Monday, February 11, 2013

The Seeds of Spring are Planted in the Dining Room

In the best of all possible worlds, I would have a cute little heated greenhouse that I could start seeds in for my early spring/summer vegetable crops; instead, I have a big glass door and some fluorescent lights in the dining room. The good news is my current set-up, though somewhat limited in terms of space, works just fine.

Mid-Feb. is a little early for starting most of my seeds, but I am scheduled to give a presentation on seed starting on Feb. 19, and I want to have little plants up and growing for "show & tell."  By then, it will no longer be absurdly early, and the people who sign up and start seeds with me at the talk will be all set for some successful growing.

My seedlings that are coming up now, on the other hand, are at risk of spending too long indoors and getting too lanky as a result. I might need to go find another light or two to help brighten my plant-babies' lives and keep them stockier.

There will be some planting outdoors soon, too. I'll be planting onion sets as soon as I can find them, and even though it's a bit early still for peas, we are getting close. I usually judge the readiness of the soil by when the trout lilies bloom in my yard. I'm not seeing flowers yet, but the speckled leaves are coming up by the back fence.

Here in Cobb County, we have until about mid-March to get seed potatoes in the ground, but I have already dumped a load of compost on the spot where those will go this year. In the past, when I've had a chance to visit my Mom in Oklahoma in late winter, I've bought my seed potatoes at the little grocery store down the street from her house. They typically cost about 50-69 cents a pound, and they work just fine.

Since I haven't been able to visit recently, Mom went to get some for me and put them in the mail. She picked up some Red Pontiac, White Cobbler (my favorite), and Kennebec.When those arrive, I'll cut them into egg-sized chunks, each with a couple of eyes, and set them in a warm place to get them growing before they are planted out. The warm place will be (you guessed it!) the dining room.


  1. Hey Amy, I did notice that Pike's and Elrod's both have onion sets if you need them!

  2. Thanks! I'll swing by Pikes on my way home from work this evening to pick some up. Hope your little garden is on track for a productive year!

  3. I did stop at Pike's last night, but what they had was the dry onion sets. I should have said that I was waiting for the bunches of green/growing onion sets.

    I almost bought a bag of little dry bulbs anyway, but then I noticed that there were boxes of garlic and shallots right next to the onions. Although it's possible to get a decent crop of either of those if planted now, the bulbs won't be as large as those planted in late October, which is the ideal planting time for those bulbs in our area.

    That made me think a little harder about the onions. I looked again at the bags of onions, which were unfamiliar varieties, to make sure they were "short day length" varieties (required for onion-bulbing in our area). Since I couldn't find the information that would have reassured me, I left without any baby onions. I might call back later this week to get those variety names, to see if I can find the information online.

    The store did have boxes of several kinds of organic potatoes, if anyone is looking for seed-potatoes. Those looked good.


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