Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Egg-cellent Starts

So my campaign to get more containers for planting has been relatively unfruitful. I will pass on a big thank you to my mom who mailed me some along with a pound of home-roasted coffee! This weekend I got up to find that the peas we starting to sprout. I KNEW at that time that I really had to get this show on the road.

The garden plan this year is a pretty ambitious use of space. I think it will probably be too tight in a few places, particularly where the squash and broccoli are going, but we are going to play it by ear. I like planning out my garden from year to year, changing it up to match what actually happened. Doing this makes it possible to keep track of things like rotating nitrogen fixers, what needed more or less sun, or what liked/disliked being planted close to one another.

This was the plan to begin with. I did it in pencil, but then I lost the pencil (I am sooo awesome), so I am writing in what actually got planted in pen over the top of it.

I decided to take advantage of some of the egg cartons I had been saving to take back to our co-op. Some people LOVE using egg cartons because they are simple, small, and easy to move around. Also, if you use the cardboard ones they hold in moisture and you can just cut them up and plant them cups and all into the soil. Those who don't like them argue that there is not enough soil depth to really get good starts. I compromise on this issue by planting things in my egg cartons that I will transplant pretty quickly.

I also love that they are stackable and easy to carry around!

I planted spinach, kale, chard, and basil in my egg cartons. Most of them i put only one seed per unit, but with the basil I put two because I had some trouble last year with my basil seeds sprouting. I chose these plants because I will put them in the soil as soon as I am confident they won't be taken out by heavy least the kale, chard, and spinach. I may hold the basil inside a bit longer because it likes a little more heat than the others.

I am really loving the starts shelf I made. The one downer is that the screens have stretched a bit where the containers are so they don't sit totally level. Fortunately for me that does not affect the plants' growth, and only really causes issue if one is anal retentive enough to care that things are a bit lopsided (I am not).

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