Sunday, February 21, 2010

Greenhouse update

Yesterday we planted out first seeds! three kinds of Cabbage, two. types of broccoli and kale, and three varieties of lettuce. Oh, I almost forgot the spinach. Its amazing what a little change in the weather can do. A week ago I was in the greenhouse in my winter gear building shelves.

Yesterday I was wearing a t-shirt and the possibility of vegetables growing seemed more likely than it has in months.

This year we are growing our vegetables in soil blocks instead of trays. It is a technique that uses a little hand operated press to extrude blocks of potting soil. It takes a little practice to figure out how to get consistent blocks. But once we worked it our filling a tray with blocks doesn't take much longer than filler a regular cell tray with soil. Then benefit for the vegetable seedling is that the blocks allow more soil volume to fit in the same area. More soil volume means more root volume which mean stronger and more vigorous transplants.

Soil blocks also allow us to use less plastic. When we transplant we simply lift the plant and its soil block out of the tray and plant. There is no fighting the cell to release the root bound plant. We look forward to learning more about soil blocks this season as we go through the cycle of seed, grow, and transplant.

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