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Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  jumiclads on 3/11/2011, 11:50 am

Hi All, Just a quick update, still suffering.

I have been taking it easy working on my grow light centre and it is now finished. I will start sowing seeds over the next couple of days in an effort to try and catch up on time. Hopefully the next pics I put on will show some good healthy seedlings.

Here are a couple of pics to show you the result.





The two top layers have heat mats on polystyrene to insulate and can hold 12 seed trays in all. The heat mats are thermostaically controlled. I knew some of the items we use for our snake room would come in handy. The very bottom shelf has florescent lights suspended on chains so they can be raised as the seedlings grow.
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  Megan on 3/11/2011, 6:21 pm

Beautiful! I likey! okay
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  camprn on 3/11/2011, 7:04 pm

Megan wrote:Beautiful! I likey!
+1
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  jumiclads on 3/12/2011, 6:15 pm

I have sown my first tray this evening. Very Happy and tomorrow I am sowing the other 5 with all my other seeds ready for planting on when ready.

The first tray contains:
Vine Tomato
Bush Tomato
Basil
Chives
and I did 8 seeds of carrot as an experiment. I am going to move them from the module tray straight to one of the squares in my first SFG bed trying not to disturb them. I am going to try this with all my root crops aswell as sowing direct to compare the results.

My new raised beds arrived yesterday and I will be putting them together over the next couple of weeks and also 20 potato bags which I will start soon in the greenhouse when I get it errected.

I have decided not to use MM this yaer. I am going to utilise the pile of topsoil I have made mixing it with a soil conditioner at the rate of 2 parts topsoil to 1 part conditioner. I know I will have trouble with weed seeds but that will give me something to do. It is a shame to waste all that lovely top soil after all the work we put in making it. Also if you work it out 2 raised beds and 20 x 40litre potato bags and more beds to follow, I will need a bank loan for all the MM if I used it.
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/12/2011, 9:01 pm

It's understandable, not using Mel's Mix. That would be another big investment for two boxes and 20 potato bags. Sorry you will have to deal with the weeds, but as you add beds in the future, you may be able to add Mel's Mix to the new ones.

Will you be doing potatoes in all 20 bags? 20 potato bags sure sounds like a lot, but you do have a big family to feed.

That is a wonderful seed starting station. Are you using peat pellets in your seedling tray, or a seeding mix? As soon as you get some sprouts, let us see.
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  jumiclads on 3/13/2011, 6:51 am

Yes I gave the MM a lot of thought, shall I or not, made up my mind and
then changed it again and again. But now I am sure about what I am going
to do.

Yes potatoes in all 20 bags this year cos I have the seed potatoes to do
that and then I will see how they do and adjust next year.

I am pleased with the result of my work on the starting station. I just
hope it works as good. I have used seed starting compost in individual
cells as buying a block maker is another cost and funds are running low.

I will definitely post a few pics as soon as something appears.

It's raining so it will be all indoor work today. Maybe try to do a bit more to greenhouse in the old office as well as get the rest of my seeds sown.
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Great start

Post  ander217 on 3/13/2011, 8:15 am

Great start on the season, Mick. I'm drooling over your seed-starting station.

When the pocketbook recovers, it would be a nice experiment to make some MM and try it in a small bed or blocked-off end of a long bed so you can compare the two growing mediums.
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  jumiclads on 3/13/2011, 8:29 am

Ander217 - I may try that later on in the season. Good idea
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  Megan on 3/13/2011, 8:39 am

You may want to experiment a bit with your potatoes, as well, since you will have so many bags. My crop planted in MM last year grew brilliantly (lush greens) but set no potatoes... so I am going to give them poorer soil quality this year, and see how that goes. The sweet potatoes will get MM, or a diluted mix.
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/13/2011, 9:02 am

Megan wrote:snip..... My (potatoes) planted in MM last year grew brilliantly (lush greens) but set no potatoes... .

That was my issue with broccoli. If I was growing broccoli for the leaves I would have had a brilliant harvest. After a little reading the issue seems to be that the nitrogen is too high, out of balance for growing nice heads. I did get a nice fingerling potato crop last year but it had a nutty amount of greens.

One thing that has surprised me about my neighborhood is its lack of trees (I spent over 25 years living in a national forest and LOVED that, so it surprises me to like not having trees....everything comes back into balance I guess). My compost does not have enough leaves which allows the nitrogen to get out of balance. I'll be looking for leaves to gather this fall the way I used to gather mushrooms in spring.

Deborah….growing purple peacock broccoli-kale cross this year which IS grown for the leaves and has “broccoli rabe” type heads as a bonus.
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  Megan on 3/13/2011, 9:10 am

Hey Debs! I didn't even try broccoli last year, because a friend had tried it previously and had bad luck. So I tried broccoli raab instead, and it worked out wonderfully. I will definitely try that again. The other nice thing about raab (aka rapini) is that you can get 4-9 per square, which lets you stagger plantings and harvesting, as opposed to one ginormous broccoli.

