It’s cold and windy outside tonight and the temperature is 35 degrees Fahrenheit but just as one must prepare for winter one like me must also prepare for spring. So far I have one new top bar bee hive built and about 18 parsley plants started from seeds. Parsley is the start of the growing season for me and it begins indoors. First in the garage where I mix up some potting soil, sand with water to create my own home made soil conicals. The seeds grow into the cubes and their roots end as they reach the outside. There is no dark medium for them to grow in and swirl around into a tangled mess. Instead the roots come to tapered ends and the plants grow until they are ready to go in the ground.
We are ten weeks out now from our most likely last spring frost in northern Virginia but that does not mean I have time to spare. I had to begin the spring planting last week and I was a week late at that! The first “soil cons” are growing parsley plants and I recently got a few seedling heating mats from Amazon to help get the plants off early.
This is my fifth growing season I think I am finally getting the hang of it. Some plants will require heat for a while like the hot peppers and I will not spare them. My lack of applying heat in the early stages of a plant’s life in the past can explain for some of my disappointment in the past but this year will be different. If I do it right I will not be in a hot pepper dearth next winter like I am now. I still have dehydrated peppers from last summer but they are almost gone. So sad.
Getting back to the cubes. They are easy to make. Just get an empty yogurt cup. Drill five holes in it and that serves as your cube or rather conical maker. What makes this better than any commercially marketed soil cube maker is that this allows for the growth of the plant until it is ready to put in the ground. I learned last year thought that tomatoes require larger conicals.
Watch this first part to get an idea of the required materials you can find around the home and all you need is some potting soil, sand and water.
- Episode-69- Seed Starts With Soil Blocks For Easy Planting
- 2013 Planting Times
- 2013 home outline and plans B