Sprouting seeds

The seeds I planted last weekend are starting to sprout, delicate tendrils of green pushing up through the seed raising mix and bending towards the sunlight coming through the laundry window. Miners lettuce, mesclun and spinach are all making an appearance. It doesn’t seem quite possible they they will survive, let along grown big enough to eat. These trays have been sharing a seed germinating heat pad on the laundry bench, just enough warmth to ward off the chill of the evening, and the nearly airtight room to moderate night time temperature fluctuations. During the day, the brick walls of the laundry gather heat from the sun, and just enough sunlight gets in through the small window. The seedling bend dramatically towards the sunlight, yearning to be outside.

Leaning towards the light

The contrast between these salad greens and the robust, brash bean seedlings is dramatic. On Sunday the bean seedling were just starting to reveal their first true leaves, by Monday evening the plants were double the height and had opened up fully in their chicken heated, portable hot boxes. I’ve had the min/max thermometer in the hot box with the beans and it has given about 12 more degrees through the day, but more importantly at this time of year, an extra 4 or 5 degrees at night. The chickens are extending my seed cosseting operations :-) With the extra warmth the zucchinis, cucumbers and pumpkins have all relented and sprouted too. these seedlings are all growing straight up – the tomato seedlings from the laundry have straightened out this week being surrounded by sunlight.

Chicken house storage tub greenhouse

During the week, when letting the chickens out, we have scattered some grain in the new bed outside their shed. This is to encourage them to loosen the soil surface, and pick out any stray weed seeds or bugs. Tomorrow my plan is to lightly fork the area, add some compost, put up wire trellis, and plant the bean seedlings. They’ll need a good wire fence to keep the chooks off too. This will provide the summer shade at the front of the chook shed. Space dependent, I might also put a climbing cucumber there too. Or a couple of zucchini plants. They will get good daylight there which should help prevent powdery mildew.

According to lunar planting, now is an optimum time for planting and sowing. Several days of gentle rain over the past few days should have favored germination of the carrot seeds I planted two weeks ago. I must go and have a chat to them and see what’s happening…

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