Saturday, April 5, 2008

Planting inside and out

It's gorgeous out. Warm, sunny, nice breeze. Perfect day for garden work. Except, of course, we had rain yesterday so the ground is still pretty squidgy. I was able to get some planting done in the beds I had prepared earlier. The peas are finally in! I'm sure the local deer and woodchucks will be happy. Since I couldn't do any more work on the beds in the garden I started on greenhouse work. It did get a bit warm in there, but I was able to get some tomatoes and peppers seeded, and plant a plot of salad mix.

The tomatoes and peppers I planted in 2 inch soil blocks. I really like using soil blocks rather than pots for things that will be transplanted soon. The plants do much better. They don't become root-bound if you need to wait a bit longer to transplant them. It also saves on the piles of plastic that you end up with using pots. Block makers cost a bit up front, but they are really worth it.

The mix for soil blocks is a lot like muffin mix. It needs to be just wet enough to hold together. don't over work it or over water it.

Putting blocks in the tray. The air space between the blocks keeps the plants from growing into another block or from getting root-bound.

A full tray ready to plant. The little dimple in the top is for the seed. Cover the seed with a bit of fine compost if needed. There is also an attachment that changes the dimple into a cube the size of a mini-block. Makes transplanting easy.

The blocks hold together quite well. There is always a corner in the flat needing one block. If they are made right you can just pick one up and fill the hole.

Another favorite tool. I use landscape rakes on my raised beds to do the fine prep before seeding. Some short lengths of pvc pipe make great row markers, and you can easily change the spacing. This is for a block of salad mix.

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