Couldn’t Resist

Remember how i was saying i was going to work on waiting?  This cabbage looks mysteriously like it’s been transplanted…Let me just say in my defense that i’ve only put out half of the cold crop seedlings: as part of the learning process!  I’m keeping a close eye on the forecast, and since there’s going to be rain for the next few days with no sign of frost, i put some of the young-ins out after hardening them off last week.  Those that made the cut include 5 cabbages, 4 broccoli, 6 fennel, 9 arugula, and 6 brussel sprouts. Enough to fill the first front yard bed, and then some: I’m officially a front yard gardener!!! Up until now, i’ve been a mere dirt farmer…

There’s plenty more in the basement, waiting for their turn.  Biggest indoor growing lesson so far: tomatoes grow really stinkin’ fast!  You can see them in the background. I move up the light a notch, and they’re touching the bulbs in a few days.  Celery, collards, tomatoes, egg plant, ancho and sweet peppers, fennel are all growing away: but they won’t go out until the end of april. The potatoes have sprouted and are going in the ground april 1st: no foolin!

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About Ryan

Urban gardening at it's best (sometimes it's worst)! Adventures and learnings from going 100% lawn free in a D.C. row house.
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4 Responses to Couldn’t Resist

  1. z says:

    Hi Ryan, I was just wondering did you bring in compost or dirt from somewhere? I have been having a really hard time finding a place that will deliver it for a reasonable price, and not having a truck it’s kind of hard to get it myself.

  2. Ryan says:

    i’ve been picking it up from the takoma park transfer station which offers shredded leaf mulch (which is compost if you pick it up late winter) totally free. they offer delivery for a very fair price (especially since the product is free). they also have wood chips for free, which i’ve used in between the beds. http://www.takomaparkmd.gov/publicworks/mulch.html

  3. Stacey says:

    I put out my little broccoli starts a couple of weeks ago – I also shared a bunch with my other community gardeners so hopefully someone will get broccoli. This was the first time I tried seed starting – no fancy set up. What is your lighting system?

    • Ryan says:

      Just about as simple as you can get: 2 bulb, 4 foot shop lights i got used from the community forklift for $4 each, hung them from small chains (so i can adjust the height) from a basement storage shelf. i have 2 fixtures, enough to fit 2 flats of plants under it, though it’s getting tight as the plants get bigger. the trick is to make sure the lights are on long enough: at least 14 hours a day (use a timer which is only $5), since the light is weaker than sunlight and you don’t want to end up with leggy plants. the bulbs are regular cool white 34 watt bulbs. although, i replaced one with a new daylight (6500k) 40 watt bulb and you can really see the difference. fluorescent bulbs have a functional lifespan, so just cause they’re on doesn’t mean they’re putting out good light. no need to buy a $40 grow bulb at all: i think a regular ‘daylight’ spectrum bulb works fine. also, keep the bulbs very close to the tops of the plants: at MOST 4 inches away.

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