I have several types of heirloom tomato seeds as well as some peas,
onions, spinach, etc. I haven't done too well with store bought plants
in the past, I think because the soil is pretty clayish. There's a lot
of sun but not completely sunny because of overhanging trees.
I used a tray (around 3' by 1') from a local store that uses some kind
of peat moss disks with an indentation to insert a seed. A total of 55
seeds went in. It's moist and now I wait for the seeds to germinate.
The first question is what kind of lighting to get. From what I read,
full spectrum fluorescent tubes are probably the best, I guess a four
foot fixture? T12 or one of the newer formats?
I'll need some way to control the height of the fixture but I can rig
up something. There are some prefab systems at the local store but
they start around $150 which seems way too much for something so
There's also reflector types of bulbs like this:
but I can't see those providing the coverage that the fluorescent can.
Finally, I'm planning on using some former lawn areas for more growing
range, and I think I'll need to hit the whole area with a lot of peat
moss. I will probably also try to use the weed block stuff (black
Any comments welcome.
For most veggies, you'll need full sun (at least 6 hours per day).
Flourescent lighting is probably the worst. But, it's probably the cheapest. If
that's what you use, make sure to keep the lights close, and I mean close, to
the plants. Raising the lights as they grow.
What was your geographical location again?
Remember, peas and spinach are cool-season veggies. As soon as it gets warm,
they're done (tho New Zealand spinach will thrive in the summer - it's also not
Whoever said nothing is impossible never tried slamming a revolving door.
Here's a grow story for you. Here in NJ last week the cops broke up
a multi-miliion dollar pot growing operation involving several
seperate houses and many individuals. They were growing it in the
basement, had the electric service bypassed, etc. The whole thing
came undone because a cop driving down the road smelled burning pot
and stopped to investigate. Turns out the dummies were burning the
plant remains in a fireplace....
I'm in NYC. It is a bit late but we can still get frost for a few
weeks so not terrible. I can put the tray by a south facing window -
but I'll have to figure out how to keep the cats from knocking them
over. Prime window seats facing the backyard are in high demand among
the feline members of the household. I had figured that the "full
spectrum" fluorescent tubes would be ok but I'll see what I can work
out. That would also put it over a radiator which might be a bad thing
but maybe not? Hopefully it will shut off soon or I really will need
to eat the garden.
The onion seeds came free with the order of tomato seeds - RED
BURGUNDY, scroll down:
I have no idea how to deal with them so I put a few seeds into each
hole in the starting material and I'll see what comes up. I've tried
onions in the past and not done too well - let's just say that I'm
better with most things than I am with gardening. Probably why I keep
When I emailed Tomato Bob about my soil conditions, the reply was to
use lots of peat moss. I have so much clay in the soil that, using a
blow torch, I could make the world's biggest ashtray. I guess I should
take sample of the soil to the local gardening center. I just called
them and they charge a few dollars so I'll bring it in this weekend.
I know with tomatos that I'm supposed to try to water from the bottom
so last year I used a soaker hose. The leaves still start turning
yellow and brown at the botton and work its way up the plant.
I didn't know that peas and spinach were cool weather. I never tried
spinach before but that would explain my lack of success with peas.
Thanks for the help.
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