Seed Starting Workshop Thank You & Fliers

I know this is a bit late but I wanted to put a word in about the success of our Seed Starting Workshop that was held in March. First of all I would like to thank everyone for showing up and to all who got the word out about the event. It was, by far, our largest turn out so far and we hope this trend will continue for our workshops in the future. Next I would like to thank Barb Mandic our resident Master Gardener whos presence is one of grace and wisdom. Also, a big thank you goes out to the ‘Urban Food Warrior’, Caitlin Moore, for her outstanding examples of seed starting techniques and her endless knowledge base of seed starting and how we can become closer to the sustainable lives we all want to cultivate. The fliers that were passed out from the workshop are being attached so those of you who could not make it can also have the information. Thanks again to everyone who made this evening a great success.

-Lara Randolph.

Transplanting Your Seedlings.

Seed Starting Tip Sheet.

Mini Community Garden

This Mini garden is all of 3’x3′ at the unused end of our dead end street.  My neighbors (Ashley, 4 and Daisy, 8) and I  planted tomato, zuchini, and corn seeds last week.  Cleaning the weeds out of our space prior to planting could never be described as a work party.  There was too much distraction and exploration.  Look, I found an earthworm!.  Look, a roly poly!  What is this?   Why is that?

Once the seeds were in the ground, every few hours, inpatient eyes were looking for sprouts.  Children have a completely different experience of the passage of time.  Finally, knowing that radish seeds sprout much very quickly, I bought some.  Daisy and I planted them yesterday.  Until they sprout, Daisy and Ashley are being satisfied by watching the apple blossoms turn from buds to open flowers.

– Rebecca Alder

Mini Community Garden

Seed Starting Adventure in Renton

I like to think of myself as a novice gardener as I have grown many plots of vegetables over the years, done quite a bit of canning and mostly had terrific success but one area I was not so good at was starting plants from seed.  Since I currently live in the Puget Sound area (cold), it is essential to either purchase some plants that are well established or limit the variety in the garden to seeds that can thrive in our colder weather or just plant later when it’s warm enough and hope for the best.

I wanted to learn seed collection and seed starting as my partner and I will be moving to Mexico eventually and it is hard to get seeds of good quality so, collecting my own must be learned.  However, once I have the seeds I need to be able to grow plants with them, right?

A workshop was attended which was sponsored and taught by Lara of Sustainable Renton, and Caitlin of Urban Food Warrior on Seed Starting techniques.  I was so excited to learn what I was doing wrong all these years so I could correct my actions.

It turns out that I did was not using enough light, nor was I using the right soil mixture.  Caitlin had this neat little portable green house that she made from a large clear plastic bin, a lid made from plywood, 3 florescent light fixtures with the right bulbs, seed starting trays, a small fan and a timer.  I made one a few days later and it turned out great!  I got bulbs that are 4000k on the color temperature scale.

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I got organic seed starting mixture, wet it down and followed the depth chart listed on the seed packages…filled my little trays with soil mixture and planted my seeds.  The lights were kept on for 19 hours and off for 5 using the timer.  The seeds do not need fertilizer until they pop up and start growing, then I used liquid worm tea mixed with water (I also compost my food waste using red wrigglers) to feed my little babies.  The small fan was placed on top aiming into one of the handle openings on my sheet of plywood so the air could circulate inside.

After 5-7 days, my seeds began sprouting wildly!  The stems are thicker and only a few of the plants have died after I transplanted them to larger containers.  Now, I have several tomatoes, beets, onions, bunches of cilantro, broccoli, etc.  After a few more weeks inside, I will move them to the great outdoors.  This is an exciting adventure and a major turn for my gardening skills. Looking forward to harvest!

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