Your broccoli-kale cross sounds lovely! Pictures?
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/13/2011, 9:47 am

Picture? Ok, ummm

Of the broccoli that I started, they were the last to sprout. The box of seedlings is out in Box 2 under a cloche. They have actually come up but I have not taken a pic in a while.

I can give you the TSC link....
TSC's Purple Peacock

Deborah.... thanking Jumiclads for the temporary hi-jacking of his thread
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  jumiclads on 3/13/2011, 3:35 pm

Been busy today and finished sowing the rest of the 6 trays. If you look back in the thread there is a list of everything I am sowing. I just have a few of the root crops to sow which are not due to be sown till April. Just a few days wait now till the first seedlings pop up if all goes well. When this is the first time I have done this since I was 22 it is hard to believe this is going to work. Fingers crossed all will go well. I must remember to look after these plans showing what seeds I planted where.
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  jumiclads on 3/15/2011, 4:29 pm

I can't believe it. I went upstairs to check my seed trays were not drying out and there they were, about 20 seedling have popped their heads out of the compost already, less than 48 hours for them all. Nothing showing in the first tray yet which was planted the day before.



I have only taken a pic of one tray until they show a bit more.

Altogether I have these seedlings showing already:

Courgettes
Kohl rabi
2 types of cabbage
Pole beans & Bush beans
Brussels Sprouts
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  LaFee on 3/15/2011, 5:32 pm

yay!

I just got my seedlings done this morning...but if it keeps getting to 15-20 every day, it won't take long!

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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  jumiclads on 3/16/2011, 5:34 pm

I am a bit disappointed today. I am not sure but I think the seedlings are getting too tall too quick. To give an idea of what I mean, the beetroot are over an inch tall, like a needle with two leaves on the top. I have a feeling I will have to scrap these ones and start again and use natural light on a heat mat in the greenhouse. I will have to get it finished. Never mind though we have to try these things.
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  walshevak on 3/16/2011, 5:49 pm

My broccoli got so leggy so fast so I just planted them outside in the garden anyway. Not growing much but not dying either. I planted deep to help the legginess. I'm in on the edge of zones 7 and 8 just south of the NC/VA line. If you loose them it was a good try.

Kay
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  boffer on 3/16/2011, 5:51 pm

I grow a lot of beets, and they can be most unpredictable. Germination rates are erratic; they lay around on the ground, looking like they're done for, then they spring up; they grow tall and then fill out; the greens grow wonderfully with no root development.

If space is not critical, I wouldn't give up on them. On the other hand, they're only seeds, and the season is young!
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/16/2011, 5:52 pm

Mick, how far is the light bulb from the top of the seedling? I know the lights are adjustable, but are you able to keep the bulb about 2 inches above the seedlings? If it is farther than that, it can affect your seedlings and make them leggy. I am sure you checked the various threads about healthy seedlings, this was just my first thought.
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  jumiclads on 3/16/2011, 5:56 pm

I only put the lights on them this morning, I should have had them on from day 1. I think this is the problem. They are just above the seedlings. Like Boffer says, they are only seeds, I have plenty more. I will keep them going and see what happens anyway.
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Transplants?

Post  ander217 on 3/17/2011, 9:48 am

Mick, just wondering if it's possible to direct-seed beets in your region? I always sow mine directly in the garden and they do great.
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  jumiclads on 3/17/2011, 10:32 am

Yes I can sow all root crops direct in the bed but I was just trying an experiment with them this time aswell to see if they did ok in modules and they plant the modules into the bed. This was only to see if I could speed up the season a bit. I have just checked my seedlings again and they are still growing taller so not sure if they will be ok. I have nearly finished the greenhouse though so I can get some new ones started in there on a heat mat and see how they grow. If that fails aswell I will plant direct when the beds are ready.
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Experimenting

Post  ander217 on 3/17/2011, 10:42 am

Ooh, I love garden experiments.

I hope you do direct-seed a few and compare the growing times to see if growing transplants really does make a time difference. I've wondered how the time lost due to transplant shock compares with the time it takes direct-seeded seedlings to catch up in growth.
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  jumiclads on 3/26/2011, 8:07 pm

Oh I have been a busy boy this past week or so.

Greenhouse is finished and the raised beds are in place inside. I have re-sown all my seeds in the greenhouse as the ones in the growlight centre got way too tall. Hopefully won't take too long to come up and then I can transplant them to their final positions in the greenhouse beds or outside SFG beds.

I planted my first early potatoes today and Oca's in potato bags. Not done this before so we will see how it goes.

I am going to put together the two 4 x 4 raised beds tomorrow. I am going to attempt a video to upload of the whole exercise. That should be a laugh. I will upload it and take a few pics of the new greenhouse etc. aswell for you all to see.

I have also got 2 more neighbours interested in gardening. Not doing SFG yet but when they see what achieve will maybe rethink.
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Re: Jumiclads SFG - Well here goes - with updates

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/27/2011, 12:38 am

Jumiclads wrote:I have also got 2 more neighbours interested in gardening. Not doing SFG yet but when they see what achieve will maybe rethink.

Marvelous. We need more gardeners everywhere.
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