Posted by: JerseyOrganic | March 14, 2014

Signs of Spring

Veggies under light for 2014 growing season

A Sign of Spring
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
So its St. Patrick’s day weekend and Spring is in sight despite the forecast of snow. Looking around, I have lots of seeds getting ready to germinate. Today I planted a TON of vegetables and worked on the tomato plants which have been under the light for about a week now. 
Below is whats going on in the grow room…
IMG_2204 IMG_2198Corn and carrots on heat mat

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I mentioned that we usually plant peas this time each year, but I’m noticing the snow is hanging around later and later. It was a windy weekend too, so I decided to wait until next week to plant peas and spinach. Instead I cleared out the garden beds and did a major backyard clean up. I have several piles of leaves that need bagging still…I know it’s off topic but I think I will post about my backyard. It was a blank canvas when we bought our house and I think it’s come a long way.

Anyway, next weekend before I put the peas and other seeds in the dirt, we will cover all the beds with black plastic to warm the soil and keep the helicopters out.  When the time comes, we will stick the tomato cages in the ground and cut a hole for the tomato plant. I am trying the tomato cages and for the first time. Previously, I had tomatoes on bamboo stakes but after three years they are rotted to nothing. I think cages are they way to go, a little expensive but they won’t rot!

Bamboo Stakes for Tomatoes

Bamboo Stakes for Tomatoes

Bamboo Stakes for Tomatoes

Bamboo Stakes for Tomatoes

Bamboo Stakes for Tomatoes

Bamboo Stakes for Tomatoes

Down in the grow room I can work on ‘mounding up’ the tomato seedlings and getting in round two of planting. Today I planted spinach (inside or out) and cucumbers. I thought I’d give corn another try and wanted to try carrots inside, in containers. Oh, I also have one radish in-between the four corn seeds.

IMG_2196Corn and Carrots

The light has been 14″ above the plants, running each night for about 15 hours.
In addition the tomatoes, I now have hot peppers and lettuce under the light…

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We had the first hiccup of the season.. The sweet bell peppers didn’t germinate.  They were planted on 2/27 and I checked to see if the seeds sprouted, they did not. The seeds were three years old so I ran out and got some organic seeds then planted them immediately.
Back to tomatoes…See how leggy they are? Stretching for light. What I did was position them in the pots and ‘backfill’ with soil a bit. This is in an effort to keep them in place and packed down but new soil will also feed them so no need to fertilize yet. You want to cover the stem with soil as roots will grow from anything before the soil line including off of leaves. By doing this now and again at transplant time your tomatoes will have deep roots resulting in healthier and stronger plants! You can see below the before and after.

IMG_2188Leggy tomatoesIMG_2193Leggy(Left) and filled (Right)IMG_2205

Now I am off to do some more yard work… spring is near but just for fun, pizza anyone? 😛 I had made dough and thought why not? Putting the bowl on the heat mat worked great.
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Next week, we will get our peas in the ground and prep all the beds. Preparing for the growing season is one of the most exciting times.

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To new growth and new beginnings. Until next time..

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