With all of the rain recently, the soil is really wet. So spend this week doing some planning instead of planting
This week’s tip
Last week I shared the basics of what seeds need to grow into plants. This week, I’ll talk about how to provide those things. Light is easily provided by a sunny window, but extra light is often needed. A simple fluorescent fixture can supply the light you need, but must be kept just above the seedling to keep it from having too much lanky growth. Warmth for your seedlings can be provided by a seedling heat mat, which keeps the soil at 80 degrees. Soil…well, you shouldn’t use soil at all. Instead, use a seedling mix that is light enough to hold the right amount of water for the seedling. Put that mix into some kind os shallow (2”) container with enough drain holes to keep the mix from being water logged. Personally, I like to wet the seedling mix down before I fill my containers. That lets me be sure the mix is wet from top to bottom. Use fresh seed or seed that has been stored properly. Place your seed on top or the seedling mix, then cover lightly with more mix. Moisten that top layer of soil with a misting bottle to keep the seeds from floating out. Place the containers in a plant flat or pie pan or any flat container that will catch any water that drains from your seedling containers. Put the flat on the heat mat, and turn on the light over the containers. Lower the light to with ¼” of the surface of your containers. Depending on the plant, you should see germination in 7-14 Days. Keep the seedling mix moist. As the plants grow, raise the light to just above the growing tip of the plants. When you are about 2 weeks from planting outdoors, take your plants outside for a short while each day to “harden off”, or become accustomed to growing outdoors. Leave them out a little longer each day, as they become accustomed to the weather. When they can be planted outdoors, plant them with the same care you would a store-bought transplants.
Here’s where I’ll be this week
Tuesday, January 30, 18 Successful Gardener Class 630-830
Renfrow Hardware, 188 N. Trade Street, Matthews, NC
SOLD OUT Starting Plants From Seeds
If you want to check with me tomorrow afternoon, I’ll see if I can fit you in.
Thursday, February 1, 2018 Farm Business Management
Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro,
**This is a curriculum course and registration is closed for the semester.
I teach Farm Business Management at CCCC, based on my work, Cash Crop: Cultivating Profit In Your Farm or Food Business. You can cultivate profit in the same way you cultivate your crops. Good planning helps you work ON your business as much as you work IN your business. Creating and analyzing enterprise and whole farm budgets cultivate the farm’s operation in order to grow your farm’s profits.
This class can be offered at your community college, too. Contact me to find out how.
Friday through Saturday Matthews, NC
I’m available for landscape consultations, especially if you have questions about your fruit trees. This is the best time of year for pruning fruit trees, grape vines and other dormant fruit plants. Pruning is easier than you think, but it pays to know how each cut will help your plants. I can help you gain confidence in your pruning skills, show you how to sharpen and maintain your tools, and teach you what to look for to keep your plants as healthy as possible. I’ll be teaching a pruning class at Renfrow Farm in February, and a fruit tree consultation will help you understand the basics that much better.
Winter is a great time to take stock of what’s going on in the garden and landscape. Last year’s growing season is behind you, and with leaves down you can see the architecture of your landscape clearly. You can get a head start on Spring or finish up those Fall projects. I’ve designed and installed all kinds of landscapes, from formal herb gardens to Permaculture homesteads. In an hour, I can solve problems, identify plants, show you some opportunities, and help you enjoy your garden even more! If you’re interested in a home landscape
consultation, contact me here.
I farmed and operated a plant nursery in NC for 15 years, and was an NC Cooperative Extension agent for 8 years. In that time, I learned a LOT about farm production and farm business management. I can help you with organic certification, transition to organic practices, and marketing your farm and food products. To learn how to cultivate profit on your farm, contact me here.
In these times of great opportunity for small business owners, strategic planning is essential for success. I can help you write a business plan, construct enterprise and cash flow budgets, and do market research. Individual consultations and group trainings are options for getting the information you need to succeed! To take advantage of the opportunities that are available to small business owners, contact me here. .
Remember to enjoy your garden, because THAT’S what makes you a Successful Gardener!
Hope to see you sometime this week!
Peace, Grace, & Love,