Let the Gardening Season Commence!

It’s still winter. I’m still choosing between the warm coat and the warmer coat when leaving in the morning. Outside, the plants are in stasis, ready to burst forth if it ever gets warm but not taking any chances.

Inside though…  miraculously orchids are bursting into bloom. Today I will sow the first seeds of the season and anticipate the bounty to come. Technology is a wonderful thing. Despite the vision in my head I’m a haphazard gardener who has yet to acquire a greenhouse, although it’s high on the list. It used to be that my seed sowing was more loss than gain as I’d forget to check the water, they’d get too leggy or a slug would find them and leave just the impotent stalk.

Then I began to watch and read foreign gardening articles. Who knew there were heated propogators sized to fit on a window sill? Good luck finding them in the U.S. Even Ikea, out this year with the Krydda line of growing kits, doesn’t offer them here. I strongly suspect voltage may have something to do with it but it’s still annoying. But with some searching you can put together a pretty close approximation that really makes a difference. Most gardening centers carry heat mats for seed trays. But when you combine that with a controlled thermostat suddenly the possibilities are endless. Now you can create the environment that plant wants – germinates at 80 degrees but your house is 65? No problem. It’s important to get one that is designed for this purpose as it has a safety shutoff that prevents it from getting too hot and potentially burning something. LED shop lights on a timer are the last addition – the plants don’t care if the bulb is cool to the touch, particularly since they’re getting heat from below.

It’s time to get the tomatoes started and I’m still enamored with Cosmonaut Volkov. I haven’t decided what else to plant today – there’s space for two or three seed trays in my current setup. The possibilities have me positively fluttering with excitement.


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