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Thread: Starting seedlings in the house.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Default Starting seedlings in the house.

    When do you guys start your seeds? I try to get them started around the first of Feb. Looking for other input.

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    Member upinak's Avatar
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    I usually start my seeds around March. Depending on how cold Feb is, if it was a mild Feb, I start them in the beginning of March. Cold Feb, I start them around middle to end of March. Feburary for me is an indicator. I usually keept my glass jars and plastic bowls from the food I eat to put them in after they seed. It is easy and cheaper in the long run for that.

    I grow, Butter Lettuce, Romaine, and Spinach. And all kinds of herbs.

    I also grow kalarabi (sp), bush or bunch squash, sweet peas, beans, and I have tried pumpkins... but I think i may have to start those in Feb this year if i want to actually GET a pumpkin.

    Would like to try to grow different kinds of squash this year. But since I am just a container garden person, and I think I have a area for a garden in Anchorage, I will see what I can do.

    R.S. what do you like to grow? Container or Stepping Garden?

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    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    Starting seeds? I would think it depends on where in Alaska you are and how much room and lights you have. Also, how many times you want to transplant into larger containers before planting in the ground.

    I live in a small cabin and only have 1 small light (5 watt) to put on them so that is a factor for me. I do have a couple of bay windows that I can open up once the weather is warm enough, usually in mid March. That really helps get those starts off to a good "start" Little plants really need a good source of light or they grow tall and spindly.

    By the time I actually transplant in the garden my plants have outgrown the space in the windows and I have to bring many flats or boxes in and out to the greenhouse morning and night. It gets to be a lot of work.

    I do quite a bit of container plants too, those go into the final pots around the same time as I plant the garden...some in gallon sized pots and some in 5 gallon buckets. Those are nice to do, easy to water and to move around if I want to.

    The sun is just now starting to shine on the lower hills around the cabin and will actually shine in the window in a few more days for the first time in 63 days. This time of year always gets me thinking of summer and garden time even though quite often we will get some deep cold yet. It is fun to think about it, even if I won't be starting seeds for close to another couple of months.

    Grandma Lori
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    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

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    Member upinak's Avatar
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    Quite right grandma... but I live in Anchorage and I think R.S. lives close to Anchorage. Look like I may have a plot (I think she is on 4 acres) at the end of E.R. road, but the Moose are killers out there.

    Glad you are starting to see the "light'. I worship B.O.B. (Big Orange Ball) in the Breakup/Summer season. Alaskans, I think, are a different breed and actually apprecite B.O.B. more then most.

    Since you are further north, what do you plant? What works better up there then it would further south then you? What is your best gardening plant?

    up

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    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    Ah yes the BOB, we do not take it for granted. Saw the sun shine up in the tops of the spruce yesterday so it could possibly shine in the window (at least part of the orb) for a minute or two today. Only gets better after that.

    I grow a variety of plants in the garden and greenhouse. So I am ready for whatever kind of summer we get.

    Cabbage and broccoli are always good crops regardless of summer weather. Kale and Swiss Chard are hearty plants too. Leaf and romaine lettuce are easy to grow, as are radish and turnips. Edible pod peas seem to do well most years and fun to grow along the back fence. I haven't had great luck with carrots in the new gardens, the dirt is a bit clayish. Hopefully that will improve with every year the more I work and add to the soil.

    Tomatoes (Polar Star), cucumbers and several types of peppers, do well in the greenhouse. Last year I could not for the life of me get one single squash so I figure it was a tad to wet and rainy, but will grow a plant or two again this summer. Didn't have much luck with Pac Choi or spinach last year, both bolted on me in spite of the cool summer.

    Last year we tried potatoes again and since we never had a mid summer (July) frost they did well and we will give it a go again. Positive side to Climate Change perhaps.

    Herbs like oregano, basil, sage, parsley, summer savory and thyme do well in small containers in the bay window. And I always grow a bit of catnip for Mr. Kitty too.

    I also have a rhubarb and chive patch that grow back every year so don't have to start those. Nice.

    Grandma Lori
    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

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    Member upinak's Avatar
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    G-ma, wow is all I have to say. But since I have lived up here most of my life, I think the thought of light/night doesn't bother like it does others. I never think about it. Nice thing to have 5 minutes a day addition for B.O.B. and soon more. I just hope this summer is a tad warmer.. and not just because of my garden.

    The squach didn't do well for me last year either. I think I may have had 10, 3 inch guys all together, even though it is a bush variety. It had more blooms in the sun (when it was out) and I left it out in the rain more times then not. I will try again this spring.

    As for your Carrots, this is my suggestion if you would like to try. If you drink coffee, instead of putting the ground in a pile for compost, put it in the clay. it will break the clay down and is a natural fertilizer. The acid will break down the clay to a more managable dirt like constant. Also get old tires and put them 2 tires high with dirt in them. Someone told me they have had better luck in tires the last few years, then in little dirt humps in the ground.


