Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's that time of year!  Valentine's Day?  Oh, yes, that, but more importantly...time to start thinking about seeds!  I love this time of year.  Just when we've had enough of the snow, but we know that it'll last a couple months more (at least in wintry Calgary) we get to look forward to starting seeds!  Very exciting!  There is something so magical about taking a dried brown seed, adding a bit of water and warmth and having it sprout right before your eyes!  Plus I get to play with mud in the basement, which is definitely good for the soul.  And I got the best Valentine's Day present from Handyman this year.  My first grow light!  I've never had one before.  I've been starting seeds for the past few years now, but I've usually done the germination on top of the fridge and then the growing on the windowsill.  I have noticed that the plants that like shady conditions, like impatiens and lobelia, do just fine with this, but plants that appreciate a bit more sun, like tomatoes and marigolds, seem to suffer.  But this year I get to try it with a real grow light. 

It is a simple set up.  I bought the fixture and bulb at a local hardware store.  Then my handy man set it up for me in the basement.  I know some people's basements might be a bit cold, but this room has the laundry and the furnace so it is usually quite snugly in there.  I plan to use an old boot mat under my plant tray so that the water doesn't leak onto the old dresser that I am using.  It just has gardening supplies (those that I don't want to get frozen in the shed over winter), so it isn't a big deal if it gets a bit soggy, but I'd rather keep it dry.  Handyman also rigged up the chain so that I can raise and lower the light as the plants grow and of course the timer.  I am very excited to start my seeds!  It is still a bit early to start any seeds yet, but I plan to start some perennials in the next couple of weeks.  The average last frost date in Calgary is June 1, but I have a feeling that we might get lucky this year.  Maybe... ( I might be buying a greenhouse at the end of May when all of my plants are too big for the house, but it is still too cold outside!)  I'll keep you posted!

And Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Sweets for the sweets!

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Yummy looking cupcakes! I should really try seeding again. You really do need the lights for success here, especially in my north-facing house. Good luck! I know your handyman will be tripping over dozens of plant pots in no time! :)