Setup

How I hang my lights

on Fri, 02/03/2017

A friend asked me today how I attach my lights to my shelves where I grow my seedlings.

The shelves themselves aren't solid - they're a grid. So I bought some s-biners and chain. S-biners are similar to a s-hook, except that they have a closure that you can open by pushing, just like a carabiner. This means I don't have to worry about bumping a light or chain and the hook slipping, causing the light to fall.

Replaced the lights

on Mon, 03/14/2016

Well, I found that I really liked the other light I purchased better, so I packed up all the lights that I had purchased and returned them. When I bought them they weren't what I had wanted in the first place, and the way I had them hooked up made it difficult for me to water plants, move them around, etc. They'd said if they didn't work out I could bring them back within 30 days and that's exactly what I did. Now I have the new lights hooked up and I hope these are going to work better for me. It's much easier dealing with one light, two cords, and two chains on each shelf than two lights, two cords, and four chains. Ended up saving about $100 this way.

Bought a new light...

on Sun, 03/13/2016

So Friday I went out to buy a new set of lights for the third shelf since my eggplant had popped up and I didn't want it to get too "leggy". Went to my usual store and they only had one light (I needed two). They said they might have more in later in the day, but didn't know. Didn't even offer to put one aside or order one. I bought what they had and then ran around town trying to find another. No such luck.

So I went to Home Depot to see what they had. Couldn't find any 4' T5 lights that plug in, but did find some T8 ones. They were just under $18. Then a set of two daylight bulbs for the fixture was like $9. So for less than $27 I got a light that actually works better than the T5 ones I bought previously. They're brighter and are longer (even though all of them are supposed to be 4'). So I think I am going to see about taking these other ones back and replacing them. I haven't been entirely happy with them, but they were what I could find. For the $40+ I spent on each one, I would expect more.

How-to: So where do I start?

on Fri, 03/11/2016

IMG_0361.pngA lot of people want to grow their own vegetables, fruit, and herbs, but don't know where to start. It's taken me several years, but I've gotten pretty good at it. I continue to improve and learn from others and will be even better once I'm in a house where I can plant in the ground and have more room to work.

For the purpose of my blog, I'm talking about fruits and veggies in the culinary sense, not biologically. So cucumbers, squash, greens, peppers, etc = veggies. Tomatoes and strawberries = fruit.

I grow plenty of vegetables and some herbs, but very little fruit. That's because most fruits seem to grow on bushes, vines, or trees, and I can't have any of those in my container garden. But once I get into a house and have land, I am looking forward to growing a lot more fruit. When it comes to herbs, I just grow the things I use often, like basil, rosemary, cilantro, and chives. I also grow some mint to help attract pollinators and such.

A big upgrade

on Fri, 02/05/2016

So this year I decided to put in a big upgrade to my seedling growing setup. I've been very successful ever since I added a nice big grow light over my seedlings. That led to a lot more extra seedlings, which meant a good amount of sales of my plants. Last year was a very good year, which meant some money left over after paying for all the expenses related to growing the plants. As such, I decided to put that towards an upgrade in my system.

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Transplanting herbs

on Sat, 03/14/2015

So today it's time to transplant more of my seedlings. This time it's the herbs. Once they start to get several true leaves on them, I go ahead and move them to the planters they'll be in outside. I go ahead and plant them all, as I know only some will make it through the process. If several of them end up growing large, I'll transplant them again to another set of these planters that I have, which means more herbs for me! ;)

With the basil I can also transplant it into some of my larger tomato planters once those are going, as the two plants love to be together.

Problems with planters

on Mon, 03/09/2015

So over the last few days I've been transplanting all of the bigger seedlings into larger pots. The first ones were my zucchini. Every day I've been checking the watering tray to make sure there was still water. Not only was there still water, but it was about the same level. That really perplexed me today, so I decided to look further.

Turns out that the planters have a problem from when they were manufactured - the holes are missing. As such, the plants can't get to the water in the tray.

How-to: Planting outdoors

on Fri, 03/06/2015

There are some items I grow from seeds that go directly outdoors when they reach a certain size. Onions and peas are two of those (beans would be a third). Regular onions I plant directly outdoors since they have a large seed onion. Bunching onions, on the other hand, are tiny seeds and seem to work best if I start them indoors. These are onions that you would grow for their stems - green onions. I love green onions and eat them on a lot of things. As such, I try to grow at least two window boxes of these every year.

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