Sunday, January 2, 2011

Is it Spring yet!?

One thing good about being past the Winter solstice - that means the days are getting longer and soon it will be Spring! But, alas, Spring will not be here soon enough. So for the first time in a long time, I am endevouring to bring Spring inside.
This is a small flat of basil and lettuce that was started about a week ago. The ultra-tiny seeds were glued to single-ply bathroom tissue to help keep their spacing. The tissue was then set on top of potting mix and more potting mix was gently pressed over the tissue to a depth of about 1/4 inch. Watering was done by gently dripping water from my hands as I discovered my misting bottle has been devoured by the black hole. You can see some of the exposed tissue where there are no seeds. While the seeds would probably stay in place better if I let the glue dry, they seem to have stayed reasonably well. I used Elmer's school glue - the washable, gel type.
Here's a closeup of some of the lettuce as they germinated. The flat is kept under ordinary (not "grow" type) flourescent lights controled by a timer - 12 hours on, 12 hours off. Day temps run about 75*F with night time temps dipping into the 50*F - 60*F range (they are in my unheated laundry room, and once the lights go out, the temps drop pretty quickly).
I love my camera - here's a closeup of one of the seedlings. This one is about a week old.


Gel | Floor Fountains said...

I love the idea of bringing spring inside! I can't wait for spring either!

Landscape Resource said...

Wow. It's amazing how you did this... very informative.

The pictures are beautiful and have been really helpful :)

Indoor gardening is really a good thing to invest some time into- allowing gardeners and hobbyists to enjoy the activity year-round.

Happy gardening.

KMU said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. I have subsequently discovered that 12 hours of light caused the lettuce to bolt at very small size; still, it was nice to have green things. The little lettuce experiments got fed to very grateful chickens as they were somewhat too bitter for people - probably due to the fact that I wasn't consistent with watering. The basils endured much abuse and are now blooming in 6 inch plastic cups in my south-facing window. I will cut them back before planting out - assuming we will some day be completely done with winter (supposed to be 32*F on the overnight again...snowed very lightly last week...) ...Still wishing for that last frost. Spinach and peas outside are happy, and so are the sunflower seedlings and garlic...