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The Growing Challenge #2

March 11, 2008

I would have more gardening fun to share if it hadn’t been for some unplanned errands yesterday. I had planned on planting some lavender and lemon thyme in my front yard and add some perennials to my hanging baskets. Those activities will have to wait for later this week, until the rain lets up. I did have some gardening tasks that I got finished this week.

I made some snail deterrent. I have been saving my emptied egg shells, drying them on my sink ledge and adding them to a canister. When it filled up, I popped them into my food processor:

And ended up with a medium fine powder of crushed egg shells, which, if my Mother Earth News is to be believed, deters snails because the egg shells cut their soft body.

Thursday, I finally got some seeds started. In the past I have had some measure of success with seed starting, but I need to make improvements, because I have used a northern window and my seedlings end up leggy and slow growing. They have survived and produced, but I would like to have hardier plants when I transplant them.

The best window I have is our southern facing guest room. This guest room is unheated. Great light, but no heat. This dilemma led to my seedling experiment. I don’t have a lot of money to sink into this, nor the inclination to buy a lot of stuff so I decided to use what I had on hand to create a warm soil below with plenty of light above. Here’s what I came up with: a heating pad (I have one more on order from Amazon, using part of my gift certificate), a card table, an inflatable baby bath tub, a navy blue Rubbermaid container, newspaper pots, bubble wrap, elastic and seed starting soil mix. Here’s how it panned out. The card table is placed in front of the sunny set of windows. The inflatable tub and the Rubbermaid containers are the newspaper pot (made by Maddy) receptacles. The tub holds about 59 pots and the Rubbermaid holds all 14 of my tomato seedlings. The lone heating pad gets rotated under the three zones I have established: the two ends of the tub and the one Rubbermaid container. The bubble wrap seals them up to retain heat and moisture and the elastic is tied to make a giant rubber band for each container. Here’s what they look like:

And look what I found poking up this morning!

See those teeny broccoli sprouts? Aren’t they cute?

The only thing I had to purchase was a spray bottle, because all of my others where in service with various non-toxic cleaners and potions.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lisa permalink
    March 12, 2008 1:42 am

    I hope they will hold up. It’s experimental, but my line of thought is that they won’t be moved about or subjected to the bacterial activity that they would be in ground, so it might get soggy, but should hold up fine for the next month and a half. Hopefully my line of thinking is true.

  2. Lisa permalink
    May 2, 2008 4:58 pm

    Sarah-We go through about 3-4 dozen eggs per week, so I do have a lot of shells. I just rinse them and let them dry on the sink ledge before dumping them into their own container right next to my scrap bin (destined for the compost bin) in one of the sinks. They get stinky if not rinsed and dried. When that container is full, I gring them up and place them in the glass storage jar.

    It seems to be working reasonably well. Not as good as snail poison, but well enough that I will continue to use it.

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