These are smaller, brighter yellow and are from a cucumber.

Here are our new early seed startings for 2011!!  Pictures are from days 4 and 7!  The Zuchinni and Cucumbers are taking off like rockets!

Nothing quite like growing stuff again to get you in the mood for SPRING!

Tomatos probably - day 4!!
Cucumber - day 4!
These are tomatoes on day 5!
Thai basil, day 5
All snuggly warm in their heat trays
Holy day 7!!  Look at those Zucchs and Squash!!

We're starting our first seeds of 2011!!

Last year, we started a ton of seeds indoors, using peat pellets and flats, but they didn't do very well.  Most (90%) didn't even germinate!!  We had them by the cold front window with limited daylight.  They never had a chance.

Today, we went to a seed starting workshop with Fitchburg Fields and learned the correct way to start seeds indoors.

Most seeds need a bit of warmth to germinate, so we now have two warming mats that sit under the flats to give the little guys a boost.  Once they pop up out of the ground, they need plenty of light - even artificial light will do, so we got a few shop lights.

After the workshop, we went to the hardware store and bought some 2 foot wide particle board shelving and 2x4s to build ourselves a seed-starting, plant-growing super light shelf system.

There's enough lighted space for up to 8 full flats, unlit space for another 4, and some storage underneath. Hanging additional lights from the ceiling would give us 12 full flats of growing capability.

We put the lights and warming mats on separate power strips so we can easily switch them off and on.  We'll add some programmable timers later.

Before we put the lights on
4 full flats, or 8 half-flats per shelf
I tried one shop light per shelf but realized the plants would slant over badly in this configuration
Now we've moved both lights to a single shelf.  I'll get two more for the other shelf later
Lights and two planted flats
Waiting for our seeds to grow!

Last year, we did a few things to the garden.  We put some new perennials in, we built a lasagne garden, but mostly we just worked on the house and let things grow.

Side garden in spring/early summer (this used to be ALL grass) Can you spot the cow?
Red Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower)
Spring flowers (allium)
Columbine "Purple Bonnets"
Armeria Juniperifolia "Rosa Stoltz"
The start of a lasagne garden! It's about 18 inches of hay and grass clippings.
The start of a lasagne garden!  It's about 18 inches of hay and grass clippings.
Late summer garden by the back deck (the rock path has almost completely overgrown with weeds)
Thistles (Late)
Crocosmia (Lucifer)
Front/side corner garden with a very popular bluebird house!
Side/back corner garden
Salvia (Oceana Blue) - annual
Salvia (Oceana Blue) - annual
Coreopsis Palmata, Campanula, Bee Balm, Orienpet Lily (Shocking), Blanket Flower, Coneflowers, Nodding Onion (gone to seed)
Fall harvest day!  Tomatos, yellow squash, green/red pepper and a bunch of raspberries!

 

A couple of weekends ago, we added color to the new bathroom and hallway!

We chose a sort of olive green for the two end walls in the bathroom and a powder blue color for one hallway wall.  The rest of the walls were a cream color called 'Sail Cloth', with white ceilings all around.

We also ordered our new shower fixtures (mixers, shower heads and a hand sprayer).  They have arrived, but we haven't yet installed them.

Wall behind the sink
Wall behind the toilet - cutting in this dark color is tough!
Paint and Shower Fixtures!
Blue hallway wall above the door (door trim not yet reinstalled)
Lucas Pucas wearing a pomelo hat!  He was not impressed
Shower fixures!  Valves, mixers, shower heads
Shower mixer (this one has a diverter valve to feed the hand sprayer)
One of the shower heads
The other shower mixer (without the diverter valve)
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