This weekend was dedicated to seed starting and transplanting, as the next couple will be as well. Hubby worked on building a new propagation rack so we can expand our space for seed starting from 2ft by 8 ft to 2 ft by 24 ft! At 360 plants on each 1 ft wide tray that means our capacity to start is expanded from 2880 seeds to 8640! That is HUGE when we are starting some things that take a while to germinate like our peppers and eggplants which were started last weekend and are just now popping (8 days).
Meanwhile I worked on starting seeds and transplanting seeds that we have already started including transplanting 288 basil plants, 30 Mexican sour gherkins, and 72 eggplants. We also started 144 lettuce plants, 144 cabbage plants, 360 broccoli, and 1,800 tomato plants. This coming week I will start more seeds as I am able to begin transplanting the 1,440 pepper plants, 600 eggplants, 360 cauliflower, and 300 celeriac seeds which were started last weekend.
We start our seed by using a soil block maker which compresses a fine mix into little 3/4"X 3/4" blocks, 20 at a time. We put these on cookie sheets and the cookie sheets on the heat mat to germinate. As soon as they pop (within one or two days) they need to be carefully moved to trays, so their roots have more room to grow. Using this method means an extra step, but space on our heat mat is so precious it is worth it for us. Doing this lets us start up to 2,880 seeds on one 2X8 ft mat instead of just 288, which is all the room you have using the trays they end up in.
When more stuff is up and transplanted I'll take some pictures. All of these are currently hanging out under a 1000watt grow light in our basement, where it will stay until our hoop house is up in a couple weeks. But that is why I spent much of this wonderful weekend in our basement, listening to my iPod and carefully putting seed in tiny little blocks!
Other weekend tasks included finally ordering our seed potatoes and onion starts, taking some time and evaluating our fields and space needs for this year, and some basic cleanup around the farm (which hubby did while I was planting tomatoes.)
Also, as some of you have asked, we think that our bee hives have survived this winter! At least their were bees working at our hives today and coming and going! On Tuesday, if the weather holds, hubby will open up the hives and check that the queen is their and the remaining bees are doing good.