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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Hey , two of my best girls are going to help me out

    no up I live in Delta Jct.

    Grandma hows the homebrew coming?

    I can grow most anything out in the dirt, the things I have a problem with is peppers and tomatos.

    The coffee thing is really interesting, never heard of that. We used to put the ash's from the wood stove on the garden to rejuvinate it , but the coffee is new.( lord knows I drink enough of it,lol)

  8. #8
    Member upinak's Avatar
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    R.S.

    Wanna grow peppers huh. I will give you a hint... get some very shiny metal and when you put your peppers in the ground, put it next to a building that gets the most sunsshine and prop the metal against the building, right behind the pepper plant.

    Problem solved. I will be here all week!

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    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    Grandma hows the homebrew coming?

    I can grow most anything out in the dirt, the things I have a problem with is peppers and tomatos.

    The coffee thing is really interesting, never heard of that. We used to put the ash's from the wood stove on the garden to rejuvinate it , but the coffee is new.( lord knows I drink enough of it,lol)
    Rock Slipper, unfortunately I am out of supplies right now, so no beer here. Hopefully the plan is to make a trip into to town this spring. I haven't been in town for over a year so Mother Hubbards (Grandmother Hubbard's I should say) cupboards are getting rather bare.

    I have used coffee grounds right in the dirt many a time...and it works. Wood ashes are also a good addition to gardens. My main problem is that I am working newer gardens the last couple of years since the river took the old ones during breakup. Eventually I will get that soil to where it should be.

    Tomatoes? Try Denali Seed-Polar Stars or Polar Beauty. Smaller plants and slightly smaller tomatoes but they sure do work the best for me regardless of the summer weather and do pretty well in containers (1 or 2 gallon size). I start peppers and tomatoes very early in spring (the first seeds I sprout) to get a good long crop. My favorite pepper, and one that is easy to overwinter in the kitchen window is Hot Thai's. Small peppers, but spicy so one or two goes a long way. They grow well in a small, say #10 coffee can too. The trick with peppers is to grow a dwarf marigold right in the pot with them. They seem to feed off of each other.

    Drink a beer for me
    Grandma Lori
    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Grandma If I had a plane and I knew where you were at I'd do an air drop for you.( hint, hint all you bush flyers)

    I think I'll try the coffee grounds, and "up" that thing with the metal background makes since. Thanks to both of you. E.S.

  11. #11

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    Kohlrabi plants are awesome moose feed. The only year we planted, the moose ate only the kohlrabi until it was no more then took the rest, all but the potatoes. Tried peppers but it is hard to keep s aphids off.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa18tony View Post
    Tried peppers but it is hard to keep s aphids off.
    Any remedy for this?

    Plant Marigolds close to them?

    I was sure hoping to grow some TAM jalapeņos when I build the greenhouse this spring, and had a lady tell me the aphids will love me for growing peppers. She told me she tried everything and nothing deterred the aphids from damaging the plants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Grandma View Post
    I grow a variety of plants in the garden and greenhouse. So I am ready for whatever kind of summer we get.
    Any greenhouse gardening tips?

    I'll be building one in the spring and it'll be my first greenhouse.

  14. #14

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    This moose calf was cropping the chives a few days ago.

  15. #15

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    You use to be able to buy lady bugs. They will work for you but they are hard to keep it the greenhouse.

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    Member upinak's Avatar
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    Irish Spring keeps moose away from gardens and trees, if you hang a bar on the tree or have a bar next to to your garden. Moose HATE the smell.

    Honestly I like the smell of it. And it doesn't hurt anything.
    No amount of education can help those who want to remain permanently ignorant of facts, which includes those whom have been educated.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    hmm, your talkng about the soap?

  18. #18
    Member upinak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    hmm, your talkng about the soap?
    Yep, the old fashioned Irish Springbar soap.
    No amount of education can help those who want to remain permanently ignorant of facts, which includes those whom have been educated.

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    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by upstream View Post
    Any greenhouse gardening tips?

    I'll be building one in the spring and it'll be my first greenhouse.
    Well no real advice for building a greenhouse. Mine is simple and small, but it packs a punch and holds a lot more than it looks like it should. It is attached to the south facing wall of the cabin.

    I have hard, clear lexan for the top and double walled plastic sheeting for the sides. The double walls keep the condensation out if the summer is damp and also prevents that mid summer July frost (if we get one) from creeping in.

    Grandma Lori




    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Grandma View Post
    Well no real advice for building a greenhouse. Mine is simple and small, but it packs a punch and holds a lot more than it looks like it should. It is attached to the south facing wall of the cabin.

    I have hard, clear lexan for the top and double walled plastic sheeting for the sides. The double walls keep the condensation out if the summer is damp and also prevents that mid summer July frost (if we get one) from creeping in.

    Grandma Lori



    Not building, growing.

    I've got some nice plans for the greenhouse already.

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