Friday, February 12, 2010

Follwing the Crowd

My mother used to say, "If all of your friends were jumping off the roof, would you?" whenever she thought that perhaps I was being too peer-influenced. Leaving aside the notion that I clearly paid for my not doing so by bearing children who think jumping off a roof sounds like a terrific idea, sometimes crowd-following isn't a bad idea.

Take gardening, for example. I'll probably not ever McGyver my entire yard a la EG, but I can take the best ideas out there and make them my own.

Like starting seeds when it's time. Here's a tray of lettuce, just waiting to get big enough to be bird-proof. New seeds as of this fall, they came up in three days.


After being annoyed at getting shocked every time I touched my light set up, I went out and bought all new flourescent fixtures. Apparently it wasn't the fixtures, but something else leaking, so now I have more lights than I did before, and I just wear tennies when I'm downstairs.

16 comments:

chaiselongue said...

That looks like a very sophisticated seed-germinating system. I'm glad you've solved the shocking problem! Good luck with them all. We're just about to sow tomatoes and peppers - such an exciting time of year!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I've been quite surprised at how fast some of our seeds are sprouting this year, and so far we haven't even had to plug the lights in! Our lettuce popped up in 3-4 days, along with our beets and tatsoi greens. It almost feels like spring!

Ribbit said...

You're so right! I bet EG could have rigged something up with just a ball point pen and a used lolly pop stick.

Engineeredgarden said...

Gosh....MacGuyver? Well, I guess I do have alot of engineered stuff around here. Hehe
BTW, I can help you fix the shocking problem - if ya want me to. The light setup looks great, and i'm sure you'll do very well with it.....

Michelle said...

I was just lamenting not having a big enough indoor light system, but that's just because I'm impatient, I want to sow *everything*, right now! I did sow some things that are going to have to be happy with the light coming in the windows and the occasional afternoon outside.

Mr. H. said...

Jeez, that is a bit frightening. I would be careful if you are actually getting shocked...yikes. The one thing that makes me a bit nervous is electricity...especially when it is not working properly. Please be careful.

kitsapFG said...

That's a nice bank of lights! I could really use more lights myself but I always talk myself out of getting more.

Kalena Michele said...

Nice lighting setup!

Heiko said...

Am I the only one waiting for the waxing moon period to start my sowing? As it's new moon tomorrow, none of the farmers in Italy would be caught dead sowing until next week!

Stefaneener said...

Hey chaiselongue, we are generally on the same season, I figure, no matter how far apart we are. I figure I'm a bit ahead for some things but I'll deal. I should look at last year's notes.

Curbstone Valley, it is amazing. I think when you hit the sweet spot for temperature, they just pop up. Tatsoi! I need to plant more.

Ribbit, he's a wonder.

EG, here's the deal. Lights plugged into a strip, which is set on a timer, which is plugged into an exterior-grade extension cord. If I'm barefoot on the bare cement floor, and I touch the metal portions of either the lights or the stand (this problem has been limited by changing the lights so they hang from wood), I get shocked. If I'm wearing shoes, I'm okay. I think I tried plugging them straight into the extension cord, and still got shocked. I'm not up for a lot of work if wearing shoes takes care of everything : )

Michelle, I can fit 8 flats. And yes, there comes a time when it's crowded. I found an old window, so I could probably move the tomatoes outside earlier this year. When they're in yogurt containers, they take up a lot of room.

Mr. H., this is why we encourage our children to become plumbers. Dirty and wet beats dead any day. I think this is a low-grade issue, but what do I know?

kitsapFG, maybe you could get more on Freecycle? I didn't mean to buy more but having 3 per level makes a difference vs. 2.

kalenaMichelle, thanks for coming by! I love the lights and can get kind of "zoney" around sowing and watering.

Heiko, yes you are. : )
Actually, since it's not high in folks' consciousness here I'd have to have reviewed it and I didn't. I'm thinking about waiting for the right moon to sow potatoes, though. Does that count?

Jan said...

Ooh, lettuces up! I've not even sown any yet. Must do it!

Engineeredgarden said...

stefaneener - all you need to do is run a ground wire from the metal housing of the lights to an electrical ground source for the supply to your house. This can be a receptacle in the area....

laura said...

So glad I came across your blog today. I love it. I've added you to my blogroll. I've been thinking about making some propagation lights but no idea where to start yors look great. Do you think they make a difference. So far I've managed by growing the early stuff in the bathroom which is very light then out to the polytunnel. Heiko I am with you I am waiting for the second half of February to sow peppers and green house toms. I sowed the slower growing chillis and aubergines in January.

Stefaneener said...

Jan, it was hard for me to get on it and sowing. The warm-weather things are much slower to sprout. They're biding their time.

EG, thanks! Now that they're hanging from wooden supports I only get shocked if I touch the actual light housing. Good to know.

Laura, welcome! I do believe the lights make a huge difference -- if you're comparing indoor starts. Outside, it's a different story. What they allow me to do is get a jump on the season and protect small seedlings from my marauding birds. And it gives me something to do. . .

Zach said...

I don't think we can ever be like EG, but I will agree with you, following the crowd can be a good thing... Unless the crowds are your children =)

Kate and Crew said...

Holy fancy lights! Egads girl - you're tiptoeing in hardcore gardening waters. Nice! Can't wait to see how it all turns out.